Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #464
CE Offered: BACB
Examining the Influence of Public Policy and Legislation on Important Public Health Behavior
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
204B (CC)
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Claudia L. Dozier, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium includes two studies that evaluated the influence of various public policy initiatives and legislation to increase major public health and safety concerns. In the first study, the authors used Google Trends to determine consumer searches for spray tans prior to and after ultra-violet indoor tanning (IVIT) was banned for minors in the UK. In the second study, the authors used archival governmental data to determine the influence of various legislation (e.g., seat belt laws, texting laws) on motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) in the US. In addition, associations between technology advances (e.g., iPhone) and car safety features (e.g., air bags) and the occurrence of MVCs were determined. In both studies, a natural multiple-baseline design was used to determine the influence of policy and legislation as it was rolled out across countries (UK) or states (US). Findings are discussed with respect to the influence of public policy and legislation on changing important public health outcomes.
Keyword(s): legislation, public health, public policy
Examining the Effects of Indoor Tanning Bans via a Natural Multiple Baseline in the U.K.
BRYAN YANAGITA (University of Kansas), Derek D. Reed (The University of Kansas), Amel Becirevic (The University of Kansas), Brent Kaplan (The University of Kansas)
Abstract: Ultra-violet indoor tanning (UVIT) is clearly linked to skin cancer prevalence throughout the world. To help tamper rates of youth UVIT use, many public health advocates are pushing for a ban on UVIT for individuals under the age of 18. From a behavioral economic perspective, public health officials could evaluate the concomitant effects of UVIT bans on the consumption of safer tanning alternatives, such as spray tanning. Should a substitutable relation be discovered, this information could dramatically inform public policy efforts. In this study, we examined whether UVIT bans for minors in the United Kingdom – where such bans were implemented at a national level and staggered in terms of their rollouts – increased consumer foraging for spray tanning. Using data from Google Trends, we constructed a natural multiple baseline experiment to demonstrate that searches for spray tans increased as a function of the UVIT legislation. Findings suggest that spray tans may serve as a substitute for UVIT, offering implications for behavioral economic approaches to policies aimed at reducing UVIT in the United States. We conclude with a discussion on the utility and validity of “big data” with respect to consumer foraging and its implications for behavioral scientists.
An Evaluation of the Effects of State Seat Belt and Cell Phone Legislation on Motor Vehicle Collisions
JESSICA FOSTER (The University of Kansas), Claudia L. Dozier (The University of Kansas), Aubrie Bauer (Florida State University -- Panama City), Paige Ryan (Louisiana State University), Jacbo Schooler (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for people ages 3-34 and result in an economic cost of approximately $230 billion each year. Since 1980, states have passed seatbelt legislation to attempt to reduce the fatalities related to motor vehicle collisions (MJC). Recently, states have moved to amend these seatbelt laws as well as pass cell phone legislation that prohibits or limits the use of cell phones while driving (NCSL, 2013). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of seatbelt and cell phone legislation on MVCs across states from 1980-present using a natural multiple-baseline design as laws were implemented and enacted. Additionally, this study evaluated the effects of safety features of cars (e.g., airbags) on fatal MVCs and technology advances (e.g., iPhone) on the total number of MVCs. Results thus far have demonstrated that seatbelt legislation has been associated with decreases in the number of fatal MVCs, whereas cell phone legislation has not been associated with increases or decreases in the total number of MVCs or fatal MVCs across states when collapsing all age groups. Finally, results show that various safety features have been associated with decreases in fatal MVCs.



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