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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Paper Session #396
Ethics in ABA: Longstanding and Contemporary Concerns
Monday, May 25, 2015
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
204B (CC)
Area: CSE
Keyword(s): Ethics
Chair: Robert D. Holdsambeck (Calaba)
Ethics and Autism: Seven Deadly Sins and Fifty Shades of Grey
Domain: Service Delivery
Abstract: Providing services to people on the Autism Spectrum raises some unique ethical challenges for Psychologists and for Behavior Analysts. Drawing from over 35 years of clinical experience, Dr. Holdsambeck will discuss those challenges in terms of those situations that are very clear (the deadly sins) and those that are more nuanced (fifty shades of grey). Distinctions and commonalities will be discussed in terms of Legal, Moral and Ethical codes of conduct including the guidelines for responsible conduct for behavior analysts and the APA Ethical guidelines. The seminar will conclude with some suggestions for enhancing our compliance to the ethical guidelines while meeting the unique challenges of working with children and adults with Autism.

CANCELLED: Using Mobile Applications to Support Student Success

Domain: Theory
MICHAEL SCHEIB (University of Southern Maine), Susan Jarmuz-Smith (University of New England)

Since the release of the iPad in April 2010, mobile applications have added new educational interventions that go where students go and work where students work. In the short amount of time since their release, mobile devices have penetrated global markets to the point that the average user has more than one mobile device. The increase in availability and portability has meant that users could move from their desks to the real world. What this means to the use of applied behavioral analysis is that interventions can move with clients and may move from socially-mediated reinforcement to technologically-mediated reinforcement. While new technology can provide innovative interventions for individuals, practitioners need to be as skeptical of these interventions as any others. New technologies become ubiquitous intervention platforms for clients, even though there lacks therapeutic evidence of effectiveness. This presentation will review the ethical guidelines required of practitioners when implementing non-evidence-based interventions and how the introduction of mobile devise can confound the use of common interventions. Participants will receive data collection guidelines for evaluating the effectiveness of technology-based interventions. These data collection methods will be based on best practices in applied behavior analysis and adapted for this specific kind of technology evaluation.

Multicultural Considerations in Applied Behavior Analysis Services
Domain: Service Delivery
TERRENCE BRYANT (Kaplan University)
Abstract: A major challenge faced by many mental health practitioners lie in the provision of effective services to individuals from groups that are ethnically and culturally different from themselves. From an ethical standpoint, it is important for the practitioner to recognize these differences and as well as the potential for bias based on these differences. There has been a proliferation of recent research on the provision of services to culturally diverse population. The purpose of this paper is to review the research on barriers that exist for mental health professionals, particularly behavior analysts, in the delivery of effective services to culturally diverse populations. A review of traditional cultural practices, family values, and worldview of various ethnic minority groups is highlighted to facilitate understanding of cultural identities. A review of the literature on behavior analysis services with minority populations is conducted and implications for ABA practitioners are presented as well as recommendations for increasing cultural competence. In addition, a review of ethical considerations in the practice of ABA with culturally-diverse individuals and families is considered.

CANCELLED: The Application of the Ethical Guidelines for Behavior Analysts to Dog Training

Domain: Theory

Graduate students in applied behavior analysis programs often choose to use their dogs as subjects for projects. This is a concern, due to the fact that many do not realize that the ethical guidelines should apply as stringently to animal subjects as to human subjects. Furthermore, students often lack experience in how to apply behavioral change tactics and the principles of behavior analysis to dogs. A survey of graduate students revealed a tendency towards the use of punishment and the lack of implementations of differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors. There are few research-based resources available through traditional research routes to help them learn how to create behavioral change programs for their dogs. It is vital that programs help students to generalize what they are learning about behavior to use with animal clients as well.

Keyword(s): Ethics



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