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 #46
Behavior Analysis Re-Examines Schizophrenia: Dissecting the DSM-5 Diagnosis
Saturday, May 23, 2015
3:00 PM–3:20 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM
Chair: Stephen E. Wong (Florida International University)

Behavior Analysis Re-Examines Schizophrenia: Dissecting the DSM-5 Diagnosis

Domain: Service Delivery
STEPHEN E. WONG (Florida International University)

This presentation will begin by reviewing the origins of applied behavior analysis in the late 1950s in successful studies teaching skills and reducing problem behaviors in persons with psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia. It will then examine problems in the DSM-5 definition of schizophrenia including reliance on questionable data, arbitrary criteria and categorization, inadequate precision for assessment and treatment evaluation, and omission of information on historical and current environmental factors that might have caused and might now maintain aberrant behavior. Alternatives to the DSM-5 will be discussed including continuous recording of individual clients specific behaviors, and functional assessments and functional analyses. The presentation will then provide a brief historical overview of harmful and debilitating biomedical interventions for psychotic disorders, evidence showing that current drug treatments follow this early pattern of iatrogenic medicine, and faulty assumptions underlying the biomedical hegemony over mental health services.




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