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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Poster Session #430
CBM Monday PM
Monday, May 25, 2015
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
36. Development and Validation of a Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Taylor Lincoln (University of North Texas ), Daniel Steinberg (University of North Texas ), ETHAN LESTER (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Prescriptive and proscriptive elements of religion often suggest how a life ought to be lived in order to avoid difficulties - both in the here and now, and following death. Multiple studies show, however, negative consequences of rule-following in an overly rigid manner (e.g. Worthington & Sandage, 2001; Worthington et al., 1996; Rose, Westefeld, & Ansley, 2001). The current study sought to develop and validate a measure of religious and spiritual flexibility. Using suggestions by Devellis (2003), an initial 53-item measure of religious and spiritual flexibility (the MRSF; Schmalz & Murrell, 2013) was developed. The 53-item MRSF and measures theorized as similar to and discrepant from it were completed in an online survey format by undergraduate participants (N = 654) at a large university in the southcentral United States. After an initial exploratory factor analysis indicated a single factor was the best fit, a confirmatory factor analysis yielded a 6-item single factor structure with adequate absolute fit (RMSEA = .10). Convergent and discriminant validity, as well as clinical and scholarly implications for the measure’s use, will be discussed.
37. The Role of Experiential Avoidance and Aspects of Trauma
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
ERIN HOGAN (University of North Texas), Sarah Pepper (Veterans Affairs, North Texas Healthcare System), Daniel Steinberg (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Research suggests experiential avoidance (EA), or efforts to avoid, dismiss, or change experiences such as emotions, overt behaviors and thoughts, can be problematic in multiple ways (Hayes et al., 2004).While the role of EA after traumatic events has been documented in the development of psychopathology, (e.g., PTSD; Jakupcak & Tull, 2005) the specific role of EA to aspects of trauma are still unclear. The current study aimed to further understand and broaden the knowledge of the role of EA in regard to trauma, substance abuse, aggression, and impulsivity by examining EA as a mediator and a moderator. Substance abuse, as well as aggression and impulsivity, were related to higher levels of EA among college students (N = 360) who participated in the study via online survey. EA was found to partially mediate the relationship between the number of traumatic experiences and PTSD symptoms, (β = .255; p < .001) as well as between substance abuse and PTSD, (β = .098; p < .05). EA was found to moderate the relationship between PTSD symptoms and aggression, (R2 = .31, p < .001). Implications of these findings, as well as differences in types of avoidance, will be discussed.
38. Stretching our Understanding: The Relationships Among Two Types of Flexibility and Psychological Symptoms
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Rawya Al-Jabari (University of North Texas), TERESA HULSEY (University of North Texas), Melissa L. Connally (University of North Texas), Erin Hogan (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Various forms of psychopathology are related to limitations of flexibility in response to one’s environment (Kashdan & Rottenberg, 2010). Two possible types of flexibility are psychological flexibility and cognitive flexibility. Psychological flexibility refers to a stance toward emotional experiences; psychologically flexible individuals tend to be willing to experience and accept their emotions and related thoughts. They are often present-moment focused (Kashdan & Rottenberg, 2010). Cognitive flexibility refers to fluidity in problem solving and related tasks (O’Keefe & Delia, 1982). Neither the relationship between psychological and cognitive flexibility, nor their relationships with psychological outcomes, had been investigated prior to this study. A sample of 82 undergraduate students completed self-report measures of psychological flexibility (Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth, AFQ-Y, Greco, Murrell, & Coyne 2005), cognitive flexibility (Candle Task, Dunker, 1945), and psychological symptoms (Symptom Checklist-90-R, SCL-90-R, Derogatis, 1994). Results indicated that psychological flexibility (r = -.58, p < 0.001) and cognitive flexibility (r = -.24, p < 0.05) were negatively correlated with psychological symptoms. Additionally, psychological flexibility was found to be a better predictor of psychological symptoms than cognitive flexibility (z = - 2.67, p < 0.01). Implications regarding the relationship between psychological and cognitive flexibility, and their roles as negative predictors of psychological symptomatology will be discussed.
39. An Examination of Cognitive Fusion in Hispanic Indivduals
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
LOUELYNN ONATO (University of Texas-Pan American), Maureen Flynn (University of Texas-Pan American)
Abstract: Cognitive fusion refers to a tendency to be over-regulated and influenced by thoughts. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) uses interventions that target cognitive fusion so individuals have greater choice in their behavior. Cognitive defusion is one of 6 core processes in ACT theorized to increase psychological flexibility, which in turn mediates treatment outcomes. In predominately Caucasian samples from the United Kingdom, cognitive fusion, as measured by the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire (CFQ), was associated with variables such as job satisfaction, depression, and thought control. The CFQ also aided in the prediction of psychological distress above and beyond general psychological flexibility and rumination. The purpose of the current study was to examine cognitive fusion and the psychometrics of the CFQ in Hispanic individuals. Participants consisted of Hispanic undergraduates at a university on the Texas/Mexico border. Higher cognitive fusion was negatively associated with life satisfaction and mindfulness, and positively associated with measures of distress, automatic negative thoughts, strategies aimed at controlling cognitions, and psychological inflexibility. The CFQ also significantly added to the prediction of psychological distress over and above general psychological flexibility, mindfulness, and thought suppression but not to the prediction of life satisfaction.
40. The Role of Weight-related Psychological Flexibility in Disordered Eating Among Hispanic Individuals
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
MARINA IBARRA (University of Texas-Pan American), Maureen Flynn (University of Texas-Pan American)
Abstract: There is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that psychological flexibility influences a variety of psychological difficulties, including obesity. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire for Weight-Related Difficulties (AAQ-W) is a measure psychological flexibility for weight-related issues specifically. Previous studies have shown that the AAQ-W is psychometrically sound and has mediated treatment outcomes. Weight-related flexibility has yet to be studied using in Hispanic populations. The purpose of the current study was to examine weight-related flexibility and the psychometrics of the AAQ-W in a Hispanic sample. Hispanic undergraduate students from a university on the Texas/Mexico border completed a battery of web-based assessments. Weight-related inflexibility was significantly associated with greater levels of depression, bulimic behaviors, general psychological inflexibility, emotional eating, and concerns about eating, body shape, and weight (p < .01 for all). Additionally, weight-related inflexibility was significantly related to lower levels of mindfulness and obesity-related quality of life (p < .01 for all). No associations were found between weight-related inflexibility and sex, body mass index (BMI), or self-reported physical activity. Weight-related flexibility also added to the prediction of bulimic behaviors, dieting, and obesity-related wellbeing above and beyond BMI, general psychological flexibility, mindfulness, and depression (p < .01 for all models)
41. Cultural Applicability of Psychological Flexibility: An Examination of the Construct Among Hispanic College Students
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
TRISHA MALDONADO (The University of Texas - Pan American), Maureen Flynn (The University of Texas - Pan American)
Abstract: General psychological flexibility has been linked with a wide-range of psychological difficulties such as depression, anxiety, and lower quality of life in clinical and nonclinical samples (e.g., college students). General psychological flexibility and the measure typically used to assess psychological flexibility, the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II), have not yet been examined using Hispanic samples. The aim of the current study was to examine psychological flexibility in Hispanic college students. Consistent with previous studies, the AAQ-II fit a one-factor structure but different method effects had to be used. The AAQ-II also had excellent internal consistency and good test-retest reliability. High psychological inflexibility was associated with higher symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress and lower levels of life satisfaction and mindfulness, demonstrating good concurrent validity. The AAQ-II added to prediction of satisfaction with life above and beyond measures of mindfulness but did not add in the prediction of psychological distress. The current study provides initial evidence that psychological flexibility may be a useful construct for Hispanic individuals and that the AAQ-II may be a valid and reliable measure of psychological flexibility in Hispanic college students.

The Role of Psychological Flexibility in Disordered Eating Among Hispanic Individuals

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
LEONILO GONZALEZ (University of Texas - Pan American ), Denisse Carreon (University of Texas - Pan American ), Ana Ramirez (University of Texas Pan American), Maureen Flynn (University of Texas Pan American)

Body image flexibility, as measured by the Body Image-Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (BI-AAQ), has been shown to uniquely predict disordered eating and moderate the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Hispanics are underrepresented in this research, however, despite having similar levels of body dissatisfaction as Caucasians. The aims of this study were to examine the psychometrics of the BI-AAQ and the role of body image flexibility in disordered eating among Hispanic college students. Results indicate the BI-AAQ has a one-factor structure and good internal consistency and concurrent validity. Although body image flexibility did not uniquely predict disordered eating after controlling for sex, BMI, body image dissatisfaction, and general psychological flexibility, it did moderate the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and food preoccupation/bulimia. These results suggest that greater body image flexibility may be a protective factor against the deleterious relationship between body image dissatisfaction and food preoccupation/bulimia in Hispanic college students.

43. Living Well: An Examination of a Values Writing Intervention for Promoting Healthy Living in a Hispanic Sample
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
VALERIA HERRERA (University of Texas - Pan American), Maureen Flynn (University of Texas - Pan American)
Abstract: A growing body of literature demonstrates that ACT interventions have been beneficial for weight loss and behaviors related to healthy living (e.g., Forman, Butryn, Hoffman, & Herbert, 2009; Goodwin, Forman, Herbert, Butryn, & Ledley, 2012). To date, there are no published studies examining ACT's effectiveness in this area using a Hispanic sample. Mexican Americans (40.4%) and Hispanics (39.1%) have higher obesity rates compared with non-Hispanic whites (34.3%; Flegal, Carroll, Kit, & Ogden, 2012). This study aimed to contribute to literature by examining the effectiveness of a brief, online values writing intervention aimed at promoting healthy living related behaviors (i.e., physical activity, eating, and sleep) in a Hispanic sample. One hundred twenty-two Hispanic undergraduates were randomized to receive the values condition or a control condition. Two weeks following the intervention, participants in the values condition reported making significantly more positive changes to their eating and sleep behavior and being more satisfied with their eating and sleep behavior than those in the control condition. This study suggests that having people write about their values may help promote healthy living-related behaviors.

An Examination of Physical Activity-Related Acceptance as a Predictor of Exercise in Hispanic College Students

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
DENISSE CARREON (University of Texas - Pan American ), Leonilo Gonzalez (University of Texas - Pan American ), Maureen Flynn (University of Texas Pan American)

Engaging in exercise has been shown to have many positive physical and mental health benefits, yet only 25% of Americans engage in the recommended amount. The acceptance of discomfort related to exercise, as measured by the Physical Activity Acceptance Questionnaire (PAAQ), has been associated with higher levels of exercise. The purpose of the current study was to examine physical activity-related acceptance and the psychometrics of the PAAQ in Hispanic individuals because no published study has examined this yet. Participants consisted of Hispanic undergraduates from a university on the Texas/Mexico border. Results showed that physical activity-related acceptance was significantly correlated with higher levels of vigorous exercise and obesity-related wellbeing and fewer identified barriers to exercise (p < .05 for all). The PAAQ was not significantly associated with body mass index (BMI), moderate physical activity, general experiential avoidance, depression, or mindfulness. Physical activity-related acceptance added to the prediction of vigorous exercise above and beyond BMI, general experiential avoidance, mindfulness, and depression (p < .001). These results suggest that physical activity-related acceptance plays a role in engaging in vigorous exercises and it may be beneficial for future studies to examine interventions with components targeting physical activity-related acceptance.

45. Correlation between Self-Esteem and Psychological Flexibility
Area: CBM; Domain: Basic Research
ELIINA NOVAMO (University of North Texas), Taylor Lincoln (University of North Texas), Nina Laurenzo (University of North Texas), Rawya Al-Jabari (Student at University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Prior to the current study, the relationship between psychological flexibility and self-esteem had not been examined. However, there was research that suggested a relationship between avoidance coping, a component of low psychological flexibility, and self-esteem (Dykman, 1998). In addition, there was research that using defusion to increase psychological flexibility decreased negative thinking about the self (Hinton & Gaynor, 2010). The present study directly explored the relationship between psychological flexibility and self-esteem. The study included 82 undergraduate psychology students who were administered the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y) and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). A Pearson’s product moment correlation was conducted between the total scores of the AFQ-Y and the RSES (r = -0.60, p = < 0.001). The results suggest a negative relationship, indicating that those with lower self-esteem reported higher psychological flexibility or vice-versa. The findings of the current study will be discussed and suggestions for further research on psychological flexibility and self-esteem will be provided.

Evaluating efficacy of Behavior Analytic Therapy in adults.

Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
ADSSON MAGALHAES (University of Sao Paulo), Katie E Treu (La Universidad Veracruzana), Martha Hübner (University of Sao Paulo)

Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a therapeutic intervention based in the Behavior Analysis that focuses on the functional relationships of individual behaviors. It creates conditions for the individuals? modification and expansion of their behavioral repertoires, solving their complaints and alleviating their suffering. FAP works with the individual behaviors that occur during the sessions, denominated clinically relevant behaviors (CRBs). This study aimed to evaluate the use of FAP in patients from an outpatient clinic at the University Hospital at the University of S?o Paulo. Nine adults patients were treated (mean=34.8 years; SD=10.4) for eight months. Their behavior changes were evaluated every four weeks with the behavioral inventories of Adult Self-Report (ASR) and Adult Behavior Check-List (ABCL) and changes in indicators of depression and anxiety with the Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory, respectively . It was also assessed the quality of life (WHOQOL-brief), the general health status (General Health Questionnaire) and medication adherence (Morisky-Green Test). All sessions were recorded for the measurement of CRBs. The statistical analysis was performed with the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science). As we expected, previews analysis shown an improving in quality of life and decreasing of indicators of depression and anxiety behaviors.

47. Individual Differences in Behavior Excesses as a Function of Parent and Older Adolescent Experiential Avoidance
Area: CBM; Domain: Theory
MEAGHAN LEWIS (Western Michigan University), Tamara Loverich (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: A common research finding is the observation that problematic behaviors co-occur and may serve a common function despite differences in form. As such, researchers are adopting a focus on factors that may explain propensity to engage in multiple problematic behaviors. One proposed framework pertains to experiential avoidance. Factor-analytic research has demonstrated greater experiential avoidance predicts excessive engagement in problematic behaviors and relationships among topographically dissimilar problematic behaviors (Kingston et al., 2010). This research group found that experiential avoidance explained covariation between aggression, deliberate self-harm, internet overuse, sexual promiscuity, binge eating, restrictive eating, substance use, nicotine use, alcohol use, and excessive exercise. These results suggest that a number of problem behaviors, regardless of form, could be explained as a result of a unifying functional pathway. The present study sought to further this hypothesis through investigating different forms of experiential avoidance in the recently validated Multidimensional Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire (MEAQ) as well as the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) as predictors of engagement in the aforementioned problematic behaviors among a sample of parents and their older adolescents. Overall, the AAQ-II was the strongest predictor of engagement in problematic behavior for both parents and their older adolescents. Interestingly, differences in form of experiential avoidance emerged on the MEAQ in strengthening the predictive model to problematic behaviors. Experiential avoidance was a stronger predictor of problematic behaviors for parents than it was for their older adolescents. Results suggest learning history for adopting an experientially avoidant response style may strengthen as history of reinforcement evolves.
48. Taking ABA to "Mainstream" Users: Robustly "Harnessing the 'Gifts' " of ADD/ADHD by Systematically Using the "Antecedent/Behavior/Consequence" Paradigm Within an Applied Behavioral Medicine Framework
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis is ideally suited for helping to develop behavior change in the child or adult diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, yet most so diagnosed never encounter true behavioral approaches that systematically utilize these powerful principles. Some clinicians never bother to ensure the patient with ADHD has a wristwatch or a daily calendar. Factors can be physiological, environmental, social, and vary in the time of most effective impact. This paper highlights a plethora of such basic infrastructural elements which can have an impact, if the clinician is mindful of them, including approaches to assess the sensitive issue of the use, or even obviate the use, of medications within the context of other aspects of an individuals situation. This paper presents the use of an Antecedent/Behavior/Consequence paradigm to highlight within each of those areas concepts and factors to address, serving as an objective platform to remind therapist, patient, and parent alike that typical ADHD treatment as implemented by most practitioners fails to consider many of these factors and potential interventions, thus preventing the dramatic behavior change made more likely by a robust, balanced palate of A, B, and C interventions, methodically derived, objectively reevaluated, and continuously revised, as applied behavior analysts are trained to do routinely, and well. The majority of the clinicians treating ADD/ADHD patients by definition do not have the applied behavioral background, and as a result simply fail to identify and address many potential factors, the adjustment of which could have major impacts in habits developed and behaviors emitted. Patients therefore rarely get the systematic evaluation which is done daily by behavior analysts for other clinical diagnoses, and thus have a treatment plan that typically is narrowly focused on one or two modalities, as opposed to one methodically identifying areas of intervention and implementing changes within multiple domains of the patient's life. As ABA claims to want to apply these powerful principals to more mainstream applications, ADD is clearly one of those areas, well suited for ABA. Applied behavior analysts can, and arguably, should, be the leaders in applying ABA to the ABCs for ADD! This paper highlights general techniques, and arguably, responsibilities, for doing so to the benefit of patients, practitioners, and the discipline of ABA itself.



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