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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.

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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #109
Conceptual and Methodological Topics on Feeding Behaviors and Applied Behavioral Analysis
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
Studio DE, Niveau 2
Area: CBM/CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jacques Forget (UQAM)
Abstract: At the foundation of the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Baer, Wolf and Risley (1968) have had the concern to keep fostering research that provided significant advancement and targeted socially important behaviours. In their 2016 Report, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, an expert committee demonstrated that food-related illness cost their lives to more people than cigarette, alcool, drugs and unprotected sex altogether. Given the importance of alimentation and eating disorders to public health and functional analysis put forward by the ABA, this issue seems to be an opportunity to make a significative contribution to science and society. However, the field seems to come short on this responsibility, as it fosters limited research in this domain, and mostly for specific populations and difficulties that impact few people. This symposium will deploy in three parts. First, the available literature on the feeding behaviours in the ABA perspective will be reviewed. Second, methodological elements will be assessed and a proposition for data collection in tune with the ABA will be suggested for further research on feeding behaviours. Last, Epling and Pierce’s Activity Anorexia model will be revisited in a negative reinforcement perspective.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): anorexia, behavioral analysis, eating disorder, feeding behavior
Current State of the Research on Feeding Behaviors in the Applied Behavioral Analysis
KATHLEEN CARVAJAL (Université du Québec à Montréal), Carolanne Ponton (Université du Québec à Montréal), Anne-Josee Piazza (Université du Québec à Montréal), Dacha Sterlikova (Université du Québec à Montréal), Jacques Forget (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Abstract: This critical review of literature explores the recent contribution of the field of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) on the subject of the feeding behaviour by screening publications from influential scientific journals and conventions. The feeding behaviours, although being a significant subject regarding public health, are represented in only 43 of the 1,270 (3.38%) articles issued from January 2010 to September 2016 in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA), The Psychological Record and the Behavior Analysis in Practice altogether. Similarly, it was included in a meagre 2.87% of the publications in the 41st and 42nd Annual Conventions of the ABAI. Moreover, the subjects revolved around a limited number of issues. A vast majority of articles were aimed at children, with a great proportion presenting with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the JABA, 45% of the articles included subjects who had Leaky Gut Syndrome or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Other issues mentioned included rumination, binge eating, food refusal, and food selectivity, whereas anorexia, bulimia, obesity and unhealthy food choice, which are proven to have major detrimental effects on health, were severely neglected. The recension underlines the lack of implication of ABA in this domain which could greatly benefit from the field’s methods.
An Example of Feeding Disorders Assessment Based on Functional Analysis
CAROLANNE PONTON (Université du Québec à Montréal), Anne-Josee Piazza (Université du Québec à Montréal), Kathleen Carvajal (Université du Québec à Montréal), Marianne Ebeid (Université du Québec à Montréal), Dacha Sterlikova (Université du Québec à Montréal), Jacques Forget (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Abstract: Most studies about feeding behavior include little targets for data collection and limit it to behaviors associated with mealtime. A more comprehensive way of apprehending changes in eating behaviour following the principles of Functional Analysis (FA) might provide more benefits in treatment of feeding disorders. As FA suggests, complex behaviours like eating roots from multiple factors and the feeding behaviors of a person impacts many important aspects of his or her life. Also, a transfer can occur as one detrimental behaviour may switch presentation in the course of extinction. This study presents data on a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to illustrate the use of a grid on social and problematic behaviors in conjunction with changes in feeding habits. The grid includes 16 behaviours reflecting the diagnostic criteria of ASD and detailed in an observable and measurable fashion. This is particularly relevant with ASD since a change in eating habits can play on the child?s rigidities, in such a way that it would impact more than just the mealtimes. This type of global observation might profit other areas of study linked to feeding (e.g. anorexia and hyperactivity, food-related OCD and other rituals, bulimia and substance abuse).
Epling and Pierce's Activity Anorexia Model : A Theoretical Reinterpretation from a Negative Reinforcement Standpoint
ANNE-JOSEE PIAZZA (Université du Québec à Montréal), Chanelle Lefebvre (Université du Québec à Montréal ), Jacques Forget (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Abstract: Rooted in a strict behavioural perspective, Epling and Pierces Activity Anorexia model suggest that given the simultaneous occurence of food deprivation and physical hyperactivity an organism could develop anorexia. Studies on rats submitted to severe restriction of food and concurrent unlimited access to a training wheel have shown to trigger anorexic-like behaviours in the subjects (e.g. self-limitation in food intake, excessive energy expenditure through exercice, life-threatening weight-loss). The model also finds support in human studies such as the Minnesota Starvation Experiment and population investigations suggest that 65% to 81% of anorexic patients exhibit physical hyperactivity. Effective treatment for human anorexia nervosa have been developed from the Activity Anorexia Model. In the last decade, although the ripple effect of the combination of food deprivation and increase in physical activity is robust and well documented, not much research has spawn from this conceptualization. We offer directions for research guided by a negative reinforcement reinterpretation of the model. Revolving around hunger as an aversive state, we argue that physical activity and food act as in a concurrent program of negative reinforcement: given certain contingencies, exercice could become a more effective source of reinforcement, leading to food intake suppression.
 

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