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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #445
The Elephant in the Room: Addressing Psychotropic Medications When Assessing Behavior
Monday, May 28, 2018
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom DE
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Maria G. Valdovinos, Ph.D.
Chair: Eric Boelter (Seattle Children's Autism Center)
MARIA G. VALDOVINOS (Drake University)
Maria Valdovinos, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Drake University. She received her doctorate in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University's Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. Prior to beginning her studies in Kansas, Dr. Valdovinos worked in residential and day treatment settings with adults diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her experiences in these settings lead to her interest in evaluating the pharmacological treatment of challenging behavior, research which has received federal funding. Dr. Valdovinos is a Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts.
Abstract: Psychotropic medications are commonly prescribed to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who engage in problem behavior. This presentation will provide a behavior analytic conceptualization of medication effects and review the results of a study that evaluated the extent to which changes in psychotropic medications altered functional relations between problem behavior and the environment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Research findings suggest continued surveillance of behavior function when using psychotropic medication to address problem behavior. Further suggestions for assessing psychotropic medication impact will be shared.
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss how psychotropic medication effects can function as motivating operations; (2) identify measures one can collect to monitor psychotropic medication effects on behavior; (3) describe how therapeutic and adverse side effects of psychotropic medication can impact behavior.



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