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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Symposium #44
CE Offered: BACB
Seeking Guidance in Clinical Practice: The Scholarly Literature and Ethics
Saturday, May 26, 2018
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom A
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Nicole L. Bank (University of North Texas; The PartnerShip, LLC)
CE Instructor: Nicole L. Bank, M.S.

Professional behavior analysts are expected to refer to the scholarly literature to guide their evidence-based clinical practices. Further, practicing behavior analysts will typically have multiple occasions to seek guidance with ethical decision making throughout their careers. The current symposium will include an overview of research and initiatives to assist professional behavior analysts with these tasks. The first presentation reports on a study of professional behavior analysts' literature search practices. Bank and Ingvarsson implemented an online survey, followed by interviews and self-monitoring with practicing BCBAs. The data suggest many participants search for literature at least once per month. Satisfaction with current literature resources decreased for those participants without a university library. Many professionals report conference attendance as a source of literature access. Juanico, Valentino and LeBlanc describe the development of a literature request service for a large service agency. They report employee literature requests received a response within two days. Valentino and LeBlanc describe a system developed in the same service agency to promote ethical behavior in the organization including an ethics network hotline. They report that ethical requests are frequently related to areas such as client rights and protection, dual relationships, and confidentiality. These presentations help gain insight to the literature searches and ethical needs of professionals in the field and describe the development of organizational supports provided to assist practitioners in both clinical and ethical decision making.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ethical decisions, literature searches, organizational supports
Target Audience:

The target audience of this symposium includes all professionals credentialed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and those working towards that credential.


Evaluating Professional Behavior Analysts' Literature Searches

NICOLE L. BANK (University of North Texas; The PartnerShip, LLC), Einar T. Ingvarsson (Virginia Institute of Autism)

The first section of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's Professional and Ethical Compliance Code (BACB, 2017) refers to the responsible conduct of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Included in the code is the expectation that professionals read the appropriate literature. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate how, why, and to what extent professionals access and read the behavior analysis literature. A 22-question survey was sent to professionals registered through the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. The survey respondents were also invited to participate in a follow up interview and self-tracking investigation. The survey results of 398 professionals provided information on their professional credentials, work structure, literature search habits, sources of research, resource satisfaction, and other related activities. Seventeen interviews and four self-tracking participants provided additional insight. A total of 223 respondents did not have access to a university library. Eighty percent of these participants searched for research at least once per month. The most frequently used online sources included Google Scholar, PubMed, and the BACB ProQuest benefit. Thirty eight percent of participants indicated satisfaction with the research resources available to them, while 62% indicated they were somewhat satisfied or not satisfied. The predominant theme related to lack of satisfaction was access. Fifty four percent of participants that had access to a university library reported they were satisfied with the research resources available.

A Model for Increasing Access to Literature in Human Service Agencies
JESSICA FOSTER JUANICO (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Amber Valentino (Trumpet Behavioral Health ), Linda A. LeBlanc (LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting LLC)
Abstract: The Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s® (2017) Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts states that behavior analysts should rely on science and behavior analysis to inform their practice (i.e., 1.01 – Reliance on Scientific Knowledge) and undertake efforts to maintain competence by reading the literature (i.e., 1.03 – Maintaining Competence through Professional Development). However, there are often barriers (e.g., limited access, expense) that reduce the likelihood of clinicians accessing the literature, which may result in practitioners accessing the literature less. There are various strategies for increasing contact with the literature including routinely checking journal websites, e-mail alerts, and work contingencies (Carr & Briggs, 2010). This presentation will discuss the development of Trumpet Behavioral Health’s literature request system, as well as critical components of the literature request system. Four years of data from the literature request submission hotline of a large human services agency will be presented, summarizing the number of requests per month, type of requests per month, and the average response time.
Examining the Effects of a Network to Support Ethical Decision Making in Human Service Agencies
AMBER VALENTINO (Trumpet Behavioral Health )
Abstract: Building a network to support ethical decision making is important in human services agencies. Behavior analysts have an obligation to incorporate ethics into all facets of their clinical practice (e.g., client interface, assessing behavior, intervention, training and supervision). Simply providing rules for acting ethically is unlikely to enable practitioners to behave ethically. This presentation will present a system for promoting ethical behavior in an organizational setting. The ethics system involves encouragement of open discussion, an infrastructure for seeking assistance, fostering ethical behavior and development of educational resources. One year of data from the ethics submission hotline of a large human services agency will be presented. The data will summarize the number and type of submissions per month and average response time from the ethics committee. We will also discuss how the content from the ethics submissions guided creation of new tools and resources.



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