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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #345
CE Offered: BACB
Pediatric Feeding Problems: Building Cross-Cultural Collaboration on Research
Monday, May 29, 2023
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 1-3
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michele R. Traub (St. Cloud State University)
CE Instructor: Varsovia Hernandez Eslava, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: VARSOVIA HERNANDEZ ESLAVA (Universidad Veracruzana)

Pediatric Feeding Problems (PFP) occur in a high number of children, especially in those with developmental disabilities. If untreated, these problems can have negative effects on a child’s health such as malnutrition, severe weight loss, and delayed growth. They can also negatively impact socialization and produce high levels of caregiver stress. In this talk, we will discuss some of our research done in this area emphasizing the development of cross-cultural collaboration. In order to do this, we will discuss the different steps followed for the treatment of PFP: assessment, intervention, and caregiver training and we will present some of our work conducted in each area. We will show data on the prevalence of PFP in the Mexican population using a small sample of kids with an ASD diagnosis, then we will describe evaluations using conditional probabilities of food refusal and acceptance in typically developed children and children with an ASD diagnosis. We will describe the implementation of antecedent (high-probability instructional sequences, pairing, and fading) and consequence-based strategies (reinforcement and escape extinction). Finally, we will describe the implementation of Behavioral Skills Training to teach caregivers to implement some of these procedures. We will make special emphasis on 1) considerations to select interventions, 2) cultural differences between México and USA that could impact treatment options, 3) the relevance of collaborating with other behavior analysts to advance our knowledge and quality of treatments, 4) futures lines of research, and 5) the future of services in México. Several studies were conducted in collaboration with Jonathan K. Fernand.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, students

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe Pediatric Feeding Problems; (2) describe some evaluation methods for PFP; (3) list at least two treatment options for Pediatric Feeding Problems; (4) identify cultural differences that could impact treatment options; (5) list at least two positive outcomes of collaborative work.
VARSOVIA HERNANDEZ ESLAVA (Universidad Veracruzana)
Varsovia Hernández Eslava received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico under the direction of Dr. Carlos A. Bruner. Later, she received post-doctoral training at the Behavior Analysis Research Clinic at University of Florida with Dr. Timothy Vollmer. In 2015 she returned to México as a Full-Time Researcher at Universidad Veracruzana, where she teaches and supervises students in the Behavioral Science program. Her research areas are Applied Behavior Analysis (with emphasis on pediatric feeding problems and parent training) and Experimental Analysis of Behavior (with emphasis on the effects of reinforcement schedules and MOs on different dimensions of behavior). Varsovia has authored several articles and book chapters in Spanish and English related to Behavior Analysis. She also co-developed the data collection software CounteeApp and the data analysis software Motus. In addition, Varsovia works on different projects to disseminate Behavior Analysis in Mexico and serves as an ambassador for Mexico of the World Behavior Analysis Day. In 2021 with another colleague, she received the SABA’s Public Awareness Grant to develop free resources for Technology-assisted ABA Education for Hispanic Communities (available at In the same year, in collaboration with a group of behavior analysts, she founded the Mexican Association of Practitioners of Behavior Analysis.



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