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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Symposium #373
CE Offered: BACB
An Investigation of Self-Control and Emotion Regulation Interventions for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 29, 2023
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3C
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Angelica A. Aguirre (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
Discussant: Odessa Luna (St. Cloud State University)
CE Instructor: Angelica A. Aguirre, Ph.D.

Self-control and emotion regulation are considered critical skills for daily living. Some studies have shown that people with higher self-control cope more easily with emotional distress and have greater emotional stability (see Gramzow et al., 2001; Tangney et al., 2004). In addition, Shoda et al. (1990) found that children with better self-control predict higher emotional coping ability as they grow older. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Research Council (Hyman et al., 2020) identified behavior and communication interventions to be the most effective with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Although, early and intensive intervention services have been recommended for people with ASD (National Autism Center, 2015), there continues to be a lack of resources and services for people with ASD as they transition into adolescence and adulthood especially in regards to teaching more complex skills such as self-control and emotion regulation (Turcotte et al., 2016). This session will present two studies to examine potential ways to teach these complex behaviors to individuals with ASD. Furthermore, implications to teaching self-control and emotional regulation in applied settings with be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism, emotion regulation, self-control, social skills
Target Audience:

Understanding of how to implement choice assessments and social skills programs.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) State what is self-control and emotion regulation, 2) Demonstrate the difference between the use of primary and secondary reinforcers in play environments with children with autism, 3) Discuss how to implement a Behavior Skills Training protocol to teach emotion regulation skills.

Examining the Effects of an Online Social Skills Program on Emotional Regulations Skills for Adolescents and Young Adults With an Autism Spectrum Disorder

ANGELICA A. AGUIRRE (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Breanna Perron (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Danielle Curtis (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Ellie Bungum (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Kate Flynn (Minnesota State University, Mankato)

Turcotte and colleagues (2016) reported social skills training, especially in relation to emotion regulation, is the most unmet need for adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotion regulation is a term used “to describe a person’s ability to effectively manage and respond” appropriately to emotional experiences (Rolston & Lloyd-Richardson, 2021). Deficits in emotion regulation have been shown to lead to a multitude of social consequences and difficulties across the lifespan when unaddressed (Shattuck et al., 2011). The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the effects of an online social skills program on emotional regulation skills for adolescents and young adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A modified Behavior Skills Training protocol was implemented for four 60-minute sessions. Current pilot data provide potential support for increasing emotion readiness skills for three adolescents with ASD. There were also improvements in reducing problematic internalizing behavior. Future research and implications will be discussed.


An Evaluation of Functional Relations on Self-Control Behavior for an Autistic Child

RICHARD COLOMBO (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis ), Henry D. Schlinger (California State University, LA), Rachel Taylor (Center for Applied Behavior Analysis ), Eric Carlson (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )

Self-control is an important topic in the area of applied behavior analysis, particularly for children diagnosed with autism. Previous researchers evaluated self-control training in children with autism by examining participants’ selection response and problem behavior when a concurrent activity was used during the delay to larger rewards. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate different terminal stimuli by comparing edibles and attention enriched toy-play in a self-control training paradigm with a child diagnosed with autism. As a secondary manipulation, variable duration schedules were used across all phases in order to simulate more naturalistic situations. During baseline, the participant selected the smaller sooner option more often than the two larger later options (one with a concurrent activity). When the edibles were presented with minimal attention from the instructor, problem behavior increased and the participant continued to select the smaller sooner option. When attention was provided during the play phases, the participant selected the larger later option with the concurrent activity on almost every opportunity.




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Modifed by Eddie Soh