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

Previous Page


Paper Session #39
CE Offered: BACB
Trauma-Informed Practice in Applied Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 27, 2023
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 1-3
Area: CBM
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Gabrielle Morgan (Bay Path University)
CE Instructor: Paul A. Spragg, Ph.D.

A Review of Research Literature Related to Trauma-informed Practice in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Domain: Service Delivery
GABRIELLE MORGAN (Bay Path University), Teresa Camille Kolu (Cusp Emergence), Anna Linnehan (Endicott College), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)

The field of behavior analysis has recently undertaken incorporation of trauma-informed practices and acknowledgement of the contribution of emotional history to behavior (Friman, 2021; Rajaraman et al. 2022). However, it remains challenging to contact relevant literature within behavior analysis on the topic of behavior shaped through exposure to adverse experiences. With this paper, we will present foundational articles and research from inside and outside the field of behavior analysis to assist behavioral practitioners in the incorporation of trauma-informed practices. We will identify examples of theoretical and research-based papers to help behavior analysts define their role in addressing behavior shaped through traumatic events and give a starting point for practitioners to begin to better address the behavioral effects of adverse events on clients and provide appropriate treatment,


Trauma-Informed Practice: What Behavior Analysts Have to Offer in the Assessment of Trauma in At-Risk Persons With Communication Challenges

Domain: Service Delivery
PAUL A. SPRAGG (Spragg Consulting LLC)

In recent years there has been increased awareness of the pervasive, long-term deleterious effects of emotional trauma on human behavior which has provided the impetus for what has become known as trauma-informed care. In this presentation, the more focused concept of trauma-informed practice will be discussed as it applies to behavior analysts working with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities potentially at-risk for trauma. By virtue of their specialized training in the principles and observation of behavior, behavior analysts are in a unique position to screen and assess for trauma in this population. An expanded four-term contingency framework for conceptualizing trauma is presented which incorporates recent advances in our understanding of the role and characteristics of biological setting factors, remote and proximate motivating operations, stress vulnerabilities, and antecedent control of behavior. A protocol based on the principles of practical functional assessment of low-frequency, variable behaviors; measurement of co-occurring psychophysiological events, retrospective behavior analysis, and data triangulation which is designed to be part of the multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment planning process, will be presented.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh