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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Poster Session #47K
OBM Saturday Poster Session
Saturday, May 27, 2023
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall F
Chair: Paula Kenyon (Northeastern University and Grupo Método)
Diversity submission 141. Setting Intention: Diversity and Inclusion Accountability Practices for Early Career Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Professionals
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
LORI ANN DOTSON (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis), Allison Liu (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Discussant: Paula Kenyon (Northeastern University and Grupo Método)

The limitations of awareness-only trainings are well known, and yet they remain the go to training modality in many classrooms and boardrooms. In particular, awareness-only trainings in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have shown little translation in applied practice. In this poster, qualitative data will be provided regarding the efficacy of awareness training for early career ABA professionals when immediately paired with intention setting (explicitly stating in writing a plan to apply what they’ve learned to their direct practice). Common themes identified by early interventionists working in diverse community-based environments will be described, and recommendations for reflective supervision and support for application of DEI theory to practice will be discussed.

142. A Pilot Study of the Effectiveness and Feasibility of a Brief, Online, and Self-Guided Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Intervention for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Support Staff
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTINA AXENOVA (Western University; York University), Albert Malkin (Western University)
Discussant: Andressa Sleiman (Florida State Unviersity)
Abstract: The present research pilots a brief, online, and self-guided adaptation of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention for intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) support staff to reduce burnout and psychological distress and increase psychological flexibility and work performance. A randomized waitlist control trial was implemented with an intervention group (n=5) and waitlist control group (n=11). Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II), the Comprehensive Assessment of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Processes (CompACT), the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Human Service Version (MBI-HS), the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ), and a follow-up feasibility questionnaire. Independent t-tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests indicated that the intervention significantly reduced one dimension of burnout and increased the values-based process of psychological flexibility between-groups and within the waitlist group. The findings demonstrate preliminary evidence for implementing online-based interventions for IDD support staff; and present feasible future directions in enhancing workplace mental health and well-being.
143. Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Workplace Preferences
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
DANIEL ALMEIDA (Cambridge College and Beacon ABA Services), Robert K. Ross (Ross Consultation LLC)
Discussant: Paula Kenyon (Northeastern University and Grupo Método)

Identification of the workplace preferences of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) is important to attract and retain quality staff. Forty BCBAs employed by a home-based agency providing early intensive behavior intervention services completed an on-line survey. Forced-choice and Likert-scale questions assessed participants’ demographic information and their preference for and willingness to do work to obtain 18 various items and activities associated with the workplace that were consolidated into four categories: tangible rewards, social rewards, working conditions and compensation. Sixty percent of the participants had been a BCBA between 0-8 years and 83% were between the ages of 25 and 44 years. Results found that a majority of respondents said they would be willing to work more hours per week for additional compensation. Also, respondents reported compensation was the most preferred category. Social rewards and working conditions were slightly less preferred. When asked what should be provided noncontingently (as a condition of employment) versus provided contingent on performance, respondents said tangible rewards and compensation should be contingent and social and working conditions should be noncontingent. Implications for the OBM literature will be discussed and directions for future research will be offered.

145. Workplace Reinforcement, Burnout, and Job Satisfaction of Behavior Analysts
Area: OBM; Domain: Basic Research
Dana Blydenburg (Creative Interventions), JAMES W. DILLER (Eastern Connecticut State University), Melissa Saunders (Creative Interventions)
Discussant: Paula Kenyon (Northeastern University and Grupo Método)
Abstract: Job burnout has been a longtime concern in human services professions such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This burnout can lead to high turnover in ABA providers, which results in expenses for agencies and potential disruption of services for clients. To evaluate some factors that might contribute to burnout, a sample of behavior-analytic practitioner (N = 114), including behavior technicians and certified behavior analysts (BCaBA, BCBA, BCBA-D), completed online surveys about the frequency of reinforcement in their workplace, characteristics of their workplace (Job Descriptive Index [JDI], Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1969), and their level of burnout (The Oldenberg Burnout Inventory, Demerouti, 1999). Scores on the burnout scale were positively correlated with the proportion of positive descriptors selected in the JDI in all categories on the scale except for pay. Levels of reinforcement in the workplace were positively correlated with scores on the burnout scale, r s (112) = .54, p < .01. Levels of reported reinforcement in the workplace varied as a function of satisfaction with salary (U = 1151.5, p = .028), with higher workplace reinforcement being reported by people satisfied with their salary compared to those who were not. However, satisfaction with salary was not significantly associated with burnout (U = 1196, p = .17). This investigation provides a useful first step in identifying factors associated with burnout in ABA practitioners.
146. Workplace Violence in Applied Behavior Analysis: Victimization Response Training
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MOLLY CATHERINE MALONE (Forte Residential, Inc. ), Jessica Foster Juanico (University of Kansas), Karla Saucedo (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Andressa Sleiman (Florida State Unviersity)
Abstract: Workplace victimization involves an employee performing an act of violence towards another employee within the work environment. The majority of literature on workplace victimization has focused on the use of surveys. Responses to workplace victimization surveys often indicate a need for increased resources or trainings; however, few studies have evaluated training a response to incidents of workplace victimization. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to use remote behavioral skills training to teach a response to workplace victimization to three adults who were currently working or previously worked in applied behavior analysis. Remote behavioral skills training was effective in teaching all three participants a response to workplace victimization. Additionally, high levels of responding maintained for two of three participants in the presence of novel probes. This study expands the literature on training victimization responses in the workplace.
147. Behavioral Skill Training to Establish Discrete Trial Teaching Performances
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
HEIDI SKORGE OLAFF (OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University ), Ida Koch (School and Education, Oslo Municipality)
Discussant: Paula Kenyon (Northeastern University and Grupo Método)
Abstract: Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is an empirically supported training package with the purpose to guide staff to achieve an effective behavior change that optimizes their performance and consists of four main components, (1) instruction, (2) modeling, (3) training and (4) feedback. In a primary school setting, special pedagogies and assistants have a central role in the establishment of essential skills for children with special needs. Given this important role, effective training and guidance is crucial. This study established skills in discrete trial teaching (DTT) in school-assistants through BST. The design consisted of a multiple probe design across three assistants. The study expands previous research using BST to establish DTT skills, as well as provides an investigation of the social validity of BST. In addition, we assessed generalization across training programs and settings––not directly involved during training. The results show that all participants demonstrated correct DTT-performances across components, the behavior changes were generalized across different training programs and to a different setting, and the skills were maintained three weeks after the end of the study. In addition, this study shows a high degree of social validity. Behavioral analytical principles involved in the establishment of DTT skills through BST are discussed.



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