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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #46
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Assessment and Intervention for Underserved Youth Populations
Saturday, May 25, 2024
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 3, Liberty Ballroom Salon A
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Anna Kate Edgemon (Auburn University)
Discussant: Ray Joslyn (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Anna Kate Edgemon, M.S.

Applied behavior analytic interventions have been demonstrated as effective for assessing and intervening on behavioral excesses and deficits across a variety of populations and contexts. However, many at-risk and marginalized populations, such as youth in foster care and justice-involved youth (JIY) remain underserved. This symposium will cover a variety of assessments and interventions targeting challenging behavior and skills deficits displayed by underserved youth. The first two presentations describe studies of assessment of youth behavior. In the first presentation, researchers evaluated an online training to teach case managers to use an assessment for runaway behavior among youth in foster care. The second presentation evaluates differences among non-JIY and JIY in perceptions of eye contact among peers. The latter two presentations describe group-level interventions targeting skills deficits among JIY. In the third presentation, researchers evaluated the effect of financial literacy intervention on delay discounting among JIY. In the final presentation, researchers evaluated the effect of a nutrition intervention on demand for healthier alternatives among JIY. Implications and future directions for assessment and intervention with underserved youth will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Foster care, Group intervention, Justice-involved youth
Target Audience:

This symposium covers topics many behavior analysts may not have previous experience with such as working with justice-involved youth, evaluating severe behavior that is not directly observable, implementing group interventions, and statistical analysis. Thus, we believe this symposium is advanced instruction level.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) explain the importance of training stakeholders to complete an assessment of runaway behavior; (2) recognize negative outcomes with low eye gaze for underserved youth associated ; (3) evaluate two group interventions targeting skills deficits among justice-involved youth.
Diversity submission 

Virtual Training for Caseworkers to the Use the Functional Assessment Interview for Runaways (FAIR) to Decrease Runaway Behavior in Foster Care

ASHA FULLER (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida), Arturo Garcia (University of South Florida), Emily Ullrich (Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) of America)

Runaway behavior in child welfare has been associated with negative educational outcomes, a higher risk for future placement disruptions, and a higher risk for crime perpetration and crime victimization. Current interventions for youth who run from their placements repeatedly are either individual or family therapy; however, an individualized approach may better address the function for each youth’s runaway behavior. The Functional Assessment Interview for Runaways (FAIR) is a semi-structured interview that is to be used to develop individualized interventions for runaway behavior for youth in child welfare. The current study virtually trained case managers in two states to use the FAIR and develop individualized interventions to address the function of each youth’s runaway behavior. FAIR results and subsequently developed individualized interventions will be discussed for each youth. Additionally, any instance of runaway behavior following intervention implementation will be reviewed. Furthermore, future directions and potential adaptations to the FAIR will be explored.

Diversity submission Exploring Adolescents’ Social Validity Ratings of Social Profiles: The Impact of Eye Contact
ASHLEY ANDERSON (Auburn University), Helena Bush (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Abstract: Attending to the eyes of another person is an adaptive behavior demonstrated early in human life. Such non-verbal transactions facilitate cognitive and social development; however, some individuals experience eye contact deficits. These deficits can lead to detrimental effects as individuals expand their social networks; however, little is known about how others perceive individuals with this deficit. Nuhu and Rapp (2020) identified three profiles during interviews with college students characterized by varying levels of eye contact, vocalizations, and body movement. They found participants typically emitted high levels of eye contact during social interactions. Subsequently, Bush et al. (2022) recreated the three social profiles with an actor and evaluated college students’ ratings of the actor in each profile. Their results indicated profiles with higher levels of eye contact received more favorable ratings than the lower eye contact profile. The current study replicated and extended their research by presenting the same profiles and assessments to two groups of adolescents, those from an urban high school and those from a secure juvenile-justice facility. Findings indicate adolescents can distinguish variations in eye contact and judge speakers differently based on their perceptions. Implications and next steps are discussed.
Diversity submission Money Matters: Teaching Justice-Involved Adolescents Foundational Financial Literacy Skills
DANIEL JOHN SHERIDAN (Auburn University ), Ashley Anderson (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University), Abigail Baker (Auburn University)
Abstract: There are approximately 423,000 adjudicated delinquency cases each year in the United States. Previous research has suggested that rates of recidivism tend to be higher among those with decreased financial knowledge. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the impact of a 9-week financial literacy intervention with fifty-two adolescent males who resided in a juvenile residential treatment facility. The intervention included nine modules. For each module, participants (a) completed a pre-and post-test, (b) watched a brief video lecture and completed guided notes, and (c) completed a module-related activity. As a secondary measure, a monetary choice questionnaire (Kirby et al., 1999; Kaplan et al., 2016) task was administered pre- and post-intervention to assess changes in delay discounting. Individual and group analyses indicated that participants’ financial knowledge increased across all nine lessons However, results from the monetary choice questionnaire task were mixed. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Diversity submission Comparing and Intervening on Demand for Edibles Across Adolescents and Young Adults: A Preliminary Translational Analysis
ANNA KATE EDGEMON (Auburn University), Carla N Martinez-Perez (University of Florida), M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University), John T. Rapp (Auburn University)
Abstract: Obesity may be more prevalent among populations who are of low socioeconomic status, have limited access to nutrient-dense foods, or both. One such population is justice-involved youth. This series of translational experiments builds upon previous research on food reinforcement and behavioral demand by: (a) comparing demand for edibles across justice-involved adolescents and young adults and (b) evaluating the effect of a nutrition intervention on justice-involved adolescents’ demand for healthier alternatives. In Experiment 1, participants in two groups completed preference assessments for high- and low-energy density edibles and corresponding hypothetical purchasing tasks (HPTs). Results indicated significant differences in demand both between- and within-groups. In Experiment 2, a sample of justice-involved adolescents, who demonstrated significantly lower demand for healthier alternatives, received nutrition intervention. Following intervention, participants repeated preference assessments and HPTs. Researchers used statistical analysis to evaluate the effect of intervention. Results indicated nutrition intervention had a limited effect on demand for healthier alternatives. Implications for future research are discussed.



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