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 #500
CE Offered: BACB
It’s a Behavioral Day in the Neighborhood… Won’t You Be Our Neighbor?
Monday, May 27, 2024
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon AB
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Maeve G. Donnelly (Northeastern University)
CE Instructor: Maeve G. Donnelly, Ph.D.

In 2023, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) reported that over 72% of certified professionals identified Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as their primary area of professional emphasis. Although behavior analysts are generally well-trained to serve autistic clients, the principles of behavior may be applied to support healthy behavior change and efficient learning far outside of ASD. The challenge lies in finding opportunity and partnership for sharing our science. This symposium will describe three community-oriented projects and practices borne in our local neighborhoods to serve community members in ways that do not include autism service delivery. The first paper will describe efforts funded by a SABA public awareness grant to bring behavior analytic resources to pediatric primary care environments in Boston. The second paper will describe a partnership with school psychologists and special educators to implement summer math remediation for Boston-area elementary school students. The third paper will describe behavior analytic contributions to teaching mindfulness practices.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Community-based Collaboration, Math Instruction, Mindfulness, Primary care
Target Audience:

The target audience is any behavior analyst who wants to practice their science outside of the field of autism as well as any behavior analyst who is interested in dissemination, collaboration, and community-based interventions. Graduate students considering a specialty area or learning experience may also benefit from this presentation.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe considerations for disseminating behavior analysis interventions in a pediatric primary care setting; (2) Identify key factors in collaborating across professions to implement remedial mathematics instruction; and (3) Name mindfulness interventions and conceptualizations according to a behavioral framework.
Take Two Reinforcers and Call Me in the Morning
MAEVE G. DONNELLY (Northeastern University)
Abstract: Behavior analysis researchers and practitioners have developed interventions to address skill deficits that occur commonly in children, including methods for toilet training, supporting healthy sleep, following directions, sharing, functional communication skills, increasing food variety, improving play skills, completing home routines, increasing physical activity and fitness, improving community and home safety skills, and more. Unfortunately, these resources may be limited in use because behavior analysis services are typically reserved for children with disabilities. Caregivers of children without disabilities may seek pediatrician assistance; however, pediatrician survey results have revealed that pediatricians may have less training or confidence to address these types of problems (i.e., related to sleep, behavior, peer interactions, etc.; references available). Thus, there has long been a call from within the field of ABA to bring these evidence-based behavior analytic practices to primary care. This paper will describe how funding from a SABA Public Awareness Grant and Northeastern University was applied to bring behavior analysis to pediatric primary care via the development and distribution of brochures and a website geared toward caregivers facing these common childhood problems. Suggestions for further collaboration and dissemination will be discussed.
Special Education + School Psychology x Applied Behavior Analysis = Math Masters
NICOLE M. DAVIS (Northeastern University)
Abstract: Although potentially advantageous, opportunity for collaboration between behavior analysts, school psychologists, and special education teachers may vary in public and private schools. In reaction to the anticipated regression in math skills due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Math Masters summer program was designed to employ evidence-based teaching procedures with elementary aged students who were slightly behind grade level in math. This program included input from experts in multiple disciplines, training opportunities for graduate students, as well as proven intervention for elementary-aged students. Program design, curricula, and training procedures were all based on research from the behavior analytic, school psychology, or special education literature, and the leadership team included a member of each profession. In addition to general details of the program and broad learner outcomes, this presentation will include descriptions of the collaboration between behavior analysts, school psychologists, and special education teachers over the last three years of the program. Lessons learned and a framework for collaboration will be shared.

Zen and the Art of Behavior Maintenance

LAURA L. DUDLEY (Northeastern University), Paula Kenyon (Northeastern University, Grupo Método & Jano Saúde)

Mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga, which have roots in ancient religious traditions and originated in India centuries ago, have gained popularity in the West over the past 50 years. This has led to a multibillion-dollar mindfulness industry as of 2020. While popular media outlets tout mindfulness as a cure for everything from acne to depression, the research on mindfulness is still emerging. A report commissioned by the Department of Veteran Affairs in 2014 looked at over 8000 published studies on mindfulness and deemed only 47 of those studies empirically valid. In this presentation, we will look at the literature that has emerged over the past 10 years since this report was commissioned, and we will discuss the challenges inherent in studying mindfulness practices. Mindfulness will be described within a behavioral framework, including concepts such as operant and respondent conditioning, private events, motivating operations, and maintenance. Interventions such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which might be considered both mindfulness-based and behavior analytic in nature, will be described. Future directions for behavior analysts as practitioners, clinicians, and researchers will also be discussed.




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