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 #301
CE Offered: BACB
Health, Sport and Fitness Special Interest Group (SIG) Grant Recipients: Exciting New Areas of Research
Sunday, May 26, 2024
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 3, Liberty Ballroom Salon A
Area: CSS/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Andrea Murray (Capella University)
Discussant: Bryon Miller (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Andrea Murray, Ph.D.

This symposium will include two recently completed projects by the 2023 Behavior Analysis in Health, Sport, and Fitness Special Interest Group (HSF SIG) research grant recipients. The purpose of the HSF SIG Small Research Grant is to support experimental research that demonstrates the application of behavior analysis to address human behavior in the areas of health, sport, or fitness. Additional goals of this program are to disseminate behavior analytic research and practice and to expand research opportunities for students of behavior analysis. The first presentation will describe a study that evaluated a standardized system of instruction for training accuracy in yoga postures in adults with little to no yoga experience. The second presentation will examine the effects of scored observations on cheerleader safety behavior. Following the presentations, the Discussant will provide general commentary on individual presentations and discuss how the studies help advance the research within the areas of health, sport, and fitness.Recipients of the 2024 HSF SIG Small Research Grant will be announced at the end of the session.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): health, physical activity, sport, sport performance
Target Audience:

graduate students, researchers, behavior analysts interested in the application of behavior analysis to health, sport, and fitness

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will describe real-world applications of behavior analytic interventions to improve safety and performance in sport and fitness. 2. Participants will describe how standardized instruction can be applied to teach skills to novice learners. 3. Participants will describe how scored observations impacted the safety behavior in a sports application.
Using a Standardized System of Instruction to Increase Proper Form Within a Yoga Regimen
ERIN HERNDON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Cameron Mittelman (The Chicago School)
Abstract: In the last decade, the realm of health and wellness has begun to explore options to increase the accessibility to a greater number of individuals with methods that are not only effective, but economical and efficient. This investigation hopes to shed light on the extent to which health and wellness related behaviors can be acquired in the absence of a live instructor. Through the use of a standardized system of instruction, this study involves the advancement of a sector of behavior analysis that can benefit from the progress of instructional design and phases of instruction from discriminate (determine whether a pose is completed correctly or incorrectly) to operate (determining non-examples through each video) then to generate completing appropriate yoga poses. The current study utilized a multiple probe design to gather information on participants’ ability to engage in yoga posture accurately, after completing each training phase of the study. Each portion of the study was completed in a computer-based format with adult participants ages 18 and older considered in good physical health, with little to no exposure to engaging in yoga postures. Results of this study indicate with confidence that individuals' performance improves across successive phases of the study.
Impacting Cheerleader Safety Through the Observer Effect
MADISON DUKE (ABA Technologies), Jonathan K Fernand (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Cheerleading has a high rate of serious injuries, but the safety of cheerleaders has seldom been researched, in behavior analytic research or by other fields. Behavior-based safety interventions have not yet been evaluated as methods to increase athlete safety. The present study examined scored observations, a common intervention in the behavior-based safety literature as a method to increase cheerleader safety. Scored observations may produce the observer effect, which is an increase in safe behavior by an observer who has observed and scored another person performing a behavior. The present study asked participants to observe and score basic cheerleading movements prior to completing the same basic movements themselves. Behavior skills training was used as a supplemental intervention when behavior did not meet mastery criteria. This study extends the current literature by applying behavioral techniques to increase safety in a new population, cheerleaders. In addition to providing additional support for an intervention previously used in sports contexts, the present study also evaluates the use of scored observations in a sports application.



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