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.

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50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details


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Symposium #459
CE Offered: BACB
A Constructional Approach to Severely Challenging Behavior: Deceleration May Not Be the Goal
Monday, May 27, 2024
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center, 200 Level, 202 AB
Area: PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Angela Fuhrmann-Knowles (Endicott College)
Discussant: Paul Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Anna Linnehan, Ph.D.
Abstract:

While there exists a clear history within the behavior analytic literature on use of least restrictive procedures (VanHouton, 1998; Goldiamond, 1975b), affording individual personal liberties (Bannerman, 1990; Baer, 1998; Goldiamond, 1974), and ensuring the dignity of those we serve (Reid et al., 2018; Goldiamond, 1976), there lacks clear evidence of the consistent implementation of these ideals. A call for compassionate care in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has been the focus of several recent publications. With an emphasis on humane and compassionate care, constructional programs focus on strengthening and building repertoires based on goals developed in partnership with the client, rather than elimination of behavior. With over 40 years of research and practice, the constructional approach and nonlinear contingency analysis focus on constructional rather than pathological behavior change to provide best outcomes for clients. This symposium will provide real world accounts of the application of these procedures, and how genuine, rather than apparent assent may be achieved with both verbal and nonverbal clients. This symposium will discuss the design of constructional clinical and other behavioral interventions informed by a nonlinear contingency analysis.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

practicing BCBAs, RBTs, Masters or Doctoral level studnets

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to : (1) Distinguish between constructional and pathological programs. (2) Distinguish between apparent and genuine assent. (3) Distinguish between systemic and topical interventions.
 
Building Repertoires: An Introduction to the Constructional Approach and Nonlinear Contingency Analysis
ANNA LINNEHAN (Endicott College)
Abstract: Nonlinear contingency analysis considers disturbing patterns of behavior to be a successful adaptation to the current consequential context and its history. Accordingly, it often does not attempt to directly change the presenting complaint, or any associated thoughts or feelings. Instead, alternative contingencies, in partnership with the client, are designed that provide the same or greater benefit as the disturbing pattern, but at less cost (Goldiamond, 1974; Layng et al, 2022). With an emphasis on humane and compassionate care, constructional programs focus on strengthening and building repertoires rather than elimination of behavior. This presentation will provide an introduction to a nonlinear contingency analysis and the constructional approach (Goldiamond, 1974). The distinction between pathological/eliminative and constructional programs as well as linear and nonlinear analyses will be discussed. Using an analysis of degrees of freedom, this presentation will also discuss how genuine rather than apparent assent may be achieved to develop compassionate behavioral programs (Abdel-Jalil, et al, 2023; Linnehan, et al, 2023).
 
A Constructional Approach to Severely Challenging Behavior: Alternatives to Deceleration
SHEILA ANN ANN KLICK (Endicott College)
Abstract: With over 40 years of research and practice, the constructional approach and nonlinear contingency analysis focus on constructional rather than pathological behavior change to provide best outcomes for clients. When certain patterns are completely off occasion from that of the disturbing pattern, and participate in contingencies that serve to potentiate the benefits of the disturbing pattern, systemic intervention is often required. Such intervention often results in changes in the disturbing pattern, and any accompanying thoughts and feelings, without direct intervention. From time-to-time immediate relief may be provided by topical interventions as systemic intervention is underway. In this way there can be a mix of a variety of behavioral and related interventions when solving behavior problems. This presentation will focus on development, deployment, an ongoing analysis of constructional programs for a severe population. Case examples and practical applications, including incorporating nonlinear analysis and the constructional approach with staff will be discussed.
 

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