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 #76
Acceptance and Commitment Training: Effects of Interventions Across Various Populations, Skills, and Process Measures
Saturday, May 25, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 9-10
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: David Legaspi (Utah State University)
Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT) and Mindfulness Acceptance Commitment (MAC; a branch of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training) have been successfully used across a variety of populations to address many different types of behaviors at both the overt and covert level. The first study in this symposium evaluated the use of the MAC protocol on expecting mothers learning to breastfeed. Resultant effects on breastfeeding self-efficacy, mindfulness skills, and emotional regulation will be discussed. The second study will review the effects of a seven-week ACT-based guided self-help intervention delivered via telehealth on weight self-stigma, values aligned behavior, experiential avoidance and weight in overweight or obese adults. The third study evaluated the effects of a brief mindfulness parent training and Muse meditation package as an intervention to decrease parental screen time and maladaptive behaviors and increase socially appropriate behaviors that may enhance parent-child bonds and increase happiness indices. Across the three studies, functional relationships were found across the dependent and independent variables, with desired effects for many of the participants. Discussions will include results of ACT and MAC interventions across a variety of populations, limitations of these studies, and suggest areas for future research.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): ACT, Expectant Mothers, Parent Training, Telehealth

Mindful Parenting and Its Role in the Parental Engagement of Socially Important Behaviors

JESSICA LIZETH FULLER (Dominicus International Academy), Yukie Kurumiya (The Chicago School), Rocco G Catrone (The Chicago School Professional Psychology), Don Togade (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; George Brown College, Toronto, Canada)

While the topic of mindfulness-based interventions has surfaced in fields such as psychology over the last few decades, it is now also garnering more interest and attention in behavioral-analytic research. Mindfulness-based parent/caregiver training has gained traction in the current literature and preliminary results appear promising for decreasing maladaptive behaviors and increasing socially important ones. Parent/caregiver training is a crucial component for the success of behavioral-analytic services and this training could potentially benefit from brief mindfulness trainings to help parents/caregivers alleviate some of the negative behaviors that may arise as a result of parenting/caregiving. Accordingly, this study assesses a brief mindfulness parent training and Muse meditation package as an intervention to decrease parental screen time and maladaptive parental behaviors and increase socially appropriate behaviors that may enhance parent-child bonds and increase happiness indices. Three parents participated in this study. The results of this study suggest that the IV and DV is approaching a functional relationship but will need further assessment of the components involved in the study. However, no functional relationship was determined concerning screentime and the intervention. Future studies could further hone the procedures to expose the connections between mindfulness training and overt parental behavioral changes.

Effects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on Weight Self-Stigma, Valued Living, and Weight Loss
THERESA STRATTON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Dorothy Xuan Zhang (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Yors A. Garcia (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana), Yukie Kurumiya (The Chicago School)
Abstract: The focus on individuals needing to be a certain weight can result in discrimination and stigma towards the overweight and obese population. In turn, individuals who are overweight or obese may begin to internalize these stigmas (weight self-stigma). Weight inclusive approaches are an alternative to weight normative approaches and Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) is one such treatment that teaches individuals to accept who they are while engaging in values-aligned behaviors. ACT has been delivered in workshop models, one-on-one, and most recently via guided self-help. Conducting guided self-help within a telehealth model allows individuals to remain in the comfort of their own home, while practitioners can reach more individuals. The aim of this study was to determine how a seven-week ACT based guided self-help intervention delivered via telehealth effected weight self-stigma, values-aligned behavior, experiential avoidance, and weight in overweight or obese individuals. Results showed a functional relationship between the independent and dependent variables in the desired direction across most participants. Most participants lost a small amount of weight and maintained that loss at the one-year follow-up. Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of an ACT based guided self-help intervention with a more diverse population and across different treatment delivery modalities.
Impact of the Mindfulness Acceptance Commitment Protocol on the Breastfeeding Experiences of Expecting Mothers
ILLYSA RIVERA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology ), Rachel Garcia (The Chicago School), Meredith L. Andrews (The Chicago School), Lindsey McCormick (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology )
Abstract: The process of learning to breastfeed can be anxiety-provoking for new parents. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a tool used to increase psychological flexibility across many situations, including performance-based activities, such as breastfeeding. A multiple baseline across three participants design was used to evaluate whether the seven-module mindfulness acceptance commitment (MAC) protocol decreases anxiety for expecting mothers when learning to breastfeed with simulation breasts and baby. As the participants progressed through the MAC protocol, galvanic skin response (GSR), (Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7) GAD-7, and water volume outcomes were unstable. These were not the authors’ hypothesized results, though confounding variables, such as different emotionally charged events occurring outside of the study or increased comfort with the researcher, may have impacted the results. At the end of intervention, all participants reported increased breastfeeding self-efficacy (social validity questionnaire), Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS), and Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ). These results were expected. Though GSR was expected to decrease, results from the self-report questionnaires indicate social validity and expected generalization to other aspects of parenthood. Notable limitations include practice effect, environmental variability, and unreliability of self-report measures.



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