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 #47
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Community Based Participatory Research in Applied Behavior Analysis: A Presentation of the Approach and Examples of Implementation
Saturday, May 25, 2024
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 3, Independence Ballroom
Area: CSS/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Natalie Badgett (University of Utah )
Discussant: M. Kathleen Kathleen Strickland-Cohen (University of Utah)
CE Instructor: Natalie Badgett, Ph.D.
Abstract: Developing, implementing, and evaluating contextually relevant behavioral interventions is paramount for the sustainability of the effects of implementation in applied settings. Using community based participatory methods in behavior analytic research presents opportunities for researchers to center diverse consumer needs and perspectives throughout the research process, promoting contextual relevance and social validity of research and behavioral intervention practices. In this presentation, we will present the need for community-based research through the example of recent research in social validity, we will provide an overview of the approach and implications for applied behavior analysis, and we will present two recent examples of behavior analytic research that used participatory research methods. Incorporating person- and community-centered research approaches into behavior analytic research has potential to help the field address chronic issues of implementation, social validity, and sustainability. Through this presentation of conceptual and methodological underpinnings of community based participatory research, supported by examples of research that has used these methods to address different topics important to behavior analysis, we hope to further the discussion of incorporating participatory research methods into the methodological repertoires of behavior analysts.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Implementation, Participatory Research, Social Validity, Sustainability
Target Audience: Behavior analytic researchers, behavior analysts with training in research
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe current issues in behavior analytic research related to implementation, sustainability, and social validity; (2) describe community engaged and participatory research methods; (3) describe how participatory research methods can be used in behavior analytic research.
Diversity submission Inclusion of Direct Consumers in Social Validity Assessment: A Review of Behavior Analytic Research
NATALIE BADGETT (University of Utah ), Rachelle Huntington (Northern Arizona University), Roxanne Michel Bristol (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa ), Jakob Laurence McIntosh (Ruby Beach Behavioral Pediatrics), Elizabeth Kelly (University of Washington), Alice Bravo (University of Washington), Young Hee Byun (University of Virginia)
Abstract: Social validity, or acceptability of goals, procedures, and outcomes of assessment and intervention strategies, is a core tenet of applied behavior analysis (Baer et al., 1987). Despite this, social validity measurement remains limited in behavior analytic research and concerns remain about representation of direct consumers with disabilities in social validity assessment. This presentation will include findings from a recent review of behavior analytic research, focused on methods of social validity research. Specifically, data will include an overview of the current state of social validity measurement in behavioral research, as well as an exploration of key demographics among consumers with disabilities and/or mental health disorders who are included and excluded from social validity assessment. Importantly, this presentation will provide an example of a major problem in behavior analytic research: the omission of the voice of the consumer in research. This presentation provides the foundation for the need for participatory research that include consumer perspectives throughout research as an indicator of social validity, and proposes participatory research as a methodology to address issues of social validity and implementation.
Diversity submission 

Common Gaps in Conducting High-Quality Community-Engaged Research From a Diverse and Multidisciplinary Perspective

ROSE NEVILL (University of Virginia)

Community-engaged research (CEnR) presents an opportunity for behavior analytic researchers to engage in research that centers the consumer and their communities at each phase of the research process. Despite a significant amount of literature detailing best practices for community-engaged research (CEnR), there remain gaps and challenges to conducting high-quality CEnR. We conducted a scoping review of the literature on CEnR best practices and convened a group of experts with diverse backgrounds and types of experiences in CEnR, including academic researchers, community-institutional research liaisons, and community members with leadership roles on CEnR projects. Through a combination of literature review and discussion among the group, we identified three major topic areas underrepresented in the literature, which all authors considered important. We then created a set of recommendations for addressing these gaps. This commentary represents a collaborative, iterative process of co-writing across diverse disciplines, research experiences, and identities. We provide an overview of CEnR, and discuss opportunities for structural, educational, and process-related changes that will enhance the quality and impact of CEnR conducted by academic institutions and communities.

Diversity submission Centering Stakeholder Voices in Intervention Planning: Participatory Research to Improve Tier I Behavior Supports in a Public School
(Applied Research)
AMANDA M BOROSH (Purdue University), Juliana Aguilar (Purdue University), John Augustine (University of Missouri - Columbia), Elisabeth Lauren Payack (Purdue University)
Abstract: Contextual fit and implementer buy-in of behavioral interventions in schools is imperative for improving student outcomes. Using a participatory action research approach, researchers collaborated with an elementary school to conduct a program evaluation to identify strengths, needs, and future desires as it relates to use of Tier I behavioral interventions. This mixed-methods study gathered data via direct observations (n = 12), survey (n = 20), and semi-structured interviews with teachers (n = 9). Quantitative data revealed strengths in teaching behavioral expectations and weaknesses in teachers’ use of praise and opportunities to respond. Qualitative data identified several themes: a) there is no school-wide approach for preventing challenging behavior; (b) inconsistency and ineffectiveness of the current school-wide reinforcement system and office disciplinary procedures; (c) teachers perceive their autonomy for using behavioral practices as a strength and weakness. In the future teachers want more teacher involvement in decision-making around behavior planning and support for students with recurring challenging behavior. Results of the evaluation were used to guide a representative team of teachers and administrators to decide on an intervention to address an identified area of need. The importance of program evaluation and meaningful involvement of stakeholders in intervention planning will be discussed.
Diversity submission 

Using Community-Engaged and Practice-Based Research to Establish Evidence for Assent Procedures in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-Based Therapy

BETHANY P. CONTRERAS YOUNG (University of Nevada, Reno), Lizbeth Vega Lopez (University of Nevada, Reno)

a. Evidence-based practice (EBP) has been introduced as a framework to help reduce the “research to practice gap” by guiding practitioners to use research evidence, combined with client values and context and their own clinical expertise, in making clinical decisions (Contreras et al., 2021; Slocum et al., 2014). Discussions on EBP and the “research-to-practice gap” seem to focus primarily on how practice does not reflect the body of research; however, it is worth considering the extent to which the body of research reflects practice situations and how a “practice-to-research gap” might be important to examine. One area where such a “practice-to-research gap” seems to exist is in the use of assent procedures to ensure client participation in their own services (for those who are unable to give legal consent). That is, many practitioners are talking about and using assent procedures, despite an extremely limited literature base. In this presentation, we will discuss how practitioner expertise can be leveraged through community-engaged and practice-based research as a means to inform a research base on assent procedures that meets the needs of practitioners and clients. We will also discuss how community-engaged and practice-based research can be a means to address the research-to-practice gap (and practice-to-research gap) broadly.




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