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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Paper Session #518
CE Offered: BACB — 
Current Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 27, 2024
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, 203 AB
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Amanda Rose Modrovsky (Ontaba)
CE Instructor: Amanda Rose Modrovsky, M.A.
Applied Behavior Analysis and Stigma
Domain: Theory
MARIJA ČOLIĆ (The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa)
Abstract: Traditionally focused on intervention effectiveness, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is evolving to incorporate compassion, culture, and social validity in scholarly discussions. This presentation delves into the often-overlooked realm of stigma within ABA, specifically examining family and disability stigma. Drawing on Goffman's conceptualization, I will explore various types of stigma: public, self-stigma, experienced, perceived, and affiliate stigma. Experienced stigma involves direct discrimination instances, while perceived stigma encompasses beliefs held by stigmatized individuals about public attitudes. Self-stigma and affiliate stigma delve into internalized stigma among individuals with disabilities and their affiliates, impacting mental health, wellbeing, and behavior. Highlighting real-life experiences of autistic individuals and families, the presentation will underscore the negative effects of stigma on mental health, wellbeing, and treatment adherence. For ABA practitioners, understanding and addressing stigma is crucial for ethical practice. Recommendations include fostering a stigma-free community, collaborating with clients on intervention goals, and promoting cultural humility. By integrating these insights, ABA practitioners can enhance treatment acceptability and contribute to a more inclusive and respectful therapeutic environment.

Ableism and Avoiding Ableist Language From a Neurodivergent Board Certified Behavior Analyst Perspective

Domain: Theory

Ableism is a term that has been popping up in pop culture what exactly does it 10mean? Ableist language refers to any language that creates or demonstrates a dichotomy of superiority/interiority in regard to physical, intellectual and mental ability regardless of being intentional or not intentional. However, until we are aware of what words are potentially harmful, we are contributing to the continued marginalization of the very individuals we serve and have the collective goal of increasing their quality of life. The presentation goes into ethical considerations to consider as behavior analysts, an overview of Bottema-Beutal, et. al. (2021). Within her article the social versus the medical model are described as the author goes into further detail about the implications of the medical versus the social model. The presentation will go into the words that the author of the article identified as potentially ableist and their potential replacements. Lastly, I go into my hypothesis about why ableist language is still being used and factors to consider in terms of ableism in our practice of Behaviour Analysis


Free Britney! On Assent and Consent in Behavior Analysis

Domain: Theory
JESSICA EMILY GRABER (Nationwide Children's Hospital; The Ohio State University), Abraham Graber (The Ohio State University)

Assent in behavior analytic practice and research has gained substantial attention in the peer-reviewed literature (Abdel-Jalil et al. 2023; Breaux & Smith, 2022; Flowers & Dawes, 2023; Gover et al., 2023; Jasperse et al., 2023; Morris, Detrick, & Peterson, 2021). Assent is generally defined in contrast to consent: while a client with competence can consent to an intervention, a client lacking competence can only assent (ibid.). Discussions of assent can, however, be enriched by recognizing that “consent” and “assent” are equivocal. The bioethics literature distinguishes between competence, which is a legal term, and capacity, which is an ethical term (Appelbaum, 2007; Ganzini et al., 2005). A person may thus, from the ethical perspective, be able to give (or refuse) consent while nonetheless lacking the legal authority to do so. Drawing on the case study of Britney Spears’ conservatorship, this presentation will demonstrate the clinical relevance of the distinction between the legal and ethical concepts of consent. The presentation will further show that putative instances of assent withdrawal in the behavior analytic literature may be best understood as cases in which a client who lacks the legal authority to refuse to participate nonetheless exercises their ethical authority to refuse to participate.


Improving Behaviour Support With Nonaversive Reactive Strategies: Effects, Risk, and Human Rights Protection

Domain: Service Delivery
GEOFF POTTER (The Centre for Positive Behaviour Support), Matthew John Spicer (Anglicare Tasmania; Tasmania, Australia), Rebecca L Beights (The Centre for Positive Behaviour Support)

Nonaversive reactive strategies (NARS) are a critical component of rights-focused applied behaviour analysis and behaviour support. Within a constructional, multielement behaviour support (MEBS) framework, NARS promote safety, protect human rights, decrease risk, and reduce episodic severity. NARS, and more broadly MEBS, are not universally implemented as a primary service delivery model within behaviour support. Without NARS, participants, stakeholders, and staff may be subject to the use of restrictive practices and face much greater risks of maintaining severe behaviours of concern and escalation cycles. Thus, the current paper establishes the effectiveness of NARS and imperative considerations of the use of NARS for ethical practice. The scientific rationale for NARS will be presented alongside arguments against the fallacy that NARS reinforce behaviours of concern. The utility of evaluating strategies within a situational effects matrix will be also reviewed. Functional and nonfunctional NARS methods will be defined and applied to specific case examples. Finally, outcome data with NARS implementation will be presented for select cases.




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