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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #143
Engaging in Life: Values and Valued Action as Catalysts for Change
Sunday, May 27, 2007
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Edward AB
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer Plumb (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Cultivating and sustaining a life worth living is a growing focus of many third generation cognitive behavioral interventions. Clients often put their life on hold while attempting to avoid or control unwanted physical and psychological symptoms. Thus, in many interventions (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), attention is directed toward the process through which humans learn to discriminate which life choices are valued ones, and how to encourage behavior that accords with those choices. Values are important to examine as a process, as values clarification can change the function of stimuli from something one must avoid to something one chooses to approach in service of a larger life goal. Recently, researchers have begun to develop assessment measures to tap into values clarification as a process and engagement in valued activity as an outcome. This symposium will present the development and application of values measures as both assessment instruments and as integral parts of therapeutic intervention. Taken together, these studies suggest that enhancing value-congruent living is an important step towards psychological flexibility and well being for both clients and clinicians.
Empirical Support for the Importance of Valuing on Psychological Well-Being.
AMANDA C. ADCOCK (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas), Douglas W. Woods (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can be summarized as undermining language with the use of defusion, acceptance, and contact with the present moment in the service of moving clients in a valued direction. One of the main components of ACT is the identification of values, or valuing. Because of the positive effects of ACT on psychopathology, valuing behavior was examined in the current study. Three hundred eighty-eight undergraduates completed the Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ) along with measures of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, distress, and stress, as well as experiential avoidance. All psychopathology variables were significantly negatively correlated with valuing. This supported our hypothesis that valuing behavior is positive for well-being, and thus supportive of the ACT therapeutic approach. More specific information about high levels of valuing was warranted; thus, groups were created based on VLQ data (high, moderate, and low). The high valuing group was found to be significantly lower in distress, supporting our hypotheses. Comparisons of other variables will be discussed along with the role of experiential avoidance as a controlling variable. The results of this study are supportive of the use of valuing behavior training in ACT and the negative impact of experiential avoidance on psychological well-being.
Values and Valued Action as Key Processes in Treating Depression.
JENNIFER PLUMB (University of Nevada, Reno), Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno), Mikaela J. Hildebrandt (University of Nevada, Reno), Lindsay Martin (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Overall client functioning is an increasingly important outcome in a number of modern cognitive behavior therapies. The process by which clients come to declare their values and effectively move toward said values is important to assess in order to tailor clinical interventions to enhance client engagement in activities that are predictive of overall functioning and psychological well being. Preliminary data will be presented on the use of the Personal Values Questionnaire (Blackledge & Ciarrochi, 2006) in assessing values importance and value-congruent living in a depressed clinical sample. We will discuss the interrelationships between pliance, avoidance, acceptance, and value-consistent living as well as the importance and benefit of addressing these issues in a therapeutic context.
Validation of the Bulls-Eye: Values Clarification in a Clinical Sample.
JOANNE DAHL (Uppsala University, Sweden), Tobias Lundgren (Uppsala University, Sweden), Jyrki Hiltunnen (Uppsala University, Sweden)
Abstract: Bulls-Eye is an instrument that aims to measure values and valued living as described in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The instrument is designed as an outcome measure, a process measure and a clinical tool. Bulls-Eye consists of three dartboards about valued living and one dartboard about believability in thought feelings, memories that function as barriers to a valued life. The instrument shows a test re-test reliability of .86 and criterion validity with DASS, SWLS and MASS. A recently designed Bulls-Eye will be presented (the Bulls-Eye 2) with validation data as well as reliability data. Preliminary data suggests that the Bulls-Eye is useful for both values clarification within a clinical domain, as well as measuring values as a process within clinical research.
The Relationship between Values, Acceptance, and Mindfulness Related Processes with Burnout and Stigmatization.
MIKAELA J. HILDEBRANDT (University of Nevada, Reno), Roger Vilardaga (University of Nevada, Reno), Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno), Jacqueline Pistorello (University of Nevada, Reno), Jason Brian Luoma (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Values, acceptance and mindfulness related processes are gathering a large amount of attention within the context of the so called third wave of behavior therapies. However, the role of those psychological processes has largely been explored within the context of client functioning. This presentation will focus on these processes in the treatment providers themselves. First, we will examine the construct of burnout, which has been well documented in the I/O field, service-related professions, and education. Its three key dimensions, exhaustion, depersonalization and lack of sense of effectiveness, are situated with an empirical literature. Additionally, we will address the construct of stigma, which has also been extensively documented in the social psychology literature. To date, there are very few studies that examine the psychological processes mediating stigmatization and burnout and the theoretical link that might exist between them. In this presentation we will offer an ACT/RFT conceptualization of burnout and stigma, and will present supporting data that shows how values, acceptance and mindfulness related processes predict the effects of stigma and burnout in substance abuse counselors.



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