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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Invited Symposium #240
Standards of Evidence across Areas of Practice
Sunday, May 27, 2007
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Douglas B
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Teri Lewis (Oregon State University)
Discussant: Robert H. Horner (University of Oregon)


Standards of Evidence for Prevention Research
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Abstract: This presentation will describe the development of the standards of evidence of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR). SPR created the standards in response to concerns that numerous federal agencies were identifying “research-based” programs, but standards for such a designation were lacking. A task force of prevention scientists therefore created standards that we believed would give greatest weight to programs that had been shown in multiple experimental evaluations to affect an important public health outcome. The standards recognize both randomized controlled trials and interrupted time-series designs. This presentation will discuss the importance of both of these types of designs and will indicate the influence that these standards appear to be having on efforts to identify empirically supported practices.
Dr. Anthony Biglan has been conducting research on the development and prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior for the past 23 years. His work has included studies of the risk and protective factors associated with tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use (e.g., (Biglan & Smolkowski, 2002; Biglan, Duncan, Ary, & Smolkowski, 1995), high-risk sexual behavior (e.g., Biglan et al., 1990; Biglan, Noell, Ochs, Smolkowski, & Metzler, 1995), and anti-social behavior (Biglan, 1995). He has conducted numerous experimental evaluations of interventions to prevent tobacco use both through school-based programs (Biglan, Severson, Ary, Faller, Gallison, Thompson, Glasgow, & Lichtenstein, 1987) and community-wide interventions (Biglan, Ary, Smolkowski, Duncan, & Black, 2000). He has also performed evaluations of interventions to prevent high-risk sexual behavior (Metzler, Biglan, Ary, & Noell, 2000), antisocial behavior (Barrera, Biglan, Ary, & Li, 2001), and reading failure (Gunn, Biglan, Smolkowski, & Ary, 2000). During the 2000-2001 school years, Dr. Biglan led a team of scholars in a review of what is known about the development and prevention of youth problem behaviors. A book summarizing the evidence and defining next steps for research and practice is forthcoming (Biglan, Brennan, Foster, & Holder, 2005).
The National Standards Project: Standards of Evidence in Autism
SUSAN WILCZYNSKI (National Autism Center/May Institute)
Abstract: The number of unproven treatments offered for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) proliferates. The National Standards Project was developed in response to this urgent need for information. The National Standards Project is a collaborative effort to systematically review educational and behavioral treatment research involving individuals under the age of 22 in order to determine the strength of evidence supporting these approaches. In this way, parents and educators can weigh the quality and quantity of research supporting an intervention into their decision-making. This presentation will use the National Standards Project as a backdrop for discussing the importance of (a) transparency in developing evidence-based guidelines, (b) organizing the literature in a meaningful way for consumers, (c) receiving input from a broad range of professionals representing multiple theoretical orientations, and (d) using a continuum to describe strength of evidence so that consumers understand the quantity and quality of research available for the large number of interventions they are likely to be offered. In addition, integrating the value of evidence-based practice and research findings with clinical judgment and patient values will be addressed.
Dr. Susan Wilczynski is the Executive Director of the National Autism Center. In this role, she oversees the National Standards Project, updates public policy makers about evidence-based practice related to educational and behavioral interventions, develops assessment clinics specializing in the evaluation of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, and establishes the parent education and professional training agenda of the National Autism Center. Dr. Wilczynski has authored numerous articles on the treatment of autism spectrum disorders. Prior to her position at the National Autism Center, she developed and directed an intensive early intervention program for children with autism spectrum disorders at the Munroe-Meyer Institute. She has held academic appointments at the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Wilczynski holds a joint appointment with May Institute, where she serves as Vice President of Autism Services. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Wilczynski is a licensed psychologist and a board certified behavior analyst
A Review of the What Works Clearinghouse
WILLIAM R. SHADISH (University of California, Merced)
Abstract: The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. The WWC promotes informed education decision making through a set of easily accessible databases and user-friendly reports that provide education consumers with high-quality reviews of the effectiveness of replicable educational interventions (programs, products, practices, and policies) that intend to improve student outcomes. To do this, the WWC uses standards for reviewing and synthesizing research. The WWC is currently conducting systematic reviews of existing research, and producing intervention and topic reports. A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) composed of leading experts in research design, program evaluation, and research synthesis works with the WWC to ensure the quality and integrity of its efforts. The TAG helps establish and validate the standards for reviewing research, informs the methodological aspects of the evidence reviews, and provides guidance to the WWC contractors. This paper will describe the standards for acceptable evidence developed for the WWC and discuss the rationale for these standards.
Dr. William R. Shadish is Professor and Founding Faculty at the University of California, Merced. He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Santa Clara University in 1972, and his M.S. (1975) and Ph.D. (1978) degrees from Purdue University in clinical psychology. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in methodology and program evaluation at Northwestern University from 1978 to 1981. His current research interests include experimental and quasi-experimental design, the empirical study of methodological issues, the methodology and practice of meta-analysis, and evaluation theory. He is author (with T. D. Cook & D .T. Campbell, 2002) of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference and ES: A Computer Program and Manual for Effect Size Calculation, co-editor of five other volumes, and the author of over 100 articles and chapters. He was 1997 President of the American Evaluation Association, winner of the 1994 Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for Evaluation Theory from the American Evaluation Association and the 2000 Robert Ingle Award for...



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