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.


Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #76
International Symposium - Avoidance and Acceptance: Assessment and Interventions
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
L4 Room 1
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Linda Bilich (University of Wollongong)
Discussant: JoAnne Dahl (University of Uppsala, Sweden)
Abstract: The symposium titled ‘Avoidance and Acceptance: Assessment and Interventions’ presents 3 projects examining the role of acceptance and well-being amongst several different populations. The first presentation ‘Evaluating the efficacy of a Mindfulness-based intervention promoting well-being amongst cancer patients’ seeks to contribute to the development of an empirically supported psychological treatment for individuals with cancer, based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The second presentation ‘Mindfulness-based Emotional Intelligence Training: Evaluating its efficacy and mechanisms for change’ outlines the findings of an ACT and Mindfulness intervention conducted with the participants from the New South Wales Police service to promote emotional well-being and workplace effectiveness. The final presentation, ‘Psychological acceptance and quality of life in the elderly’ presents the findings from a study that examines psychological acceptance and its role in quality of life for a sample of elderly individuals.
Evaluating the Efficacy of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention in Promoting Well-Being amongst Cancer Patients.
JOSEPH CIARROCHI (University of Wollongong), Danielle Feros (University of Wollongong), John Tanner Blackledge (University of Wollongong)
Abstract: The proposed study seeks to contribute to the development of an empirically supported psychological treatment for individuals with cancer based on ACT. The aim of the study is to gain information to further develop the intervention and better meet the psychological and emotional needs of cancer patients by reducing their distress, enhancing their psychological well-being, and increasing their abilities to effectively pursue personally meaningful values and goals. Approximately 100 cancer patients will receive 9 hours of group-based ACT intervention or 9 hours of group-based supportive-expressive intervention (control group). Outcome measures will be collected pre-, mid-, and post- intervention, and at 3-month follow-up. Measures cover patient distress (Distress Thermometer), quality of life, DASS, Acceptance Questionnaire, and Personal Values Questionnaire. It is anticipated that after intervention, patients who received ACT group-based intervention will report higher acceptance of illness and effective pursuit of personally meaningful values. Furthermore, it is hypothesised that acceptance of illness and pursuit of values will be associated with lower distress and higher quality of life.
Mindfulness-Based Emotional Intelligence Training: Evaluating Its Efficacy and Mechanisms for Change.
LINDA BILICH (University of Wollongong), Joseph Ciarrochi (University of Wollongong), Virginia Bayliss (New South Wales Police Service), Frank Deane (Illawarra Institute for Mental Health)
Abstract: Recent research has revealed that police officers experience a high level of stress that appears to relate to administrative / organisational pressure rather than from operational work experiences (Hart and Cotton, 2002). The aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a Mindfulness-based Emotional Intelligence Training (MBEIT) intervention that is designed to promote emotional well-being and workplace effectiveness amongst NSW police officers. The intervention is heavily based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) (Hayes, Strosahl and Wilson, 1999). ACT promotes emotionally intelligent behaviour by increasing people’s ability to utilise emotions as information, and to act effectively in the context of emotions and emotionally charged thoughts through mechanisms such as acceptance and defusion. 100 police officers will be recruited, and assigned to either the ‘immediate intervention’ condition, or the ‘delayed intervention’ (waitlist / control) condition. Adherence to the intervention will be monitored, and feedback will be provided to the trainers. It is expected that the project will benefit the NSW police directly in the prevention of stress and sickness, and improvement in workplace effectiveness.
Psychological Acceptance and Quality of Life in the Elderly.
JODIE BUTLER (University of Wollongong), Joseph Ciarrochi (University of Wollongong)
Abstract: Many changes occur as people enter old age (e.g., declining productivity), and these changes may at times decrease quality of life. Do some people maintain high subjective quality of life despite these changes? This study investigated the influence of psychological acceptance (PA) on quality of life in a sample of 187 elderly from a home nursing service, a retirement village and various community groups. Average age was 78 years old with a range from 65 to 96. We administered a measure of psychological acceptance and The Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale. As hypothesised, people higher in PA also had higher quality of life in the areas of health, safety, community participation and emotional well-being. In addition, individuals high in PA had less adverse psychological reactions to decreasing productivity. Interventions that increase PA may lead to improved quality of life and resilience amongst the elderly.



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