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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Panel #218
Impoverished Environments and The Development of "Self": Implications for Clinical Interventions
Sunday, May 28, 2006
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Leslie Rogers (University of Mississippi)
KELLY G. WILSON (University of Mississippi)
PATRICIA BACH (Illinois Institute of Technology)
CATHERINE H. ADAMS (University of Mississippi)
AMY MURRELL (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Much research has been conducted on the effect of impoverished environment on behavior patterns. With few exceptions, the animal literature supports that being reared in a depleted environment leads to lessened flexibility in learning and decreased behavioral activity. The parallel literature with humans is less clear; a body of evidence (i.e., resilience literature) supports the idea that some individuals flourish in less-than-ideal settings. The behavioral repertoire of some humans raised in impoverished environments is impoverished. However, many exhibit rich behavioral repertoires. Perhaps, the difference is that it is clearer what animals need. The definition of an impoverished environment for a rat is little or no access to socialization and essential tangibles. The term “impoverished environment” for a human may refer to the environment of a child who is raised in a poor family or who attends a poverty-stricken school, or to the group home for mentally disabled adults where sensory stimulation is minimal. Perhaps, it refers to a setting with all of these qualities but lacking in meaningful connections among people. This panel will discuss various definitions of impoverished environment and how these are related to the development of narrow and inflexible behavioral repertoires as well as the treatment implications.



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