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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #190
Measuring Processes of Change in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Sunday, May 24, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 222 AB
Area: CBM/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Amanda C. Adcock (University of North Texas)
Discussant: John Tanner Blackledge (Morehead State University)
Abstract: Empirical and theoretical support for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has pushed for creative measurement of change processes posited in ACT. Several attempts at measuring ACT processes in the traditional manner has resulted measures with unstudied or questionable psychometric properties. Therefore, a variety of research teams have begun to create more specific measures of ACT process variables. This symposium will present psychometric data for three different measures of processes of change in ACT. Specifically, a measure of the believability of thoughts in anxiety disorders that has strong psychometric properties, the Believability of Anxious Thoughts and Feelings Questionnaire (BAFT; Eifert & Forsyth, 2005), will be described. Also in the realm of acceptance of thoughts or feelings and committed action, the Stories Willingness and Action Measure for Children and Adolescents (SWAM-C/A; Larson & Murrell, 2007) will be presented for the first time. A measure of a more difficult construct to measure, the flexibility of valuing, will also be presented for the first time, the Meta-Valuing Measure (MVM; Adcock, LaBorde, & Murrell, 2008). Thus, three newly constructed measures of ACT consistent process variables will be presented and discussed.
The Believability of Anxious Thoughts and Feelings Questionnaire (BAFT): Psychometric Properties and Future Directions
KRISTIN N. HERZBERG (State University of New York - Albany), Sean Sheppard (SUNY - Albany), John P. Forsyth (University at Albany, SUNY), Georg H. Eifert (Chapman University)
Abstract: Cognitive fusion, the tendency for people to buy into the literal meaning of unpleasant thoughts and feelings, may play an important role in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders and figures prominently in third generation behavior therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Within ACT, contexts that support cognitive fusion may foster excessive struggle with private content (e.g., thoughts, feelings). The literature to date suggests that ACT defusion strategies may reduce the believability of unwanted thoughts and feelings. Nonetheless, there exists no validated self-report measure of cognitive fusion. The aim of this presentation is to describe a newly developed measure of cognitive fusion, The Believability of Anxious Thoughts and Feelings Questionnaire (BAFT; Eifert & Forsyth, 2005). The BAFT, along with several other measures of anxiety and emotion regulation, was administered to 437 healthy undergraduates at University at Albany, SUNY. Data on the psychometric properties of the BAFT will be presented, including an exploratory factor analysis yielding a 30-item, one-factor solution with excellent internal consistency (a = .95), and convergent validity with other relevant measures. Our findings suggest the BAFT to be a useful preliminary measure for the assessment of cognitive fusion and its relation to other anxiety-related constructs.
Stories: A revision of the Willingness & Action Measure for Children and Adolescents (WAM-C/A)
CHRISTINA M. LARSON (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Willingness to remain in contact with one’s emotions and committed action are two foci of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), making their assessment an integral part of therapy. However, there is currently no psychometrically strong measure of these processes in children. While developmentally appropriate, the original Willingness and Action Measure for Children and Adolescents (WAM-C/A; Greco, Murrell, & Coyne, 2004) does not demonstrate good validity in either normative or clinical samples. This study utilized The Story Version of the Willingness and Action Measure for Children and Adolescents (SWAM-C/A; Larson & Murrell, 2007). The SWAM-C/A consists of vignettes modeled after the WAM-C/A items and popular children’s stories and questions designed to assess experiential acceptance. Results collected from elementary students in the North Texas area supported the relationship between the SWAM-C/A and measures of experiential avoidance (AFQ-Y) and mindfulness (CAMM). Factor analysis did not result in a two factor model but did indicate the presence of several distinct willingness and action factors. These results support the need for continued work on measurement of willingness and action in youth.
The Meta-Valuing Measure: Theory and Psychometrics
CICELY TARAVELLA LABORDE (University of North Texas), Amanda C. Adcock (University of North Texas), Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The main outcome of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is evidence of flexible behavior in valued directions. Data from a sample of undergraduates suggested a model of flexible valuing (Adcock, Murrell & Woods, 2007), or valuing many different life areas in a fluid manner. However, the results obtained cannot be clearly parsed or explained since, as of now, there is no psychometrically strong measure of flexible valuing. There are two ACT-consistent measures of valuing, but both of these require clients to identify values within domains and do not assess valuing more broadly. These measures do not capture information about flexibility with respect to the client’s valuing process – respondents report on pliance or living consistently with their own values, both of which are important but limited, as they are in reference only to specific domains. The need for a measure of flexible valuing as a key process of ACT led us to create the MetaValuing Measure which is independent of specific values domains. Psychometric data of the MVM collected from a large undergraduate sample will be presented. The University of North Texas Institutional Review Board approved the project.



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