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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

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Paper Session #81
Clinical, Family and Behavioral Medicine I
Friday, November 30, 2001
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Barbantini Hall
Area: CBM
Chair: Raimo Lappalainen (University of Tampere, Finland)
Relaxation - Which Method is Best?
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
BARBARA J. HEWSON-BOWER (Murdoch University)
Abstract: The relaxation response to five different kinds of relaxation was compared in 128 volunteer university students. Utilising a Latin Square design to control for order effects, each student experienced each form of relaxation for a standardised 20 minute period. They provided self report pre/post levels of physical, mental and overall relaxation as well as state anxiety. Blood pressure and heart rate were also monitored. Results indicated a significant relaxation response was obtained after only one trial in each of the relaxation methods Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), Autogenic Relaxation (AR), Paced Diaphragmatic Breathing (PDB), Mixed Relaxation (MR) and Non-directed Relaxation (NR). The Non-directed Relaxation was used as a control condition and simply asked participants to lie down and rest their head on a pillow for the standardised 20 minutes. It was hypothesised that PMR would result in the greatest relaxation response and this was tested by performing a 5x2 [techniques x time (pre/post)] repeated measures MANOVA (using depression as a covariate). This hypothesis was not supported. Analysis showed a significant effect for time [F(7,121) = 111.24, p<.001], as well as for relaxation method [F(28,2002)=1.87, p<.01]. However, a significant interaction between time and method was also found [F(28,2002)=2.59, p<001]. Whilst there was equivalence in the relaxation response to these different methods, differences were however noted in how much the students liked each method and how useful they thought each method would be either utilised as a daily relaxant or in the face of stress. Oneway analysis of variance was used to compare each treatment to the control condition. PDB was the most significantly liked technique [F(62,127) = 2.10, p<.01], however the other three techniques were also significantly more liked than NR [PMR F(62,127) = 1.57, p<.05); AR F(62,127) = 1.49, p<.05; and, MR F(62,127) = 1.50, p<.05]. For use as a daily relaxant, students thought only AR would be more effective than simply lying down for 20 minutes [F (65,127) = 2.24 p<.001] and they predicted AR and MR would be significantly more effective in counteracting daily stress than PMR [AR F(67,127) = 1.56 p<.05; MR F(67,127) = 1.57 p<.05]. As a technique to use in the face of stress, only PDB was thought to be more effective than using a non- directed approach [F(66,127) = 1.81, p<.01]. The implications of these findings will be discussed in the presentation.
Functional Analysis of Anorexia Nervosa
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RAIMO LAPPALAINEN (University of Tampere, Finland), Martti T. Tuomisto (University of Tampere, Finland)
Abstract: Anorexia nervosa is a difficult eating disorder with a prevalence of about one per cent of young women. According to recent studies, its prevalence may be increasing. Thus, its importance as a target for intervention is also increasing. Our aim is to present possibilities for clinical applications of functional behavioural analysis in anorexic clients. These applications produce many clinical applications based on behavioural principles and processes for a functional analysis of anorectic behaviour. These principles include respondent and operant behaviour, and rule- governed behaviour as well as behavioural processes categorised through aversion learning, discrimination learning, and complex schedules of reinforcement. Further, the behavioural analytic view helps us to understand problems with the actual eating behaviour and problems with the initiation of eating, as well as how physiological processes of the body may be included in the behavioural analysis. Understanding the functions of "anorectic" behaviour is a challenge, because it is a result of a complex interaction between inherited and learned behaviours affected by a cultural context.



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