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.


30th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2004

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W2
CE Offered: None
Childhood Psychiatric Disorders: Assessment and Treatment from a Behavioral Perspective
Friday, May 28, 2004
10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Gardner A
Area: PRA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Jeannie A. Golden, Ph.D.
JEANNIE A. GOLDEN (East Carolina University)
Description: Many children with developmental disabilities and children in the child welfare system develop several of the symptoms of various childhood psychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, bipolar disorder and reactive attachment disorder, due to early abuse/neglect, multiple placements and multiple caregivers. Differential diagnosis becomes a critical issue in providing appropriate treatment and services for these children and their families. However, these children are often diagnosed based on behavior exhibited during office visits and personality assessment instruments with questionable reliability and validity. Additionally, the treatment focus follows the medical model with the assumption that behavioral symptoms are the result of underlying psychopathology. Behavior analysts are in a unique position to provide more comprehensive diagnosis that includes observations of behavior in a variety of settings to determine the effect of various stimulus conditions and setting events, functional assessments to determine the causes and maintainers of various behavioral symptoms, and careful analysis of learning histories to determine the efficacy of various reinforcers and punishers. Behavior analysts are also able to provide assessment-driven treatment approaches, to design therapeutic environments that support the learning of appropriate replacement behaviors and to facilitate typical development rather than psychopathology.
Learning Objectives: At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: Explain the differences between the medical and behavioral approaches to the etiology, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of psychopathology in children. Name some of the symptoms used in the differential diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, and reactive attachment disorder. Describe the unique learning histories of children with psychiatric disorders and how feelings serve as establishing operations in these children. Tell why children with this learning history often are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional-defiant disorder, and conduct disorder in different developmental stages of their lives.
Activities: Participants will listen to didactic information and real-life case histories, take notes, ask questions, view a power point presentation, present their own cases for feedback, and participate in role-play situations.
Audience: Board certified behavior analysts, psychologists, counselors, social workers and/or teachers who serve children with developmental disabilities or children who typically-developing who have been given psychiatric diagnoses.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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