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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #177
CE Offered: BACB
ABA Applications in Sports, Health, and Fitness
Sunday, May 25, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W194a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kristin M. Hustyi (Stanford University )
Discussant: Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Kristin M. Hustyi, M.A.

The prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity in both adults and children presents a problem of great social significance in this country and around the world. The behavioral assessment and promotion of physical activity is an emerging area of research, which behavior analysis is well suited to undertake. Research presented in this symposium will focus on behavioral and technological assessments and interventions related to sports, health, and fitness. Hayes and Van Camp will present a self-management and reinforcement intervention aimed at increasing physical activity of subjects during their regularly-scheduled recess at school. Valbuena and colleagues evaluated the FitbitTM program and a behavioral coach for increasing physical activity in adults. Quinn and colleagues evaluated TAGteach to enhance dance movements in young dance students. Miller and colleagues assessed physical activity preferences in preschool-age children. Continued research in the assessment and promotion of sports, health, and fitness is necessary in developing effective strategies and technology to combat an increasingly obese and sedentary population.

Keyword(s): Fitness, Obesity, Physical Activity, Sports

Utilizing TAGteach to Enhance Proficiency in Dance Movements

MALLORY J. QUINN (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Victoria Fogel (University of South Florida)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate TAGteach to increase the fluency of three dance movements in a multiple baseline across behaviors design with 4 students of dance. Target behaviors included a turn, kick, and a leap, respective of the level of the class. A dance instructor was trained to implement the TAGteach procedure by the primary researcher. The targeted dance movements remained at a stable level during baseline and improved for each participant following the introduction of the TAGteach training. Implications for future research are discussed.


Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Internet-Based Behavioral Weight Loss Program With and Without a Behavioral Coach

DIEGO VALBUENA (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida), Elizabeth Solley (University of South Florida)

Obesity is a problem of vast social concern in the United States. One factor that has been linked to reduction in body fat and the health problems associated with obesity is increasing physical activity. Although in-person behavioral interventions have been shown effective at increasing physical activity, attention is now being placed on disseminating these interventions through the use of technology. Several internet-based interventions have been developed and are readily available. The purpose of this study was to evaluate "Fitbit"; a web-based behavioral intervention for increasing physical activity and losing weight. Additionally, this study examined if the addition of contact from a behavioral coach through videoconference and email enhanced this program. Through a multiple-baseline design across seven participants this research project evaluated the effectiveness of the "Fitbit" program with and without a behavioral coach. Step counts were recorded by a Fitbit sensor as a measure of physical activity. The Fitbit program alone increased physical activity for some of the participants, and the addition of the behavioral coach resulted in further increases in mean step counts.


Increasing Physical Activity of Children During Recess

LYNDA HAYES (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Carole M. Van Camp (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

In the past three decades, the prevalence of childhood obesity has tripled, and currently, nearly one in three children are overweight. As the concern for overweight and obese children in the United States continues, there is a need for effective interventions aimed at increasing health conscious activities of children. Increasing children's physical activity is one way to combat the overweight and obesity epidemic. School recess, which occurs daily in the vast majority of public schools, may be a good opportunity for children to be physically active, as a high percentage of children in the United States are enrolled in both public and private schools. The present study evaluated effects of a self-management and reinforcement intervention aimed at increasing physical activity of subjects during their regularly-scheduled recess at school. Physical activity was measured using a Fitbit accelerometer and reported as the number of steps taken. The results showed that the intervention was effective in increasing physical activity. Other interventions appropriate for similar populations and settings will be discussed.


Behavioral Assessment of Physical Activity Preferences of Young Children

BRYON MILLER (University of the Pacific), Matthew P. Normand (University of the Pacific), Heather Zerger (University of the Pacific), Tracy A. Larson (University of the Pacific)

Low levels of physical activity are correlated with negative health outcomes such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. This is alarming given the rise in the prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity over the last few decades, especially in young children. Developing assessment strategies that can readily identify the variables related to both healthy and unhealthy patterns of activity might be useful in informing interventions that aim to increase physical activity. The current study extended previous research in the functional analysis of physical activity by evaluating the utility of a concurrent-chains procedure to identify participant preference to several common outdoor activity contexts. Together, the two assessments strategies were able to identify both healthy and unhealthy patterns of responding in four preschool-age children. The role of participant preference, as it relates to physical activity, will be discussed in the context of developing intervention strategies that aim to increase activity levels in sedentary individuals.




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