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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Invited Paper Session #44
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Leadership Seminar: Creating the Organizations Needed to Evolve a More Caring Society

Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W190a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Chair: Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University)
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at the Oregon Research Institute. He has been conducting research on the development and prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior for the past 30 years. He is a former president of the Society for Prevention Research. His work has included studies of the risk and protective factors associated with tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; high-risk sexual behavior; and antisocial behavior. He has conducted numerous experimental evaluations of interventions to prevent tobacco use both through school-based programs and communitywide interventions. And, he has evaluated interventions to prevent high-risk sexual behavior, antisocial behavior, and reading failure. In recent years, his work has shifted to more comprehensive interventions that have the potential to prevent the entire range of child and adolescent problems. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention, which released its report in 2009 documenting numerous evidence-based preventive interventions that can prevent multiple problems. His recent review of preventive interventions concluded that diverse psychological, behavioral, and health problems can be prevented through the promotion of nurturing families, schools, and communities.

An emerging convergence in the human sciences can guide the evolution of more caring societies. Biological and behavioral research has produced an integrated understanding of the biological and social conditions needed to ensure the successful development of children and adolescents. A growing body of experimental evidence has identified family, school, and community interventions that are capable of nurturing development from the prenatal period through adolescence. Increasingly research is turning to how these interventions can be widely and effectively implemented. At the same time, research in economics, political science, and sociology has delineated key features of the larger social context, including especially the recent evolution of corporate capitalism, that are more distal, but nonetheless critical influences on the wellbeing of young people. This converging understanding provides a framework for intentional efforts to evolve societies that have fewer psychological and behavioral disorders, less crime, less academic failure and much higher levels of prosociality. This session will focus on how we can organize the educational, nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental organizations to evolve cultural practices that achieve a society that sees to everyone’s wellbeing.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to (1) Describe evidence-based programs, policies, and practices that can prevent most psychological and behavioral problems; (2) Describe a framework for bringing about significant cultural change relevant to human wellbeing; and (3) Describe a strategy for organizing a movement to change the practices that affect wellbeing.  
Keyword(s): Education



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