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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #168
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Being Part of the Solution: Antecedent Interventions for Students With Anxiety-Related Behaviors
Monday, May 30, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jeannie A. Golden, Ph.D.
Chair: Jeannie A. Golden (East Carolina University)
Presenting Authors: : JESSICA MINAHAN (Boston University)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four thirteen-eighteen year olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. In 1998, Friman and colleagues encouraged behavior analysts to study anxiety but very few behavior analysts have done so. Anxiety creates a unique set of prior learning experiences, discriminative stimuli for reinforcement and punishment, and establishing operations. In this tutorial, a behavioral analysis of anxiety-related behaviors including the identification of: the effect of prior learning history of reinforcement and punishment for anxiety-related behaviors, discriminative stimuli that signal anxiety-related behaviors and establishing operations for anxiety-related behaviors will be provided. When anxiety-related behaviors are due to skill deficits, explicitly teaching coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses is crucial. Using antecedent interventions with these children may be more effective than reward and punishment-based consequences from traditional behavior plans. The reduction of self-reported anxiety-related behavior by use of antecedent management and explicit instruction in self-regulation and self-monitoring strategies will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBAs, psychologists, counselors, health care providers, social workers and/or teachers who serve children with developmental disabilities or children who are typically-developing who exhibit anxiety-related and challenging behaviors.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the tutorial, the participant will be able to: (1) explain why antecedent interventions for children with anxiety-related behaviors may be more effective than reward and punishment-based consequences from traditional behavior plans; (2) describe how to explicitly teach coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses for anxiety-related behaviors; (3) describe how to implement antecedent strategies and interventions for reducing anxiety-related behaviors.
JESSICA MINAHAN (Boston University)
Jessica Minahan, BCBA, is an author and special educator with experience in both urban and suburban public school systems. She has worked with students who exhibit challenging behavior at home and in school; she specializes in creating behavior intervention plans for students who demonstrate explosive and unsafe behavior. She also works with students who have emotional and behavioral disabilities, anxiety disorders, or high-functioning autism. Jessica is currently an adjunct professor at Boston University and offers independent consultations to schools nationwide.



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