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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Symposium #489
The Effectiveness of Mindfulness Interventions in Non-Clinical Settings
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Columbus Hall AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Rachael Judice (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Richard T. Codd (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Center of WNC, PA)

Mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly popular approaches for facilitating positive behavior change in a wide array of clinical and non-clinical settings. Teaching mindfulness practices as an adjunctive intervention may help to facilitate behavior change by increasing sensitivity to contingencies supporting more effective action. The conditions under which mindfulness is a useful adjunctive treatment have not yet been fully explored. This symposium will offer data from two preliminary studies evaluating the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions. The first paper explores the effectiveness of simple, non-secular meditation on individuals undergoing out-patient substance abuse rehabilitation treatment. The second paper discusses the effects on the infusion of meditation practices and reinforcement systems on the on-task behavior of third and fourth grade students in a private elementary school setting. These studies suggest that meditation and mindfulness exercises may result in improvements in self-management. Implications for the integration of mindfulness practices into existing behavioral interventions will be discussed.

Raja Yoga Meditation for Relapse Prevention
DEBESH MALLIK (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), David R. Perkins (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Despite the availability of various substance abuse treatments, substance misuse and the negative consequences associated with it remain a serious problem in our society. Various types of meditation have been evaluated for treatment of substance use disorders, but the research has not drawn any specific conclusions. This may be due lack of both an equivalent control group, and spiritual emphasis. Therefore, the current study included a spiritual emphasis (12-steps) and inner eye concentrative meditation (n=15), a progressive relaxation group (n=10), and a treatment-as-usual control (TAU) group (n=21). The meditation technique was a simple meditation technique where the attention of focus remains on the point between the eyebrows. The current study examined changes in substance use, general psychological distress and dysfunction, craving, and 12-step involvement between the three conditions over a 6 week period. Compared to the average of all groups meditation was significant in predicting abstinence from substances, χ2 (2) = 6.39, p = .0115. This finding gives some credence to spirituality being a protective factor against substance use, and suggests the benefits of using non-secular meditations in drug treatment facilities. Behavioral implications will be discussed.
Incorporating Mindfulness to Increase the Efficacy of Traditional Classroom Management Strategies
ERIN KASSON (Saint Louis University), Alyssa N. Wilson (Saint Louis University)
Abstract: The effectiveness of classroom management strategies used in traditional education settings could often be increased using adaptations specified for the class and/or individual students. Research on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in classroom settings have begun to emerge. To date, however, minimal research has focused on infusing mindfulness strategies into traditional classroom management. Therefore, the current study sought to determine the effects of mindfulnessbased strategies in a classroom setting. Students attending a private elementary school were identified by their teacher as needing additional assistance with reducing off-task behaviors (talking out of turn, non-compliance, out of seat, etc.). Researchers first trained teachers to use environmental manipulations, prompting strategies, and behavioral management techniques in the classroom. Next, researchers implemented class-wide mindfulness activities and reinforcement incentive systems to further assist with classroom management. Environmental manipulation along with teacher training was initially effective in altering student behavior. After mindfulness was introduced, however, on-task behaviors increased compared to baseline levels. Data collected to date suggest that mindfulness in conjunction with traditional behavior analytic interventions can assist teachers with managing student behavior.



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