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 #211
Off to College and Still on ADHD: Two Non-Traditional Investigations
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Hunter Kyle Sudduth (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

About half of our children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to experience noteworthy difficulties well into adulthood. The patterns of poor attention and impulsiveness emitted by these individuals frequently cause problems in school, on the job, with the law, and in relationships. Yet best practices for adults diagnosed with ADHD have yet to be established. The papers in this symposium cover two unconventional interventions aimed at emerging adults diagnosed with ADHD within the college settingan ideal environment for shaping new adaptive behaviors. In the first paper, Benjamin Ramos will present on a self-protective bias often found in individuals diagnosed with ADHD. He will examine how performance in a Go/NoGo task was impacted by the bias of derived causal efficacy. In the second paper, Solomon Kurz will present on the effects of meditation practice on relevant symptoms for a small group of college students diagnosed with ADHD. The idiographic analyses will primarily focus on how morning meditation predicts attention and impulsivity throughout that day and into the next. Both presenters will discuss how their findings might inform how we can improve attention and heedfulness in adults diagnosed with ADHD, in the future.

Keyword(s): ADHD, adult, college, intervention
Driven to Distraction: The Impact of Derived Causal Efficacy on Inattention and Impulsivity
BENJAMIN RAMOS (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Individuals that struggle with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity experience difficulties in several life domains including struggles in academia, interpersonal relationships, marital satisfaction, and occupational performance. In spite of a history of academic and social failures, many individuals with ADHD maintain a self-protective bias in which they maintain high self-evaluations of causal efficacy. This may contribute to increased levels of inattention, impulsivity, and resulting dysfunction, as self-evaluation is rule-governed rather than a result of self-awareness and discrimination. This study aimed to examine how derived causal efficacy might impact inattention and impulsivity. Participants completed a series of Go/NoGo tasks with and without contextual cues that had derived causal efficacy functions through their relations with discriminative stimuli for high or low rates of responding. The impact of derived causal efficacy was then examined in terms of errors of omission (inattention) and errors of commission (impulsivity). Implications for behavioral interventions for ADHD will be discussed.

A Simple Intervention for a Neglected Group: Mindfulness Meditation in Small Groups for College Students Diagnosed With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

SOLOMON KURZ (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)

Though ADHD has traditionally been approached as a problem of childhood and adolescence, about a half of our youth diagnosed with ADHD continue to experience difficulties well into adulthood. Because of our historical perspective, researchers have not yet established best practices for serving emerging adults diagnosed with ADHD, such as those entering college. Over the past decade, clinical researchers have proposed several therapeutic interventions, many of which are variants of cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, there is budding evidence that cheaper options, like mindfulness meditation, are also effective. For the present study, we will present daily-diary data from college students who were diagnosed with ADHD and who participated in a semester-long meditation group. For each individual, we will examine how minutes meditated influenced ADHD difficulties and functional impairment, from day to day. Our main analytic approach will be with single-subject statistics based on the dynamic p-technique. We will highlight both idiographic processes and general trends across participants. Future directions will include additional variables of interest, improvements for the group structure, and comments on the general methodology.




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