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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Paper Session #390
Applications of Behavioral Medicine: Anorexia Nervosa and Exercise Pain
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM
Chair: Kate Happel Krautbauer (Eastern Michigan University)
A Behavior Analytic Conceptualization of Anorexia Nervosa
Domain: Theory
KATE HAPPEL KRAUTBAUER (Eastern Michigan University), Claudia Drossel (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Anorexia nervosa, the seemingly voluntary restriction of food intake, has the highest mortality rate of any behavioral disorder (estimates range from 5% to 13%), thus posing an urgent behavioral challenge. Despite the prevalence of food restriction (.4% among young women; subclinical restriction likely much higher), current understanding of anorexia’s etiology is limited, and evidence is lacking regarding consistently effective therapeutic interventions. The goal of this review is to detail and integrate conceptualizations across sociocultural, physiological, and behavior analytic levels of analyses to inform the development of effective and principle-based interventions for anorexia. We will provide a brief introduction to anorexia and explore theories of anorexia’s etiology along with sociocultural and vernacular understandings of the disorder. Then we will formulate a comprehensive behavior analytic conceptualization, considering models of activity anorexia, functional analyses of severe food restriction and its effects, and the potential shortfalls of existing therapeutic approaches. Finally, suggestions for treatment development are offered that directly emerge from this clinical behavior analytic framework.

The Relation Between Exercise, Pain, Verbal Behavior, and Coaching

Domain: Theory
PARSLA VINTERE (Queens College, City University of New York)

In the past few decades there has been an increase in the emphasis on importance of physical activity as one of the key factors affecting health. People often start engaging in physical activity following the no pain, no gain motto, which serves as a rule for behavior. While this rule may motivate a person, it also may prevent the operation of other contingencies that would be effective in the absence of this rule. In motor-skill activity, some discomfort may be helpful in some instances and harmful in others. It is difficult to discriminate between the two. Over time, faulty movement patterns may be developed - movements either involve unnecessary effort or pain leading to negative consequences. In some instances, pain leads to a deterioration of ones health, poor self-perception and quitting physical activity. The purpose of the present paper is to examine the relation between exercise, pain, verbal behavior and coaching practices. A case study of the faulty movement pattern change in a 55-year-old male is reported. Possible adjustments in the coaching and therapy practice are discussed.




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