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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #121
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Creating Action Circles to Advance the Use of Evidence-Based Practices
Saturday, May 28, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156B
Area: CSS/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Elizabeth Virginia Krulder (California ABA; Values to Action)
CE Instructor: Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.
Abstract: In recent years, behavior analysts have increasingly been concerned to extend the application of behavior analysis to problems that have traditionally not gotten as much attention as they deserve, given their deleterious impact on human well-being. This symposium consists of a set of presentations that describe how Action Circles can be used to foster the dissemination of evidence-based practices. Over the past two years, members of Values to Action, a nonprofit organization that was created to further the evolution of nurturing practices, have organized multiple Action Circles. An Action Circle Consists of 6 to 10 people who agree to work over a limited time-- 2 to 3 months-- to produce a product that will contribute to the solution of a specific problem. This symposium will present descriptions of the results of action circles working on the following problems: (a) the reform of juvenile justice; (b) reducing disparities in reading proficiency; (c) getting behavioral health services integrated into hospitals and clinics; (d) advocating for an increase in funding for research on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: People who are trained in behavior analysis. Specifically, people who are BCBAs
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to 1. Describe how action circles are organized to achieve specific objectives 2. Describe: the key features for reforming criminal justice, a strategy for reducing disparities in reading proficiency, a strategy for getting BCBA's placed in hospitals and healthcare clinics, the deficiencies in federal support for research on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 3. Describe the Values to Action model for using action circles the widely disseminated evidence-based practices.
Diversity submission The Design of Action Circles to Reduce Disparities in Reading Proficiency
(Service Delivery)
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute; Values to Action)
Abstract: Children who are not proficient in reading by fourth grade are unlikely to ever become proficient readers. This makes it likely that they will fail academically and become consigned to low-paying jobs and lifelong poverty. Yet currently in the United States 52% of black children and 45% of Hispanic children lack basic skills in reading by fourth grade. Only 19% of Native American children are proficient in reading. This presentation will report on the design of a strategy that was developed by an Action Circle created by Values to Action. The strategy calls for the creation of local action circles in disadvantaged communities to reduce disparities in reading skill. These action circles will begin by organizing community support for a comprehensive effort to improve reading skill. Teachers who aspire to improve the reading skill of their students will be assisted in strengthening their instructional approach. At the same time, parents and local community organizations will be encouraged to test the proficiency of children in kindergarten and first grade and to provide supplemental instruction in reading using one of two well-established aids to instruction: the computerized system Funnix and the book, Teach Your Child to Read in a Hundred Easy Lessons.
Diversity submission Action Circles to Address the Problem of Climate Change
(Applied Research)
KYLEE DRUGAN-EPPICH (Insight Behavior Partnership, LLC)
Abstract: Climate change is a problem of human behavior. While comprehensive community-based initiatives are currently taking place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, experimental evaluations of such initiatives do not exist. The climate change Action Circle, organized through Values to Action, has focused on investigating how much behavioral research has been done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and begin advocacy for more federal funding for such research. Recent analyses have shown that the majority of studies aiming to curb the climate crisis involve the development of technologies (i.e. to measure and predict the changing climate). Consequently, our analyses have revealed an appalling lack of funding for behavioral science research that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This presentation will summarize the findings of the most recent reviews of behavioral research and its federal funding, as well as describe the current steps being taken by the action circle to continue addressing climate change from a behavior analytic perspective.
Diversity submission An Action Circle Guide to Reforming Juvenile Justice
(Service Delivery)
JULIANNE DICOCCO (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology/ Union School District)
Abstract: This presentation will describe the development of a guide to reforming the juvenile justice system in communities. Such reforms are vital to reducing the school to prison pipeline that harms the lives of many Black and Hispanic children. The guide was created by an Action Circle composed of members of Values to Action. The guide reviews the evidence on the high cost of incarcerating juveniles, the iatrogenic effects of traditional approaches to juvenile offenders, and the availability of more effective and less punitive approaches to reducing recidivism. But more than that, the guide makes the case for investing more in the prevention of offending. There are at least three types of programs that can prevent delinquency: family interventions, school programs, and community programs that engage youth in activities that promote prosocial behavior. Our guide to preventing juvenile delinquency was developed with the hope that communities and organizations will use this as a tool to begin addressing the issue in localized action circles in various geographic regions across the United States. Our next step will be to assist local communities in creating local action circles to promote the reforms that our guide calls for.
Diversity submission An Action Circle to Increase the Availability of Behavior Analysts in Healthcare Settings
(Service Delivery)
TONI ROSE AGANA (Caldwell University; Values to Action)
Abstract: Accessing quality healthcare is imperative for every individual’s health status, quality of life, and life expectancy. However, individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities may have medical fears and phobias compared to their typically developing peers. These fears and phobias are typically demonstrated by increased emotional reactions and avoidance behavior in the presence of healthcare providers in the healthcare setting. Emitting these behaviors poses difficulties for receiving quality healthcare services (e.g., routine-check-ups, dental cleaning). An Action Circle was created to devise a solution to increase behavioral services in the healthcare system. This presentation will discuss the following: (1) empirical evidence of behavioral strategies with proven benefit, (2) how applied behavior analysis (ABA) has successfully been integrated into medical practice, and (3) policies that can be implemented to expand ABA practices to improve healthcare delivery to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.



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