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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Special Event #8
CE Offered: BACB
Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards
Saturday, May 24, 2014
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): SABA Awards
Chair: Kurt Salzinger (Hofstra University)
CE Instructor: Kurt Salzinger, Ph.D.

SABA Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis: On Some Ways to Have a Behavior Analyst or Two


On behalf of all of us working to develop behavior analysis throughout Europe, Dr. Hughes said it is his great honor to accept this award. He said he has been lucky enough to work with a host of talented and motivated colleagues from all over the globe who have shared the common goal and value of promoting behavior analysis. In the United Kingdom, they focused on developing training programs that will build a critical mass of competent behavior analysts who are able to contribute across a number of areas to help improve lives. In 2003, Dr. Hughes and Dr. Steve Noone started the first BCBA accredited course in ABA in Europe at Bangor University. The course currently enrolls about 60 students a year, and now 18 similar courses across Europe are training the next generation of behavior analysts. The BACB was an important catalyst to this growth, and Dr. Jerry Shook in particular was instrumental in supporting the efforts in Europe. In this talk, Dr. Hughes describe the conditions that helped bring this about, some of the lessons they learned, and thank some of the people who helped make this happen. Behavior change has become the buzzword for politicians, policymakers, and nonbehavioral psychologists. Recently, Dr. Hughes received almost $3 million (U.S.) in funding from the Welsh European Funding Office to develop the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change. The center will bring together designers, sustainability expertise, neuroscientists, behavioral economists, and crucially, behavior analysts. This represents an exciting area for behavior analysis. However, behavior analysts remain in the minority, and there is much still to do. If we are to continue to grow we must work together, clarify and communicate our values and mission, be nice (especially to those who do not share our perspective), and think bigger in terms of where behavior analysis can have influence, Dr. Hughes wrote.

J. CARL HUGHES (Bangor University)
Dr. J. Carl Hughes, BCBA-D, is senior lecturer and consultant behavior analyst at the School of Psychology, Bangor University, Wales, and director of the MSc in Applied Behavior Analysis and the Wales Centre for Behaviour Change. He is also the deputy head for teaching and learning of the College for Health and Behavioural Science. He studied for his BSc in psychology in 1993 and obtained his Ph.D. in behavior analysis and verbal behavior in 2000, following which he took a teaching fellowship at the School of Psychology teaching behavior analysis to psychology students. In 2003, he and colleagues started the first BCBA accredited MSc in applied behavior analysis program in Europe. The program now enrolls more than 60 master’s degree students each year. In 1998, Dr. Hughes took over the organization of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Group, UK and Europe (EABG), the longest standing organization devoted to behavior analysis in Europe. Dr. Hughes is a founder and active member of the European Association of Behaviour Analysis, an organization that aims to promote the dissemination and training in behavior analysis across Europe. Dr. Hughes was also on the inaugural board of the newly founded UK-Society for Behaviour Analysis (UK-SBA), the first membership-based body aimed at promoting behavior analysis in the UK. Dr. Hughes has more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in several journals including the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Behavior Modification, and the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Dr. Hughes is an elected adviser for the Cambridge Centre for Behavioral Studies. Dr. Hughes has a number of research interests, including effective teaching methods, behavioral measurement, early behavioral intervention programs, reading instruction, and verbal behavior.

SABA Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis: Effecting Social Change in Georgia by Applying Behavior Analysis


Georgia was a Soviet Republic from 1924 to 1991, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin and of Eduard Shevardnadze. The Soviet Union’s collapse threw Georgia into civil war and, eventually, a break from Russian influence. Introducing applied behavior analysis in Georgia in 1997 resulted from an invitation to teach “modern Western” clinical psychology at Tbilisi State University. Our clinical training was behavioral, and our Kansas Ph.D.’s supervised by Donald Baer, with influence from Risley, Wolf, Sherman, Sheldon, Spradlin, and Morris, prepared us to apply behavior analysis in its widest sense to systems, organizations, programs, training, and individuals. Teaching ABA Practicum led us to institutions where children languished without proper care, food, or education. We saw a need, we had the knowledge and skills, and we had to challenge and change the system at government, university, and grass-roots levels. Courageous Georgian colleagues and cooperation of other organizations helped overcome hurdles. The closure of institutions, the emergence of inclusive education, the training of foster parents, caregivers, and teachers, and the support of families with children with special needs all required ABA skills, which we provided. The future is in the hands of a new generation of Georgian psychologists keen to apply behavior analysis widely and effectively.

BARRY S. PARSONSON (Applied Psychology International), JaneMary Castelfranc-Allen Rawls (Applied Psychology International)
Barry Parsonson received his master’s degree and post-graduate diploma from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Following this, he gained an assistant professorship at Waikato University in New Zealand and established an ABA-focused clinical program in 1973. Donald Baer supervised his Ph.D. in 1977 at Kansas. Later, they co-authored several book chapters on analyzing graphed data. Dr. Parsonson served as department chair and faculty dean at Waikato University and is a past president of the New Zealand Psychological Society. Dr. Parsonson and Dr. JaneMary Castelfranc-Allen established the Children of Georgia NGO after teaching ABA theory and practice in the former Soviet Georgia in 1997-99, and discovering abandoned and disabled children in terrible institutional conditions. A SABA International Development Grant in 2000 funded advanced ABA training and a manual introducing ABA. A revised edition has been translated as an introductory university text. For more than 15 years, Dr. Parsonson and Dr. Castelfranc-Allen have taught and promoted ABA in Georgia and now proudly see ABA practitioners there who are completing BCBA qualifications.  

SABA Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to Behavior Analysis: Integration of Behavioral and Pharmacological Methods in the Study and Treatment of Substance Use


For more than 35 years, the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has been a leading clinical research and research training program applying behavior analysis methods to the study and treatment of substance use. BPRU research has used the perspective and methodology of behavior analysis to study substance use and abuse as operant behavior that is influenced and/or controlled by its context and consequences. Human laboratory studies have examined the discriminative and reinforcing effects of drugs, examining influences on drug self-administration, choice behavior, and other indices of drug abuse liability. Outpatient therapeutic trials have integrated incentive-based behavior therapies with pharmacotherapies to assess their individual and interactive contributions to outcome. The most enduring contribution of the BPRU program is from its National Institutes of Health-supported postdoctoral research training program. With more than 100 graduates, the program has provided a research training and scientific productivity foundation for subsequent generations of scientists in the substance use and human behavioral pharmacology fields. This presentation will summarize and illustrate several areas of research from BPRU’s history.

GEORGE BIGELOW (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
George E. Bigelow, Ph.D., is a professor of behavioral biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he is director of the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) and director of its postdoctoral research training program on the human behavioral pharmacology of substance abuse. His graduate and postdoctoral training was in experimental psychology and psychopharmacology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Bigelow’s research has focused on the determinants and consequences of human drug self-administration, and on the use of behavior analysis methods in the study and treatment of substance abuse. His research has included many self-administered and abused substances--alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, and others--and has included controlled human laboratory research demonstrating drugs functioning as reinforcers and the controllability of drug self-administration by its consequences, as well as outpatient clinical trials of incentive-based behavior therapies both alone and when integrated with pharmacotherapies. He, Roland Griffiths and Maxine Stitzer have worked together for nearly four decades in leading the Hopkins/BPRU research and training program, in applying behavior analysis principles and methods to the study and treatment of substance use, and in training the next generations of clinical research scientists in this area.

SABA Award for International Publication



Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in learning about the winner of the SABA Award for International Publication.

Learning Objectives: Forthcoming.
Keyword(s): SABA Awards



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