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 #205
Addressing Violence With Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Montreux, Swissotel
Area: CSE
Chair: Rocky Haynes (University of South Florida - Tampa)

A Behavior Analytic Approach to Intervening With Abusive Partners: A Conceptual Analysis and Suggestions for Future Research

Domain: Service Delivery
SAM BLANCO (Endicott College), Cheryl J. Davis (
7 Dimensions Consulting/Endicott College

Intimate Partner Violence is a social problem that impacts more than 12 million Americans per year, accounts for 15% of all violent crime, and costs the United States an estimated 8 billion dollars per year. Despite the gravity of this problem, behavior analysts have been largely silent on the topic. This paper explores the contingencies for maintaining abusive behavior as well as interventions in place to attempt to change abusive behavior. Suggestions for future research in this area, as well as obstacles to such research, will be discussed. A systematic review of current batterer intervention programs will be presented, along with ideas for improvement amongst these programs, using evidence-based practices for effective behavior change. The call to action from Meyers (1995) did not promote action by our field, but we have an ethical obligation as a field to act, and act now. We need to fulfill Skinners vision: that the study of human behavior can bring about large changes for mankind. Venturing into areas of human behavior that are incredibly challenging is a necessary first step in further realizing his vision.

An Applied Behavior Analytic Account of Child Abuse and Neglect
Domain: Applied Research
ROCKY HAYNES (University of South Florida - Tampa), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Abstract: In 2013 there were 679,000 children who were victims of child abuse and neglect in the United States (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2015). Of the 679,000 children, 79.5% were victims of neglect, 18% were victims of physical abuse, 9% were victims of sexual abuse, with the remainder being victims of psychological maltreatment (U.S. Department., 2015). Additionally, 1,520 children died as victims of child abuse and neglect- a number that translates to 2.04 in 1000 (U.S. Department., 2015). The recognition of child abuse and neglect as a social problem has only existed in the western culture for a little over 100 years with many theories presented as to why the phenomenon continues to occur. This paper builds on the conceptual foundation of Lutzker, Frame, & Rice (1982) and Mattaini & Thyer (1996) eco-behavior perspective for treatment of child abuse and neglect (CAN) and provides suggestions for future lines of research.

How "Honorable" Are Honor Crimes?

Domain: Theory
THOURAYA AL-NASSER (University of Nevada, Reno), Todd A. Ward (bSci21 Media, LLC), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)

This paper will outline and analyze the socio-cultural contingencies that maintain honor crimes as a cultural practice and their role in cultural survival from a macrocontingency and macrobehavior level and offer number of recommendations to reduce this cultural practice taking Jordan as a case study. The notion that religion, mainly Islam, enforced honor crimes is a misconception. Honor crimes are committed in any case a female shames her family by having premarital sexual relationship(s), misfortunate behavior or when a wife has an adulterous affair. Many families deal with this covertly and quietly far from the interference of any form of authority by choosing a family male member usually the father, brother or in some cases an uncle to "cleanse" the family's honor by murdering the female who "dishonored" the family. Number of macrocontingencies shared in the Arab world that may lead to these crimes: gossip and rumor, victim of rape, pregnant out of wedlock, marrying against family wishes, inheritance, missing from home, talking to a man who is not a family member, caught in an act of prostitution or in a brothel, external tribal and cultural influence, illiteracy and unemployment on part of the perpetuator. Number of recommendations are suggested in this paper to reduce this cultural practice in Jordan as: to change the law related to honor crimes in Jordan, the King forces change, the media highlight the fact that honor crimes are a cultural practice not a religious one, to change regulations related to Correctional and Rehabilitation center.

A Formation of Categorization and Conceptualization of Terrorism as a Result of the Transfer of Function Across Stimuli
Domain: Theory
SUZZANNA JAVED (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to examine and analyze the formation of equivalences and categorization. Further, it aims to focus on the conceptualization of terrorism as a result of the transfer of function across stimuli. Additionally, it is conceptually driven to understand categorization in cultural and social language reinforcement of our environment. Sidman (2003) proposed a principle, that the physical and social environmental factors should be studied and understood in effort to change the targeted behavior. Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, and Roche (2001) proposed that there must be a rationale for individuals to hate someone who they have not met. Behavior analysts have started to empirically analyze language to understand the role of human behaviors which include bias and categorization. Moreover, educational methods that aimed to reduce prejudice have actually contributed to strengthen the stereotypes via categorization and derived relational responding. Suppression of prejudice thoughts initially can show significant success. However, it can lead to increase of disturbing thoughts over a span of time. Therefore, suppressed behaviors such as, prejudice thoughts can increase significantly when individuals are not coming in contact with direct contingency of de-categorization. Racial categorization contingencies may result in the individuals being less willing to change their prejudice behavior. Therefore, techniques utilized in acceptance, commitment therapy can help to assist in reducing categorization in human learning. Additionally, multiple examplar instruction can also facilitate in learning to understand human individuality.



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