Association for Behavior Analysis International

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Applied Behavior Analysis International
FormerlyThe Association of Behavior Analysis
TypeNonprofit, 501(c)(6)
FoundedKalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.
(1974 (1974))
Headquarters,
U.S.
Websitewww.abainternational.org

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting behavior analysis. The organization has over 9,000 members. The group organizes conferences and publishes journals on the topic of applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABAI has issued detailed, specific position papers intended to guide practitioners of ABA. The ABAI publishes six scholarly journals including The Psychological Record and their primary organ, Perspectives on Behavior Science, formerly The Behavior Analyst.[1] They also publish an informational journal, Education and Treatment of Children, describing practical treatment of children with behavioral problems.[2]

ABAI has been criticized for its connections to the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC), a school that has been condemned by the United Nations for torture. According to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), ABAI has endorsed the methods of the JRC, including its use of the Graduated Electronic Decelerator, a device that delivers painful electric skin shocks, by allowing them to present at ABAI's annual conferences.[3][4][non-primary source needed] ABAI has honored Robert A. Sherman for his legal defense of the JRC's use of aversive punishments on its students.[5][better source needed][6] In 2022, ABAI's membership voted to support a position that strongly opposed contingent electric skin shock.[7]

History[edit]

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) was founded in 1974 as the MidWestern Association for Behavior Analysis (MABA) to serve as an interdisciplinary group of professionals, paraprofessionals, and students.[8] The first annual conference was a response by a group of behavior analysts who were having problems presenting their work at psychology conferences and other related events.[9] Some of the members included Sidney Bijou, James Dinsmoor, Bill Hopkins, and Roger Ulrich. The first headquarters were located on the campus of Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The association changed its name to the Association for Behavior Analysis in 1979.[10] In 2002, the headquarters were moved off WMU's campus. In 2008, the association relocated to nearby Portage, Michigan (where it is today), and added "International" to its name.[11] ABAI has more than 9,000 members and 28,000 affiliate members .[12]

ABAI is the primary professional organization in the field of behavior analysis, which it serves in three ways. First, ABAI supports three areas of study that comprise the broader discipline: (a) the experimental analysis of behavior, which is dedicated to basic research and research methods;[13] (b) applied behavior analysis, which evaluates the application of basic behavioral principles to socially relevant problems;[14] and (c) the philosophical, conceptual, and theoretical foundations of behavior analysis.[15] Second, ABAI supports the practice of behavior analysis, which applies behavioral principles to improve the conditions of people in workplaces, clinics, and schools, and other animals (e.g., companion, zoo, research, working) through intervention and prevention.[16] Finally, ABAI serves its members by providing an organizational structure through which scientists and practitioners—both within and related to the discipline—can share and disseminate knowledge. This structure includes (a) leadership in the form of an elected Executive Council and several boards and committees; (b) administration, including a chief operating officer and 20 staff members; and (c) organizational services. The services include support for over 50 Special Interest Groups[17] and 90 nationally and internationally affiliated chapters;[18] numerous award programs;[19] position statements and task force reports[20] on client and student rights (e.g., effective education and treatment) and interventions that lack empirical support and/or have significant ethical implications (e.g., contingent electric skin shock, conversion therapy, facilitated communication); planning and managing conferences,[21] including a main conference held annually in May, annual autism conferences, biennial international conferences , and specialty conferences (e.g., conceptual issues, culturo-behavior science, substance abuse); and the publication of scholarly journals (e.g., The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Analysis in Practice,[22] Behavior and Social Issues[23], Perspectives on Behavior Science) and a newsletter – Inside Behavior Analysis.[24] For additional information on ABAI’s support of the discipline and practice of behavior analysis and its leadership, administration, and organizational services, see the ABAI webpage.[25]

Activities and positions[edit]

Conferences[edit]

ABAI organizes various conferences related to the practice and promotion of behavior analysis. Every two years, ABAI hosts an international conference.[26] The association also holds an annual autism conference, and an annual conference dedicated to the advancements of behavior analysis.[27][28] Additionally, ABAI has hosted many single-track conferences on topics of special interest to behavior analysts, such as theory and philosophy, climate change, behavioral economics, and education.[29] The Judge Rotenberg Center has attended some ABAI conferences to promote their organization, which has been condemned by the United Nations as having used methods which have been classified as torture.[3][4]

Journals[edit]

The Association of Applied Behavior Analysis International publishes four journals about behavior analysis various subjects of behavior analysis:

  • The Analysis of Verbal Behavior is a collection of experiments and theoretical papers regarding verbal behavior and applied behavior analysis.[30]
  • Behavior Analysis in Practice is a peer-reviewed journal that includes articles on how to efficiently practice applied behavior analysis.[30]
  • Perspectives on Behavior Science (previously The Behavior Analyst) is a journal that includes literary reviews, reinterpretations of published data, theoretical and experimental articles, and articles that discuss behaviorism as a philosophy.[30]
  • The Psychological Record includes articles concerning behavioral analysis, behavioral science, and behavior theory. It was founded in 1937 by Jacob Robert Kantor.[31]
  • Behavior and Social Issues
  • Education and Treatment of Children

Position Statements[edit]

ABAI has published seven position statements which are nominated and voted on by membership. These include:

  • Position Statement on the Use of CESS, 2022 [32]
  • Statement on Conversion Therapy and Practices, 2022[33]
  • Expression of Support for the Asian-American Pacific Islander Community, 2021[34]
  • Commitment of Equity, 2020 [35]
  • Restraint and Seclusion, 2010[36]
  • Facilitated Communication, 1995 [37]
  • Students' Rights to Effective Education, 1990 [38]
  • Right to Effective Behavioral Treatment, 1989 [39]

Peter Sturmey suggests in his chapter on Ethics that practitioners use these statements to guide their practice.[40]

The Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA) provides financial support for ABAI activities and serve as a clearinghouse for outside funding of ABAI activities.[41]

Awards[edit]

Through the sister organization of SABA, several categories of awards are given to individuals, organizations, and ABA research during the ABAI annual convention.

As of 2022, they offer 5 awards:

  • The Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis [42]
  • The Scientific Translation [43]
  • The International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis
  • The Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media[44]
  • The Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis [45]

Controversy[edit]

One activist group, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), has published critical blog posts about The Association for Behavior Analysis International, suggesting that it provides a platform for the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC), a controversial school which uses aversives.[46][4] Specifically, the ASAN president Ari Ne'eman reviewed two books for Vox in which he criticized both the Autism Society of America and ABAI for not prohibiting the employees of JRC to submit presentations while it was concurrently under investigation from the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Justice, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.[47]

In 1987, it gave the lawyer, Robert Sherman, the Humanitarian Award for the Right to Effective Treatment[6] for winning a case that guaranteed the Judge Rotenberg Center the right to continue using aversives on its students.[5][better source needed] According to the ASAN, ABAI has endorsed the Judge Rotenberg Center's use of the Graduated Electronic Decelerator, an aversive device that administers painful electric shocks and has been condemned by the United Nations as torture, by allowing them to present at their annual conferences.[46][4]

The Therapist Neurodiversity Collective made a statement about ABAI's connection to the JRC: "We are appalled and horrified that the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) chooses to condone painful electric shock aversion therapy at the Judge Rotenberg Center, which the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has condemned. We are horrified that the JRC will continue the fight to be allowed to continue torturing human beings."[48]

In 2022, ABAI's membership voted to support a position that strongly opposed contingent electric skin shock.[49]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Publications - Association for Behavior Analysis International".
  2. ^ "Journals - Association for Behavior Analysis International".
  3. ^ a b Network, Autistic Self Advocacy (2015-05-22). "ASAN Statement On JRC At Association for Behavior Analysis International Conference". Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  4. ^ a b c d Network, Autistic Self Advocacy (2019-05-23). "Association for Behavior Analysis International Endorses Torture". Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  5. ^ a b "Appointments and Resignations - Ambassador to Portugal: Who Is Robert Sherman? - AllGov - News". web.archive.org. 2018-07-01. Archived from the original on 2018-07-01. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  6. ^ a b Etzel, Barbara C.; Hineline, Philip N.; Iwata, Brian A.; Johnston, James M.; Lindsley, Ogden R.; McGrale, Jill E.; Morris, Edward K.; Pennypacker, H. S. (1987). "The ABA humanitarian awards for outstanding achievement in pursuit of the right to effective treatment". The Behavior Analyst. 10 (2): 235–237. doi:10.1007/BF03392432. ISSN 0738-6729. PMC 2742247. PMID 22477980.
  7. ^ Association for Behavior Analysis, International. "Position Statement on the Use of CESS". Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  8. ^ (1978) The Behavior Analyst, 1(1)
  9. ^ (1979) The Behavior Analyst, 2(2)
  10. ^ Craighead, W.E. & Nemeroff, C.B. (2004). Association for Behavior Analysis. In The Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science. (3rd ed., pp. 87-88) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
  11. ^ "Membership - Association for Behavior Analysis International" (PDF). Abainternational.org. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior".
  13. ^ "Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis".
  14. ^ "Perspectives on Behavior Science".
  15. ^ Heward, William L.; Critchfield, Thomas S.; Reed, Derek D.; Detrich, Ronnie; Kimball, Jonathan W. (2022-06-01). "ABA from A to Z: Behavior Science Applied to 350 Domains of Socially Significant Behavior". Perspectives on Behavior Science. 45 (2): 327–359. doi:10.1007/s40614-022-00336-z. ISSN 2520-8977. PMC 9163266. PMID 35719874.
  16. ^ "Special Interest Groups of ABAI".
  17. ^ "Chapters of ABAI".
  18. ^ "Student Award Opportunities".
  19. ^ "Position Statements of ABAI".
  20. ^ "ABAI Upcoming Events".
  21. ^ "Behavior Analysis in Practice".
  22. ^ "Behavior and Social Issues".
  23. ^ "Inside Behavior Analysis".
  24. ^ "Association for Behavior Analysis International".
  25. ^ "Conference Home - Association for Behavior Analysis International". Abainternational.org. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Convention Home - Association for Behavior Analysis International". Abainternational.org. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Conference Home - Association for Behavior Analysis International". Abainternational.org. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Archives - Association for Behavior Analysis International". Abainternational.org. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  29. ^ a b c "Welcome - Association for Behavior Analysis International". Abainternational.org. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  30. ^ "The Psychological Record". Association for Behavior Analysis International. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  31. ^ Association for Behavior Analysis, International. "Position Statement on the Use of CESS".
  32. ^ "Policy Statement on Conversion Therapy and Practices, 2021 - Association for Behavior Analysis International". www.abainternational.org. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  33. ^ "Expression of Support for the Asian-American Pacific Islander Community, 2021 - Association for Behavior Analysis International". www.abainternational.org. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  34. ^ "Commitment to Equity, 2020 - Association for Behavior Analysis International". www.abainternational.org. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  35. ^ "Restraint and Seclusion, 2010 - Association for Behavior Analysis International". www.abainternational.org. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  36. ^ "Facilitated Communication, 1995 - Association for Behavior Analysis International". www.abainternational.org. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  37. ^ "Students' Rights to Effective Education, 1990 - Association for Behavior Analysis International". www.abainternational.org. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  38. ^ "Right to Effective Behavioral Treatment, 1989 - Association for Behavior Analysis International". www.abainternational.org. Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  39. ^ Sturmey, Peter (2015). "Ethics, Controversial Treatments, and Applied Behavior Analysis". In Richard M. Foxx; James A. Mulick (eds.). Controversial Therapies for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities: Fad, Fashion, and Science in Professional Practice. Routledge. p. 438. ISBN 9781317623823.
  40. ^ "Strategic Plan". saba.abainternational.org. Retrieved 2022-09-13.
  41. ^ "Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis Award". Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.
  42. ^ "Award for Scientific Translation". Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
  43. ^ "Effective Presentation of Behavior Analysis in the Mass Media Award". Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
  44. ^ "Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis Award". Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
  45. ^ a b Network, Autistic Self Advocacy (2015-05-22). "ASAN Statement On JRC At Association for Behavior Analysis International Conference". Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  46. ^ Ne'eman, Ari (January 21, 2006). "The errors—and revelations—in two major new books about autism". Vox. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  47. ^ "Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)". Therapist Neurodiversity Collective. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  48. ^ Association for Behavior Analysis, International. "Position Statement on the Use of CESS". Retrieved November 17, 2022.

External links[edit]