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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #336
Assessment of ACT Processes: Values and Psychological Flexibility
Monday, May 26, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Boulevard C
Area: CBM/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer Plumb (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: This symposium will discuss the development and application of assessment measures for psychological flexibility and values clarification and valued living. As an intervention, the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy model has been shown to be effective across populations and settings, and several components withinthe ACT model have been shown to be important processes of change in outcomes ranging from symptom reduction to overall quality of life (e.g., Hayes et al., 2006). However, there is currently a lack of evidence supporting the importance of values clarification as a process and psychological flexibility in relation to values-consistent living as an outcome. In this symposium, we will discuss (1) the role of values clarification in establishing larger patterns of values-consistent action under appetitive control, (2) the utility of using values assessment measures to aid in case conceptualization and tailoring clinical interventions, (3) some of the observed relationships between values and psychologically relevant outcomes (stress, workplace burnout, depression, anxiety, quality of life), and (4) understanding the construct of psychological flexibility (as a broad, flexible, repertoire of behavior in the face of negatively evaluated private experiences) and the development and application of a measure of psychological flexibility to a chronic pain sample.
Assessing Values in Clinical Samples: Utility for Case Conceptualization.
JENNIFER PLUMB (University of Nevada, Reno), Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno), Lindsay Martin (University of Nevada, Reno), Lorraine Platka-Bird (Private Practice)
Abstract: Increasing trends towards examining quality-of-life-related outcomes in applied interventions also increase the need for researchers to develop sensitive and useful measures of the mechanisms of change related to those outcomes. Quality of life is often measured as engagement with valued domains, but often without attention to an account of how one chooses those domains, how those domains come to exert control over one’s behavior, or the psychological variables impacting the maintenance of patterns of behavior consistent with those domains over time. The Personal Values Questionnaire (PVQ; Blackledge & Ciarrochi, 2004) is one assessment tool that has been developed to help understand and measure the processes involved in clarifying one’s values within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Data will be presented to show how this tool can be useful to increase the effectiveness of interventions within two clinical populations; depression and eating disorders. Preliminary data indicate that engagement with important values is related to psychological health and that avoidance- and pliance-based rationales for valuing is negatively correlated with overall psychological health. Relationships between these and other psychological variables will be discussed in terms of usefulness for targeting clinical interventions in these populations.
Using the Bulls-Eye to Measure Values Attainment and Believability.
TOBIAS LUNDGREN (University of Uppsala, Sweden), JoAnne Dahl (University of Uppsala, Sweden), Lennart Melin (University of Uppsala, Sweden)
Abstract: Bulls-Eye is an instrument that aims to measure values and valued living as described in Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The instrument is designed as an outcome measure, a process measure and a clinical tool. Bulls-Eye measure consists of two dartboard illustrations. One measures values attainment and the other measures degree of believability in thoughts, feelings, and memories that function as psychological barriers to living a valued life. This instrument demonstrates a test re-test reliability of .86 and criterion validity with depression and anxiety (DASS), life satisfaction (SWLS), acceptance (AAQ) and mindfulness (MASS) shows good results. The aims of the Bulls-Eye are to aid in values work within clinical interventions as well as in the measuring process of values.
The Role of Values in Reducing Workplace Stress and Increasing Quality of Life.
MIKAELA J. HILDEBRANDT (University of Nevada, Reno), Roger Vilardaga (University of Nevada, Reno), Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno), Jason Brian Luoma (University of Nevada, Reno), Barbara S. Kohlenberg (University of Nevada School of Medicine), Nancy Roget (CASAT, University of Nevada, Reno), Jacqueline Pistorello (University of Nevada, Reno), Tami R. Lazzarone (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Studies of stress and burnout are becoming increasingly relevant because of their demonstrated relationship to lost productivity and turnover in the workplace. Psychological variables are especially relevant within work settings where resources are limited and time demands are high. For this reason, it is important to develop assessment procedures for the identification of process measures related to these outcomes. The current studies examine the relationship between values-consistent living (as measured by the Personal Values Questionnaire) and various psychological outcomes, including stress, burnout, depression, anxiety and general health, within different professional settings. The first study examines the role of values-consistent living as it relates to stress and burnout within substance abuse counselors. Pearson Correlations suggest that greater values-consistent living is correlated with lower levels of burnout and higher levels of accomplishment and mental health functioning (p<.05). The second study examines the role of values-consistent living in respect to psychological outcomes within the staff of the Washoe County School District (p<.05). Results again suggest that greater values-consistent living is negatively related to depression, anxiety, stress and burnout, and positively related to overall health. Future research should investigate the outcomes of treatment interventions implemented to target these processes.
Measuring Psychological Flexibility in People with Chronic Pain.
RIKARD K. WICKSELL (Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden), Gunnar Olsson (Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden), Lennart Melin (Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden)
Abstract: Acceptance of pain and other private experiences, as opposed to reducing or controlling these experiences, has recently received more attention. Empirical support for treatments emphasizing exposure and acceptance, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is growing. Although questionnaires regarding coping strategies exist, very few instruments target psychological flexibility as a core process within these treatments. While the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ) (Hayes et al., 2004) has been developed for this purpose, the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire (CPAQ) has been the only measure designed to adequately measure pain willingness and activities engagement (Geiser, 1992; McCracken, 1999; McCracken et al., 2004). Clearly, more instruments are needed to assess relevant aspects of psychological in/flexibility, such as avoidance and cognitive fusion. Therefore, the Psychological Inflexibility in Pain Scale (PIPS) has been developed and psychometrically evaluated in two studies. The first (n=201) indicated a 2-factor solution with a total of 16 items measuring avoidance of pain and cognitive fusion with pain. In the second study (n=611), a similar factor structure was suggested, although including 17 items. Results also indicate adequate reliability and validity for the scale. Implications of these findings for clinical assessment, as well as research on pain related disability, will be discussed.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh