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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Special Event #8
Opening Event: Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Awards
Saturday, May 26, 2007
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
Douglas BC
Chair: Frances K. McSweeney (Washington State University)
Award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis: Teodoro Ayllon (Behavioral Consultant)
Abstract: Early experimental research in applied settings showed that the social environment affects a wide range of human behavior through differential consequences. First, we demonstrated that staff in mental hospitals often maintain the patients’ symptoms by the social attention that they produce. Next, we demonstrated that most of these symptoms can be eliminated and adaptive ones established in their place by using a “real world” system of incentives for engaging in constructive, “normal” behavior. We have systematically replicated these findings in varied environments, including a medium-security prison, a school for the trainable retarded, regular schools, and, most recently, in a rehabilitation hospital. A parallel line of research on the influence of home environments indicates that parents can eliminate problem behaviors by differentially reinforcing their children’s adaptive behaviors. The cumulative results of these and other applied studies show that many of the human problems observed in clinical, rehabilitation, educational, and work settings can be minimized by altering the social environments to maximize adaptive behavior.
TEODORO AYLLON (Behavioral Consultant)
Dr. Teodoro Ayllon has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and families. He lectures on a therapeutic approach that regards problematic behavior, largely, as a child’s effort to deal with, and control, his social environment. As it happens, the typical parental efforts to deal with problematic behavior have unintended consequences that tend to maintain negative patterns of behavior. Therefore, the treatment strategy is to replace ineffective parental practices with practices that encourage a child to seek positive experiences with his family. Dr. Ayllon is a Licensed Psychologist in the State of Georgia, and maintains a private practice in Atlanta. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston in Texas. Dr. Ayllon is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and holds Board Certification, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology (ABPP). Over the years, Dr. Ayllon has served as a consultant to psychiatric hospitals, prison systems, schools, as well as private organizations and state and federal agencies. He has published over 80 scientific articles, and four books on therapeutic methods involving the emotional and behavioral problems of adults, teenagers, and children. They include, Ayllon & Azrin, The Token Economy: A Motivational System for Therapy and Rehabilitation, 1968; Ayllon, Milan, Roberts, & McKee, Correctional Rehabilitation and Management: A Psychological Approach, 1979; Ayllon & Freed, Stopping Baby’s Colic, 1989; Ayllon, T., How to Use Token Economy and Point Systems, 1999 (2nd Ed.).
Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis: Eitan Eldar (Zinman College, Israel)
Abstract: During the past 20 years the education system in Israel has gradually changed its attitude towards behavior analysis – from rebuff to unswerving support. The planned process of dissemination was based on the following principles: training of educators from the various sectors; providing support in basic implementation of quality behavioral programs in schools; maintaining ongoing cooperation with superintendents; rehabilitating pupils with severe behavior problems with which the education system had not succeeded in coping and returning these pupils to the system; writing books in Hebrew; maintaining a systematic research replication program in areas pertaining to the improvement of behavior and the inclusion of pupils with difficulties; and using common language. A unique model was developed that integrated ABA with physical education and sport. This strategy helped to ease the introduction of ABA into the schools and many principals saw it as a suitable way to deal with severe challenges. Fading out the physical education component in some cases left ABA as the central educational means used by the school. The dissemination strategy, data about the graduates (three in the first year; 40 this year), and the extent of interest in ABA services shown by the education system will be presented.
EITAN ELDAR ELDAR (Zinman College, Israel)
Dr. Eitan Eldar is the founder and director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Center (Teaching, Community Services & Research) at the Zinman College in Israel. He has been widely acknowledged by the educational community for his extraordinary efforts to fulfill the goals, values, and mission of disseminating behavior analysis. He has written numerous papers and books, authored the first applied behavior analysis (ABA) textbook in Hebrew and served as the first chairman of the Israeli Association of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Eldar designed a model for individual full inclusion in general education settings for autistic students that has been adopted by the Ministry of Education countrywide. Dr. Eldar has organized workshops and conferences on various topics related to the enhancement of services the ABA science can offer to improve the quality of daily living for parents, para-professionals, and educators. Throughout the past three decades, Dr. Eldar has been the leading supervisor of countless intervention programs aimed at helping children identified as having behavior difficulties or learning disabilities to successfully cope in regular educational settings. His unique innovative model, which integrates physical activity and games as a context for behavioral rehabilitation, has been warmly adopted by schools countrywide.
Award for Public Service in Behavior Analysis: Henry S. (Hank) Pennypacker (University of Florida)
Abstract: Over the past 25 years, basic behavior analytic concepts and terminology have slowly seeped into the vernacular of the culture. Terms like ‘reinforcement’ and ‘consequences’ are now in general use. Recently, two programs aimed at coping with urban poverty, notable for their use of incentives at the level of individual behavior, were launched amid widespread publicity. At least one is enjoying considerable success. Absent was any mention of the concept of contingencies or of the contribution of our field. Even as behavior analysis is now making implicit contributions in the public policy arena, there is an intense need for our expertise in the realm of international aid and development. Noncontingent dispersal of vast sums of aid money has created a number of cultural and humanitarian disasters and, in some cases, diminished our own national security. I will propose a mechanism that will give leaders in our field an opportunity to educate policy makers in the field of international development regarding the benefits of contingency analysis in organizations.
HENRY S. PENNYPACKER (University of Florida)
Dr. Henry S. (Hank) Pennypacker, Professor Emeritus in Psychology at the University of Florida, received his Ph.D. under Gregory Kimble from Duke University in 1962. Professor Kimble introduced him to Ogden Lindsley in 1961 and a lifelong friendship developed that led Hank into the field of behavior analysis. Focusing on education, Hank developed with Jim Johnston a behavioral technology of college teaching that influenced the careers of many leaders in the field. Later they produced a basic methods text, which will soon appear in its third edition. As Chairman of the Peer Review Committee in Florida during the late 1970s, Hank launched and led the effort to train and certify behavioral service delivery workers. This evolved into the present BCBA program. For the past 40 years, he has focused on building and disseminating a technology of proficient manual breast examination as a means of early detection of breast cancer. This serves as the platform for his work on technology transfer. Hank served as President of the Florida Association of Behavior Analysis and the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies since 2001.
Award for Impact of Science on Application: Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Current research seems to suggest that relational operants exist, they impact other behavioral processes, and that they are a core feature of language and cognition. If that is the case, we have a new way forward to deal with complex human behavior, but we are also likely to see a confusing period inside behavior analysis.
STEVEN C. HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Dr. Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 30 books and nearly 400 scientific articles, his career has focused on a behavioral analysis of the nature of human language and cognition and the application of this to new interventions. In 1992, he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as among the top 30 psychologists in the world based on the citation impact of his writings. Dr. Hayes has been President of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the Association for Psychological Science (previously the American Psychological Society). He served a five-year term on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health. In 2000, Division 25 awarded him the Don F. Hake Award for Exemplary Contributions to Basic Behavioral Research and Its Applications.
Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions in Behavior Analysis: The May Institute
Abstract: *Dennis C. Russo, Ph.D., ABPP will accept the award on behalf of May Institute. May Institute was founded in 1955 in the seaside village of Chatham, Massachusetts, by Dr. Jacques M. May and his wife, Marie-Anne. Their vision was to help children with disabilities, including their twin boys with autism, lead the fullest lives possible. Today, the Institute (annual budget, $100M) is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world, with centers from Maine to Florida and Massachusetts to California. Each year, May Institute provides behavioral services to more than 26,000 children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, brain injury, mental illness, and behavioral healthcare needs. The Institute’s 2,200 employees include more than 40 licensed and credentialed doctoral-level professionals with significant experience in behavior analysis–a concentration of expertise that rivals that of many universities. These senior-level experts are joined by over 50 staff with BCBA and BCABA certification. May Institute is unique in the extent to which it has systematically utilized the principles and methods of behavior analysis in its administrative organization and management practices. The majority of its executive and senior management staff, and over 90% of its senior clinical staff, hold doctoral-level degrees and/or BCBA certification and are highly experienced in behavior analysis.
DENNIS C. RUSSO (The May Institute)
Specialized programs for children and adolescents include six private schools for students with autism, a school for students with brain injury, and 22 community-based group homes. The Institute operates 77 group homes and 25 supported living apartments for adults with autism, developmental disabilities, or psychiatric disorders, and seven regional day treatment and vocational rehabilitation programs. Its 38 behavioral health programs for children and adults include clinics, hospital-based programs, and community drop-in centers. May Institute also provides home-based and early intervention services to well over 500 families and consultation to more than 200 public school systems annually. The Institute’s publication record over the past 25 years includes over 340 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books. Its professional staff have conducted over 1,700 invited presentations to international, national, and regional audiences. In 1998, the Institute established an APA-accredited internship program with an applied behavioral track, and has since trained 67 pre-doctoral clinical psychology interns and 36 post-doctoral fellows. In partnership with May, Northeastern University offers a Master of Science degree in applied behavior analysis, which has been granted to over 740 graduate students to date. Perhaps the Institute’s most enduring contribution to the field has been its instrumental role in bringing behavior analysis into the public domain on an unprecedented scale, helping to bridge the gap that might otherwise exist between a research-based methodology and the mainstream application of that methodology. After five decades of unsurpassed expertise and exceptional care, May Institute continues to profoundly impact the lives of the children and adults it serves.
Award for Contribution to the Foundation of ABA: Jerry Mertens (St. Cloud State University)
Abstract: Thanks to all involved in my receiving this award. My humble appreciation necessitates sharing the honor. Over the years some of you have extended individually your thanks to me for the early ABA effort, and heard my reply, “Thanks, but an individual never made a group.” Many good individuals stepped forth some 33+ years ago to make ABA function, and that same stepping forward is needed even more today. In my seven minutes, let me first look at some of the unsung heroes and heroines of early ABA, fun moments in our early history, and what I see as areas for future efforts within ABA. In my conclusion to a presentation at the ABA 25th Anniversary, I used a take off on the famous Kennedy quote, “Ask not what ABA can do for you, but what you can do for ABA.” Let us continue to work on the environmental conditions that generate in all of us in the ABA community contributions of time, talent, and/or money. If most ABA members live by this suggestion, our entire ABA community will be living a productive use of the terms heroes and heroines, considering the reservations Skinner wrote about on heroes and heroines.
GERALD C. MERTENS (St. Cloud State University)
Prof. Jerry Mertens had no intention of going to college following high school graduation. After three summer months of working in a tannery handling animal hides eight hours a day, he had learned the value of college. Jerry first considered psychology as a possible area of study after volunteering as a human guinea pig in the now infamous early 1950 military studies of LSD. Jerry’s undergraduate education in psychology was mentalistic and eclectic, where supposedly by a mysterious process all things learned would fall together in a useful fashion. In his undergraduate training, Dollard and Miller was the closest thing to a “Behavioristic” position given much attention. Jerry’s introduction to behavior analysis orientation came from sources not usually found in any of the usual “Early Behavior Analysis History Trees or Charts.” His introduction to behavior analysis was at “Ole Miss” (the University of Mississippi), where he was mentored by J. B. Wolfe, of “Chimp-o-mat” fame and Bill Crowder. Following Ole Miss, Jerry spent time at “Fort Skinner in the Desert” (Arizona State University) with Jack Michael as an advisor and powerful influence. From there, Jerry took a faculty position at St. Cloud State University, where, at 71 years old, he is currently starting his 43rd year.



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