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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Symposium #397
CE Offered: BACB
Health, Sport, and Fitness: Behavior Analytic Technologies to Improve Health
Monday, May 28, 2007
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Edward AB
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Guy S. Bruce (Appealing Solutions, LLC)
CE Instructor: Guy S. Bruce, Ed.D.

Children, persons with intellectual disabilities, their caretakers, and the general population are at increasing risk for illness and premature death because of their unhealthy eating and exercise habits. Since eating and exercising are behaviors, this problem provides an opportunity for behavior analysis to contribute to its solution. This symposium will present data on the effectiveness of behavior-analytic technologies that provide resources, training, and/or performance management interventions (such as goal-setting, feedback and incentives) to help persons at risk for illness and premature death to acquire and maintain healthier eating and exercise habits.

HealthVisor: Tools to be Lean and Healthy.
GUY S. BRUCE (Appealing Solutions, LLC), James Keefe (Warren Achievement Center)
Abstract: Persons with intellectual disabilities, their caretakers, and the general population are at increasing risk for illness and premature death because of their unhealthy eating and exercise habits. HealthVisor is an internet program that provides resources, training, and performance management tools to help people acquire and maintain eating and execise habits necessary to achieve better health. We will present pilot data on improvements in health achieved by users of the HealthVisor program.
Wellness Initiatives at the Judge Rotenberg Center.
MATTHEW L. ISRAEL (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: The Judge Rotenberg Center, a behavioral treatment center for special needs students, has developed a variety of procedures to encourage better nutrition in its staff and students. These include: (1) self-instructional software that enables nutrition films to be converted to self-teaching lessons given to the center's 960 staff members and to those of its students who are capable of benefiting from them; (2) incentive systems for encouraging staff to lower their total cholesterol through better eating; (3) educational lunches featuring nationally known nutritional experts; (4) student menus that reflect a largely plant-based diet; (5) incentives for students to choose healthy food when given the choice. Data on student and staff cholesterol improvement, as well as changes in student information and attitudes will be presented.
Behavioral versus Education-Alone Intervention to Manage Obesity in Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities: Results of Pilot Research.
RICHARD K. FLEMING (University of Massachusetts Medical School), Elise Cooke (Holliston Public Schools), Carol Curtin (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: Research on weight-loss programs for children with intellectual disabilities (ID) is lacking, desite the problem it presents in segments of the population (e.g., Down syndrome). This paper presents the results of pilot research on two interventions with adolescents with ID and their parents: 1) nutrition/activity education (NAE) alone, and 2) parent-supported weight reduction (PSWR), which combines NAE with training in behavior analytic procedures (monitoring, goal setting, stimulus control, feedback, reinforcement and contracting). Results of the pilot research are being used to inform a large randomized clinical trial (RCT) to begin in 2007 (R. Fleming, PI, NIDDK, R03DK070627-01A2). Intervention protocols will be described, and pilot/case study data will be presented on changes in participants’ Body Mass Index (BMIz), accelerometry readings, self-reported goal achievement and program satisfaction. Plans for the larger NIDDK study will also be discussed, with commentary on advantages and limitations of RCT versus within-subject research in the study of childhood obesity.
Using Known Effective ABA Technologies to Increase the Physical Activity Levels of Young Children: Principles and Practice.
MATTHEW R. MARTIN (Illinois State University), Thomas L. Sharpe, Jr. (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Abstract: A variety of physical activity linked physiological diseases (e.g., type II diabetes, obesity etc.) are being exhibited in youth with greater prevalence (Rosenbloom, 2002). Epidemiological literature shows an alarming trend with respect to the physical activity levels of our youth, and that this trend is supported by the geometric increase in physiological diseases that until now have been rare in young children (Center for Disease and Control, 2002). A primary challenge for educators is, therefore, one of increasing participation effort in physical activity (McKenzie et. al, 1996, Sallis & McKenzie, 1991). This presentation shows with support data two documented ABA technologies – public posting and goal setting – potential positive impact with young children. A treatment reversal coupled with a comparative control experimental design was implemented across three fifth grade elementary education classes (N=79, age M=10.8) engaged in volleyball and softball activity units, and with pedometers used to collect physical activity data. Results indicated that both treatments were effective in increasing the average number of steps taken per individual class as a function of each treatment exposure. Implications for the positive impact that the ABA community may have on the healthy lifestyle behaviors of youth are last discussed from study illustration vantages.



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