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.


30th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2004

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #36
CE Offered: None

Stopping Kids from Killing Kids: Teaching Safety Skills to Children to Prevent Gun Play

Saturday, May 29, 2004
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Beacon H
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Raymond G. Miltenberger, Ph.D.
Chair: Michael B. Himle (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
RAYMOND G. MILTENBERGER (North Dakota State University)
Dr. Raymond Miltenberger received his bachelors degree in psychology from Wabash College in 1978 and his PhD in clinical psychology from Western Michigan University in 1985. After a predoctoral internship at the Kennedy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he took a position as assistant professor in the psychology department at North Dakota State University. Miltenberger is now a professor of psychology and Director of Clinical Training in the masters program at North Dakota State University. Miltenberger has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and numerous chapters in edited texts. In addition, he wrote a behavior modification textbook entitled Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures (now in its 3rd edition) and edited a text with Doug Woods entitled, Tic Disorders, Trichotillomania, and Other Repetitive Behavior Disorders: Behavioral Approaches to Analysis and Treatment. Miltenberger’s research has focused on the analysis and treatment of repetitive behavior disorders (such as tics and trichotillomania) and evaluation of procedures for teaching safety skills to children (such as abduction prevention and the prevention of gun play). Miltenberger is the recipient of various awards including the Western Michigan University Distinguished Alumnus Award (in 2000) and the Chamber of Commerce NDSU Distinguished Professor Award (in 2001).

This presentation will address the problem of unintentional injury and death of children from firearms and risk factors that contribute to this problem. Two paths to prevention of childhood injury and death from firearms will be discussed: changing parent behavior and teaching prevention skills to children to prevent gun play. As most childhood firearm injuries and deaths occur as a result of gun play, my research has focused on teaching skills to prevent gun play. A series of studies will be presented in which procedures for teaching prevention skills to children are evaluated. These studies investigated the effectiveness of educational approaches and behavioral skills training approaches to teach young children a set of safety skills to use upon finding a firearm. An emphasis in the research was an evaluation of procedures for promoting generalization of the skills from the training setting to the natural environment. The findings from these studies will be presented and implications for future research and practice will be discussed. Learning Objectives Describe the behavioral skills training approach to teaching safety skills to children to prevent gun play. Describe the results of research comparing educational approaches and behavioral skills training approaches for teaching safety skills to children to prevent gun play.




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