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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #352
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing Interpersonal Functioning in Clinical Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 26, 2014
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
W179a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jordan T. Bonow (Veterans Affairs Puget Sound: Seattle Division  )
Discussant: Thomas J. Waltz (Eastern Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Thomas J. Waltz, Ph.D.

Clinical behavior analysts frequently assess and treat problems related to interpersonal functioning. The first presentation will introduce the audience to how clinically relevant interpersonal behavior is conceptualized within Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP). The second presentation reviews the challenges and opportunities in developing contemporary measures aimed at facilitating descriptive functional analyses in outpatient clinical settings. The third presentation presents data from new measures under development aimed to capture clinically relevant variables in terms of discounting and positive and negative reinforcement. The final presentation will present data from a small randomized clinical trial of FAP for individuals screening positive for social intimacy deficits and meeting criteria for one of the following DSM-5 disorders: Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, a Major Depressive Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, or Dependent Personality Disorder. The discussion will elaborate on the opportunities interpersonally focused behavior therapies have for expanding the reach of behavior analysis.

Keyword(s): Assessment, FAP, functional analysis, Interpersonal Functioning

A Clinical Behavior Analytic Approach to Interpersonal Behavior: Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

JORDAN T. BONOW (Veterans Affairs Puget Sound: Seattle Division  ), William C. Follette (University of Nevada, Reno)

Clinical Behavior Analysis (CBA) represents a behavior analytic approach to complex human behaviors traditionally falling within the purview of the field of clinical psychology. One domain of complex human behavior of interest to clinical behavior analysts is interpersonal interaction. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), one of the few distinct therapies belonging to the CBA tradition, provides one comprehensive approach to interpersonal interaction. This presentation provides an overview of FAP and its theoretical account of interpersonal repertoires, interactions, and influence. Particular focus is placed on clinically relevant interpersonal behaviors (CRBs) and the mechanisms by which FAP is thought to lead to changes in client interpersonal repertoires.


The Challenges of Developing Functional Assessments in CBA

SABRINA DARROW (University of California, San Francisco), Jordan T. Bonow (Veterans Affairs Puget Sound: Seattle Division  ), Glenn M. Callaghan (San Jose State University)

Functional analysis of target behavior in clinical behavior analysis is complicated and time consuming. Developing descriptive functional assessments is one method to increase the efficiency of this process and ease implementation of CBA interventions. This presentation will provide an overview of some functional assessments related to clinical behavior analytic targets (e.g., the Functional Ideographic Assessment Template, the Functional Assessment of Depression, and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire). Different methods of developing this type of assessment will also be presented. Finally, the challenges inherent in this process will be discussed.


Using Clinically Relevant Discounting Tasks to Assess Distress Tolerance Related to Social Functioning

THOMAS J. WALTZ (Eastern Michigan University), William C. Follette (University of Nevada, Reno)

Discounting characterizes how rapid the value of an outcome is degraded when that outcome is accompanied by increasing levels of inconvenience. In interpersonally focused behavior therapies the degree to which a client's social goals and aspirations are discounted when then they are accompanied by experiences inconvenient or distressing circumstances is of interest. Participants in this study (n = 219) completed a battery of measures including a) discounting of social goals and related distress, b) positive and negative reinforcement related to social functioning and managing distress, and c) social anxiety. While pervious analyses have found differences in discounting in this data set by those scoring low and high on social anxiety (t(70)= 3.00 , p =0.003, d =0.71, 95% CI [1.31-3.07]), additional analyses will be presented looking at differences in discounting based on self-report of positive and negative reinforcement related to social functioning and managing distress. The results from this analysis will be related to interpersonal functioning treatment targets in clinical behavioral psychotherapy.


Evaluating the Efficacy of FAP for Enhancing Social Connectedness in a Distressed College Student Population

DANIEL W. MAITLAND (Western Michigan University), Rachel Petts (Western Michigan University), Christopher Briggs (Western Michigan University), Julissa Duenas (Western Michigan University), Justin A. Moore (Western Michigan University), Scott T. Gaynor (Western Michigan University)

Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a radical behavioral approach to therapy. This therapy focuses on contingently responding to clinically relevant behavior as it occurs in the room. To date, little research has been conducted exploring the differential impact of FAP compared to other therapeutic conditions. The current study investigates the differences between FAP and a watchful waiting condition in a distressed population recruited from a large Midwestern university. Participants in this study scored one standard deviation below the mean on a measure of social intimacy and met diagnostic criteria for Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, a Major Depressive Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, or Dependent Personality Disorder. Participants were then given 6 sessions of FAP or 6 sessions of a watchful waiting condition. Data presented will highlight the impact of FAP on measures of social intimacy and the differential impact compared to the watchful waiting condition.




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