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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #165
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Treating Depression to Reduce Behavioral Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: A Preventive Behavioral Medicine Perspective

Sunday, May 28, 2017
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 4
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Steven R. Lawyer, Ph.D.
Chair: Steven R. Lawyer (Idaho State University)
MATTHEW WHITED (Eastern Carolina University)
Dr. Whited is a Clinical Health Psychologist who is primarily interested in understanding the mechanisms of the association between depressed mood and cardiovascular disease in order to develop better preventive behavioral medicine interventions. He received a bachelor’s in psychology (2nd major biology) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s and PhD in clinical psychology from West Virginia University, having completed his clinical internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral medicine research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine under Dr. Sherry Pagoto. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at East Carolina University, with research, teaching, and clinical duties falling largely under the APA-accredited Clinical Health Psychology PhD Program.

Depression is consistently associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other CVD risk factors such as obesity. The mechanisms of this association are likely multifactorial, but identifying behavioral mechanisms of the association are imperative to developing and disseminating effective interventions that can impact both symptoms of depression and health behaviors that lead to CVD. Dr. Whited’s presentation will briefly review the literature regarding depression treatment for CVD prevention, and introduce one potential intervention, behavioral activation treatment for depression (BATD), that has potential to fill this role. BATD is a brief individual treatment for depression that focuses on replacing depressogenic behaviors with behaviors that reduce or eliminate depressive symptoms based on the patients’ life values. Health behavior change can also be seamlessly incorporated into BATD treatment so that both depressive symptoms and health behaviors are simultaneously impacted. Dr. Whited will conclude by presenting data from various sources supporting BATD approaches for health behavior change.

Target Audience:

Behavior analysts and clinical psychologists

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, attendees will be able to: (1) Describe the current state of the literature with regard to depression and CVD; (2) Identify aspects of BATD that are shared with applied behavior analysis; (3) Specify the role of BATD in simultaneous treatment of depression and health behaviors that lead to CVD.



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