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.


10th International Conference; Stockholm, Sweden; 2019

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #89
CE Offered: BACB

PAX Good Behavior Game: Cultural Adaption and Pilot Trial in Sweden

Monday, September 30, 2019
11:30 AM–12:20 PM
Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Level 4, A1
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Magnus Johansson, M.S.
Chair: Dag Strömberg (Autism Center for Young Children, Stockholm)
MAGNUS JOHANSSON (Oslo Metropolitan University)

Magnus Johansson is a licensed psychologist, former CEO of a private care organization, and with 10 years of experience working as a consultant, primarily with leadership and organizational development using Organizational Behavior Management and Contextual Behavioral Science. During 2015-2017, Magnus was project manager for cultural adaption and pilot testing of the PAX Good Behavior Game in Sweden (, collaborating with Ata Ghaderi at Karolinska Institutet as PI, and Dennis Embry at the PAXIS Institute.


In 2017 Magnus initiated a Ph.D. research project at Oslo Metropolitan University. The aim is to develop a way to measure Nurturing Work Environments, and to investigate the effects of interventions to improve nurturance, using the concept of evidence-based kernels supported by an Ecological Momentary Assessment smartphone app. Anthony Biglan and Ingunn Sandaker are supervisors in the project.


The Good Behavior Game (GBG) has decades of research in classrooms with positive short-term and long-term effects impacting a broad range of outcomes, such as reduced behavioral problems, preventing substance abuse and improving educational attainment (Kellam et al., 2011). GBG has its roots in the behavior analytic tradition (Barrish, Saunders & Wolf, 1969) and PAX GBG (e.g., Streimann et al., 2017) has evolved by increased inclusion of the students as well as adding several evidence-based kernels (Embry & Biglan, 2008) to create a set of tools for teachers to use in their everyday classroom activities within the regular school curriculum. Adapting PAX GBG, which was created in the USA, to accommodate the cultural differences in Swedish schools was an important undertaking before conducting a pilot trial. This presentation will detail the process of cultural adaption and its outcomes, as well as describe the application and co-dependence of several of the evidence-based kernels included in PAX GBG. Implementation strategy, adherence and future recommendations based on experiences from the pilot trial will also be discussed. The pilot trial was a within-subjects design, with 14 classrooms in grades 1-2. Outcomes were assessed before the intervention and after five months, using classroom level observations by independent observers, as well as teachers and parents filling out Strength and Difficulties Questionnaires for the participating students. Results showed large effects on both observations and teacher's SDQ-ratings. Uniquely, this trial also investigated teachers' perceived stress, indicating a very large decrease in stress levels.

Target Audience:

Those interested in universal prevention and strategies to create nurturing, happy, and productive classrooms.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss universal prevention and key behaviors that affect long term outcomes; (2) discuss the Good Behavior Game and the evidence on its effectiveness; (3) discuss evidence-based kernels and how PAX GBG provides a toolkit for teachers; (4) discuss a cultural adaption process and the outcomes of the Swedish pilot trial.



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