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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #30
CE Offered: BACB
Self-Care and Wellbeing: Taking Care of Yourself so You Can Take Care of Others
Saturday, May 23, 2020
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Liberty M
Area: CSS/OBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Julie M. Slowiak (University of Minnesota Duluth; InJewel LLC)
CE Instructor: Julie M. Slowiak, Ph.D.

According to the most recent report of the US Employment Demand for Behavior Analysts, annual demand for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) has increased about 800% from 2010 to 2017. While this leads to greater job security in the field, it also means that employers are under a great deal of stress to provide services to significantly more clients, leading to either turning away business and money, or pressuring staff to take on more than they can handle. Gregoire (2016) reported that levels of stress in the workplace are reportedly 18% – 24% higher now than they were 30 years ago. The first presentation in this symposium will provide an overview of the theory of self-care and Basic Conditional Factors (BCFs), commonly overlooked barriers to self-care. The second presentation will provide an overview of results from a recent study that examined the relationships between self-care strategies, job crafting practices, work-life balance, work engagement, and burnout among behavior analysts. The third presentation will provide an example of how self-care practices have been integrated into the organizational culture of a multi-specialty practice pediatric practice and provide suggestions for how these practices can be generalized to other settings.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): burnout, community-care behaviors, self-care, wellbeing
Target Audience:

Professionals, including behavior analysts, working in human service settings of any type, interested in supporting personal and professional health and wellbeing of individuals and organizations; psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, attendees will be able to: (1) identify Basic Conditional Factors (BCFs) as overlooked barriers to self-care that should be included in self-care planning; (2) describe specific actions within domains of self-care and job crafting practices that predict work-life balance, work engagement, and burnout and include these in professional self-care action plans; (3) describe how employers and leaders can embed self-care planning into their organization's culture.
Programming Self-Care: A Look at Semi-Static Variables and Behavior Change
SHANE T. SPIKER (Positive Behavior Supports, Corp.)
Abstract: Within the Orem (2001) theory of self-care, behavior change is the primary focus. Around behavior change are discussions surrounding burnout, compassion fatigue, quality of life, and other elements that highlight significant impact on the carer. This talk will focus on overlooked barriers to self-care; Basic Conditional Factors (BCFs). These semi-static variables create significant barriers that often prevent behavior change from effectively occurring and maintaining naturally. In highlighting BCFs in self-care planning, an interventionist may be more successful in actively treating self-care deficits and creating a care system that benefits the carer and supports alike.
Self–Care and Job Crafting Practices Among Behavior Analysts
JULIE M. SLOWIAK (University of Minnesota Duluth; InJewel LLC)
Abstract: This study extended the findings of previous research that indicated high levels of burnout and low levels of job satisfaction and burnout among practitioners who provide applied behavior analysis (ABA) services (Plantiveau, Dounavi, & Virués-Ortega, 2018). Over 700 behavior analysis practitioners were surveyed to explore the relationships between self-care strategies, job crafting practices, work-life balance, work engagement, and burnout among those who work in human service settings. Results support those of previous research, revealing higher than average levels of disengagement and exhaustion (two dimensions of burnout). In addition, regression analyses revealed that several factors self-care and job crafting practices significantly predict levels of work-life balance, work engagement, and dimensions of burnout. Specific findings from this research will be discussed and can be used to inform interventions to reduce burnout and exhaustion and improve overall wellbeing and job satisfaction among this professional demographic.
Embedding Self-Care / Wellness Behaviors into Organizational Culture: Implications of a Case Study
(Service Delivery)
BECCA TAGG (Del Mar Center for Behavioral Health)
Abstract: This portion of the symposium will discuss the application of self-care / community-care behaviors into the organizational culture of a multi-specialty practice pediatric practice in southeastern North Carolina that includes behavior analytic services. Benefits of self-care and community-care behaviors will be discussed as well as specific examples of application in this case study. Suggestions for application outside of this case study will be provided as well as limitations.



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