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; Online; 2020

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #344
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing the Needs of Those With Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Monday, May 25, 2020
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Abigail B. Calkin (Calkin Consulting Center)
CE Instructor: Abigail B. Calkin, Psy.D.

There are four areas of primary concern to the military when meeting the needs of their personnel, especially those who have been deployed to war zones and return with various kinds of problems not acceptable in continued military life or in civilian life. Traumatic brain Injury and post-traumatic stress disorder are the two topics addressed in this symposium. Not discussed will be bodily physical injuries and suicide. The presentation will view all branches of service but primarily the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and the Army. Within the topic of traumatic brain injuries will be a review of the important literature and an overview of the problem behaviors. When investigating traumatic brain injury’s problem behaviors, both public and private events of those recovering are important and relevant targets for examination and rehabilitation work. The presentation on post-traumatic stress disorder behaviors will look at the taxonomy of those behaviors. These are usually stated behaviorally but very broadly, for example, stressors, alterations in cognition or mood, or guilt. Each of these and many more behaviors can be defined much more specifically, then examined and researched behaviorally to help ameliorate the needs of returning veterans.

Target Audience:

professionals in the field; BCBA at all levels including through BCBA-D

Learning Objectives: 1. State why it is critical to define, analyze and develop therapy plans for the behaviors of traumatic brain injured military veterans. 2. Name three authors and studies in the area of traumatic brain injury. 3. State why it is critical to define, analyze and develop therapy plans for the behaviors of military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders. 4. Name three definable taxonomies and at least two of the specific behaviors to work on within those three taxonomies. .
Review of problem behaviors in the military and veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI)
KOMLANTSE GOSSOU (Quebec Association for Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important public health matter that accounts annually for 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). The military service members are at a significant risk for TBI, and it is estimated 4.2% of veterans from the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps have been diagnosed with TBI. TBI is associated with other health problems including behavioral disorders. Yet, it is difficult to find an evidence-based intervention for the treatment of the problem behaviors associated with TBI in the military and the veterans. However, knowing more about the problem behaviors associated with TBI would encourage the behavioral research in the treatment of problem behaviors associated with TBI. To our knowledge, no study has summarized the problem behaviors associated with TBI. Thus, the goal of this presentation is to summarize the problem behaviors associated with TBI.
Taxonomy of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Behaviors
ABIGAIL B. CALKIN (Calkin Consulting Center)
Abstract: The American Psychiatric Association identified post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 1980. For over 2,000 years, people came home from wars showing signs of trauma with no physical injury. Until 1980, they received little help to ameliorate these behaviors. Attitudes changed as veterans came home from Vietnam. The facts also changed and PTSD became a diagnosis. How do behavior analysts treat those with PTSD? Cognitive behavior therapy has done a much better job at this than behavior analysis. We can lend a hand here too. Given that we look at specific behaviors for autism, behavior management problems, learning, perhaps it is time we took a specific look at the specific behaviors of people with PTSD. We have categories—efforts to avoid feelings, hypervigilance, irritability and anger for a few examples. However, we need to define these behaviors as specifically as we do reading behaviors—reads letter name, reads letter sound, reads 3-letter words, etc. We must look as specifically at the precursors to and elements of a temper explosion, flashbacks, concentration difficulties, and a myriad of other behaviors. What are the antecedents? What is the specific behavior? What are the postcedents? How can we look at those behaviors as stimuli, behaviors and consequences? First, we need taxonomy.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh