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

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Symposium #440
CE Offered: BACB
Addressing the Needs of Neighborhoods of Concentrated Disadvantage: A Research and Policy Agenda
Monday, May 25, 2020
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Area: CSS/CBM; Domain: Translational
Chair: Anthony Biglan (Oregon Research Institute)
CE Instructor: Anthony Biglan, Ph.D.

The 2019 report of the National Academy of Medicine, Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Youth: A National Agenda, calls for a mobilization of the research and practice communities to address the problems of neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage. The report documents the fact that urban and rural neighborhoods of concentrated poverty have multiple problems that contribute to high levels of inter-generational poverty. The report recognizes that efforts to promote healthy development of children and youth in the U.S. will be limited if we do not address the multitude of problems in these neighborhoods. This symposium is intended to advance efforts to study how conditions in these neighborhoods can be addressed both through more interdisciplinary research and through the adoption of policies that foster more nurturing conditions in these neighborhoods. We will describe the nature of these neighborhoods, he state of research on these neighborhoods, and the public policy needed to advance research and practice on this problem.

Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: 1. Audience members will understand the nature of neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage and why it is important to assist them in reducing poverty and social stress and promoting healthy development. 2. Audience members will be able to describe evidence-based interventions that are appropriate for neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage. 3. Audience members will understand the recommendations that the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine has made for assisting neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage and the work that the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations is doing to advance those recommendations.
The Nature and Needs of Neighborhoods of Concentrated Disadvantage
KELLY KELLEHER (Nationwide Children's Hospital )
Abstract: This paper will summarize the evidence on the proximal and distal influences that undermine successful development in neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage. These neighborhoods are characterized by high levels of poverty and single parenting and low levels of cohesion. Inter-generational poverty is common. The presentation will discuss criteria for designating a neighborhood as having concentrated disadvantage and propose a census to identify all such neighborhoods in the U.S. It will then describe the proximal and distal conditions in these neighborhoods that undermine well being. distal influences include poverty, discrimination, neighborhood disorder. The conditions increase the likelihood of stressful social interactions in families, schools, and the neighborhood. Such interactions, in turn, contribute to higher rates of psychological and behavioral problems and ultimately higher rates of premature death. The presentation will also provide a brief history of the policies and practices that led to the creation of these neighborhoods. In particular, these neighborhoods exist because of discriminatory practices such as red lining to prevent minority group members from moving into better neighborhoods.
The State of Research in Neighborhoods of Concentrated Disadvantage
TAMAR MENDELSON (Department of Mental Health / Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health )
Abstract: This paper will summarize the state of research on the amelioration of stressful conditions in neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage. Research to improve conditions in these areas has generally involved one of two strategies. The first strategy focuses on economic development in an effort to reduce poverty and increase employment. This might include tax incentives for investing in the neighborhood, job training, refurbishing the housing stock. The other focuses on providing programs to strengthen child and family supports for successful development. There are some efforts that combine these approaches, but they are more rare. Strategies also vary in the degree to which they help the neighborhood to develop cohesion and leadership. The presentation will highlight examples of progress being made. It will describe the potential of existing prevention and treatment programs to improve well being in these neighborhoods. It will also describe methodological and other challenges in measuring community conditions and evaluating the impact of developmental strategies.
Public Policy Needed to Advance Research and Practice in Neighborhoods and Communities of Concentrated Disadvantage
ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Abstract: This paper will present the recommendations of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee regarding the research that is needed to ameliorate problems in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage. In its recent report, Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Youth, it called attention to the fact that mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders are concentrated in neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage. Efforts to reduce the high levels of child poverty and the academic and social failure that are associated with it will fail if we do not increase our efforts to ameliorate the conditions that undermine child and adolescent development in these urban and rural areas of disadvantage. The Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations had decided to see if it can contribute to the aims of the NASEM report. The coalition consists of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, the Association for Positive Behavior Support, the Evolution Institute, the National Prevention Science Coalition, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine. This presentation will report on the steps being taken and planned to get policies adopted which increase support for research and evidence-based efforts to assist these neighborhoods and communities of concentrated disadvantage improving the wellbeing of all members of the community.



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