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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #476
Motivation and Self-Regulation and Health Behavior Promotion
Monday, May 30, 2022
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Ballroom Level 3; Ballroom East/West
Area: CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Vivian F Ibanez (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Paula Magalhaes, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: PAULA MAGALHAES (Universidade do Minho, Portugal)

Health behavior promotion in childhood has been dominated by knowledge-centered paradigms. However, research shows that beliefs about what is healthy have a stronger influence on behavior than factual knowledge. Motivation and self-regulation frameworks highlight the agent role of the individual in controlling the personal, behavioral, and environmental influences that impact one’s behavior. Although individuals may be influenced and regulated by external factors and agents, exclusively relying on external regulation does not allow the individual to develop adaptive competences and skills, such as choosing a healthy snack. The aim of this presentation is to describe how healthy habits in childhood can be promoted, including diet and sleep, through the modelling of self-regulation skills via story-tools/narrative-based programs.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Anyone interested in motivation and self-regulation, and health behavior promotion

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify motivational components of health behavior; (2) describe the core components of empirically supported story-tools/ narrative-based programs to model and promote Self-regulation skills for health; (3) discuss what and how children learn the self-regulation competences for health behavior.
PAULA MAGALHAES (Universidade do Minho, Portugal)
Paula Magalhães is a researcher at the Psychology Research Center, Universidade do Minho, Portugal. She earned her PhD in Psychology in 2014, focused on the experimental analysis of behavior, with animal models, at the University of Otago, New Zealand, under the supervision of Professor K. Geoffrey White. Since then, she has directed her efforts into an applied psychology research path. In 2014, she was invited to an Assistant Professor position, at Universidade do Minho, and, later on, received Post-Doctoral training at the same university focusing on developing and implementing intervention programs aiming at promoting self-regulation skills via the use of story-tools/ narratives. Her current research focuses on health behavior promotion through self-regulation (e.g., healthy eating, sleep, exercise). She is also interested in the use of Gamification to engage individuals in health behavior interventions. She has already been awarded a research grant as a PI on these topics “In-person and Online Healthy Eating Promotion through Self-regulation: Assessing the Efficacy of a Narrative-based Intervention.”



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