ABAI Special Interest Group Updates

Addiction SIG
by August F. Holtyn, Bethany R. Raiff, Jesse Dallery, and Kimberly C. Kirby

The Addiction SIG was founded in 2019 with an overarching goal of expanding training, research, and employment opportunities for behavior analysts in the area of addiction. The SIG provides a forum for all persons who have an interest in studying and applying behavior analysis to understand, prevent, and treat addiction. This may include addiction to drugs and other commodities (e.g., alcohol, nicotine, stimulants, opioids, internet, smartphones, food, gambling) and associated psychosocial problems (e.g., psychiatric comorbidities, unemployment, poverty).

In the past year, the Addiction SIG focused on developing the necessary infrastructure to support a variety of activities. We conducted leadership meetings throughout the year, established a digital presence via Facebook, developed a system to track membership, and began planning for the inaugural business meeting.

In the coming year, the Addiction SIG aims to accomplish several goals. The SIG will: (1) serve as a professional and scientific networking group for its members; (2) focus on growing its presence and interaction on social media; (3) organize a system of membership dues and best uses of funds; (4) continue to recruit new members; (5) promote submission of addiction-related symposia, panel sessions, posters, and papers for ABAI and highlight upcoming relevant presentations; (6) expand the resources available to its members; and (7) continue discussions related to the creation of a Verified Course Sequence. In sum, the SIG aims to pursue several activities that will make membership in the Addiction SIG as beneficial as possible.

Membership in the Addiction SIG is open to all individuals who are interested in the SIG’s aim, mission, or objectives. The SIG’s members need not be members of ABAI and membership is currently free. If you would like to become a member, please complete the application, found here: https://jhmi.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8d22zrevielRB9X.

Applied Animal Behavior SIG

By Katie Kalafut

The mission of the Applied Animal Behavior SIG is to promote applied animal behavior analytic research, set high standards in methods and techniques of animal training, support those in the applied animal behavior field, and promote the well-being of animals in applied settings wherever they are found. In past years, we have spent a lot of time and effort building the group, reaching out to potential members, and working diligently to disseminate the principles of behavior analysis in the area of applied animal work.

Behavioral Development SIG

By Jessica Singer-Dudek

The main mission of the Behavioral Development (DEV) SIG is to promote a behavioral developmental thrust within behavior analysis. We strive to bring behavior analysis to the wider world of child psychology and learning, comparative psychology, adult development and gerontology, sociobiology, education, behavioral economics, developmental disabilities and autism, and language development, among other fields. We do so by incorporating theories and findings from other areas into our own research and by bringing professionals from outside traditional behavior analysis, including developmental psychology, to ABAI events and forming collaborations.

The DEV SIG’s membership includes faculty, students, and practitioners, many of whom are also members of other SIGs (e.g., Autism, Verbal Behavior) and are interested in the DEV SIG’s mission, conference program, and discussions. Our SIG has 80 current members. We have a large international presence, with countries including Norway, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Spain, China, UK, Bosnia, Canada, and France represented. One primary focus of the upcoming year will be growing our membership. Students from programs affiliated with the SIG and others whose interests align with our mission will be encouraged to join.

At its 2019 annual meeting, the SIG elected Jennifer Longano as treasurer and Claire Cahill as reconciler. We are pleased to announce that they have secured access to the SIG’s funds, which are close to $3,000. On the agenda at the 2020 annual meeting were ways to spend these funds. We would like to offer scholarships to student presenters, as well as an annual award for contributions to behavioral development. In the future, as our funds grow, we wish to fully or partially fund invited speakers, in particular those who are international.

Perhaps the most exciting development over the past year is that the DEV SIG now has a Facebook page! It went live in late February 2020, and over 50 followers! We hope it will succeed in reaching a wider audience and increasing the SIG membership. The page is currently closed to members of the group, but those wishing to view it can request access just by clicking a button.

The DEV SIG is represented in the ABAI annual convention program in the Behavioral Development program area. DEV SIG members consistently serve as program area coordinators who help bring exciting presentations on a variety of topics related to behavioral development to the annual convention.

In 2019, we welcomed 15 posters, 1 panel, 2 papers, 16 symposia (a big increase over the previous year), and 3 invited talks. The invited talks included an international presenation by Nirvana Pistoljevic entitled, “ABA for All: Building Systems to Help Children Through a Transdisciplinary Behavioral Approach”; an invited paper by Jennifer Longano entitled, “An Analysis of the Components of Bidirectional Naming, the Naming Experiences to Occasion the Incidental Acquisition of Language, and Protocols to Induce Bidirectional and Complex Naming Repertoires”; and a very interesting B. F. Skinner Lecture by Kathleen O’Connell entitled, “The Urge to Smoke and the Urge to Urinate: Pavlovian Processes in Health-Related Behaviors.”

At the 2020 ABAI Annual Convention, the Behavioral Development area was represented by 21 posters, 1 panel discussion, 2 paper presentations, and 9 symposia. The majority of these presentations focused on research related to verbal behavior development, acceleration of academic skills, and behavioral development across the lifespan. Co-program area chairs Jessica Dudek and Jo Ann Delgado also recruited an exciting invited tutorial entitled, “Designing Instruction for All Learners:How Verbal Development Informs Pedagogy and Instruction” by Jennifer Weber. Unfortunately the other invited talks had to be cancelled.

These sessions well represented the breadth of research interests by members of the DEV SIG, particularly in terms of the population of participants studied (those with and without developmental disabilities; children and adults) and the focus on verbal, academic, and behavioral development across the lifespan. The contributions of all the session chairs, presenters, and discussants was very much appreciated.

The DEV SIG has a poster at the ABAI Expo and holds a business meeting every year. All are welcome to attend. The DEV SIG also holds a no-host SIG dinner. This enjoyable occasion is also open to all. In addition to being friendly, interdisciplinary by our very nature, and interested in many different topics and approaches, we have been a relatively informal SIG. Come find us at one of our presentations or invited talks, attend our business meeting, or Expo. We look forward to welcoming new members!

Behavioral Medicine SIG

By Gretchen A. Dittrich

Within the science of behavior analysis, we recognize that all behavior is susceptible to conditioning, regardless of the complexity. Therefore, the field of behavior analysis is perfectly suited to identify and change behaviors related to health and disease states. The field of behavioral medicine focuses on utilizing behavior analytic principles and procedures to identify and manipulate variables influencing behaviors associated with health and disease states. By changing specific behaviors (i.e., increasing behaviors associated with improved health and decreasing behaviors associated with disease states or decreased health), we can improve overall health status for individuals.

Behavioral medicine is an interdisciplinary field, which integrates behavioral science with biomedical science to improve overall health, increase adherence to medical regimes, and modify behaviors associated with the prevention of chronic illness. The role of behavior analysis is important in the field of behavioral medicine. It is the mission of the Behavioral Medicine SIG to encourage interdisciplinary research in the areas of behavioral health promotion and the prevention of chronic illness, emphasizing the need for function-based and empirically validated treatments for chronic health disorders.

The Behavioral Medicine SIG offers students, researchers, practitioners, and consumers opportunities to discuss issues related to public health promotion and disease prevention. All are welcome to join the Behavioral Medicine SIG. We hope that the SIG will help consumers and practitioners better understand the role of behavior analysis in the field of behavioral medicine, and provide an outlet for discussions of current and developing research within the field.

To learn more about the Behavioral Medicine SIG, visit our website at https://sites.google.com/site/bmedsig/or like our Facebook page (Behavioral Medicine SIG of ABA-I). You may also contact us at bxmedsig@gmail.com to receive additional information about the SIG, or to become a member. The Behavioral Medicine SIG offers opportunities for members to engage in research collaboration and discussions about behavior analysis and health promotion. The Behavioral Medicine SIG supports student research in the area of behavioral medicine, and we announce a student research award annually during the ABAI convention each year.

The Behavioral Medicine SIG sponsored a special symposium during the ABAI 46th Annual Convention online, entitled, “Pain and Wellness Research in Behavioral Medicine.” The symposium was comprised of Dr. Jessia Mias and Dr. Brian Jadro, who each presented their doctoral research in behavioral medicine. Dr. Jessica Mias presented research on increasing physical activity in women through behavioral coaching, and investigated the effects of coaching frequency on behavior change and maintenance. Dr. Brian Jadro, presented research on improving proper sitting posture in adults with reported lower back pain, and evaluated the effects of different feedback schedules on changes in posture, proper sitting posture maintenance, and changes in reported lower back pain. Dr. Kylan Turner served as discussant, providing suggestions for doctoral and masters-level students who are interested in pursuing research in behavioral medicine. Dr. Gretchen A. Dittrich served as the symposium chair.

The fourth annual Behavioral Medicine SIG Student Research Award was announced at our annual business meeting, held during the ABAI annual convention. The Behavioral Medicine Student Research Award is awarded annually to a masters-level or doctoral student who has completed innovative research in the area of behavioral medicine. Applications and nominations for the award may be submitted via email to bxmedsig@gmail.com. We encourage all students to apply for this award.
During the annual business meeting, SIG members discussed strategies to enhance membership benefits, and identified a new webmaster for the year. The Behavioral Medicine SIG website will be redesigned, and will include a library of articles focusing on different topics in behavioral medicine, a directory of experts who conduct research in behavioral medicine, and links to synchronous and asynchronous webinars for CEs. Goals for the upcoming year include continuing to improve dissemination of behavioral medicine technologies and research among behavior analysts, consumers, and the medical community, and securing funding to support SIG efforts (e.g., Student Research Award). Additionally, the Behavioral Medicine SIG will be providing webinars and opportunities for CEs for SIG members.

Behavior Analysis in Health, Sport, and Fitness SIG

By Julie Slowiak

The mission of the Behavior Analysis in Health, Sport, and Fitness Special Interest Group (HSF SIG) is to educate, coordinate, and provide resources to behavior analysts and other members of society seeking to address human challenges in health, sport, and fitness through the application of the science of behavior analysis.

This mission shall be fulfilled through: (1) Educating behavior analysts and other members of society and increasing awareness, visibility, and understanding of the application of the science of behavior analysis to health, sport, and fitness; (2) disseminating information about the practice of behavior analysis and educational and training opportunities relevant to practice of behavior analysis in the areas of health, sport, and fitness; (3) providing a professional network and access to educational and training resources (e.g., continuing education events, mentorship opportunities) for its members; (4) obtaining financial resources to support research grants for behavior analysts who seek to conduct research with the objective to develop or evaluate behavior analytic interventions to resolve human challenges in health, sport, and fitness, and (5) collaborating with other nonprofit organizations, healthcare agencies, and health, sport, and fitness professionals to maximize our impact on current efforts.

After organizing as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization in April 2019, the HSF SIG’s Board of Directors developed strategic goals within five strategy areas to support the continued growth of the practice of behavior analysis in the areas of health, sport, and fitness: (1) visibility and awareness, (2) business skills and entrepreneurship, (3) credentialing and payment, (4) training and professional development, and (5) research. To encourage its members to take an active role in the organization and take action on the organization’s strategic goals, the HSF SIG’s Board of Directors formed three volunteer committees. The HSF Visibility Committee was created with the intention to increase the visibility of the HSF SIG, HSF SIG members, and the application of behavior analysis to the areas of health, sport, and fitness to behavior analysts and the general public. The HSF Professional Development Committee was formed to support, encourage, and promote the development of practitioner competence among current and prospective HSF SIG members. Finally, the HSF Research Committee was developed to support, encourage, and promote health, sport, and fitness-related research within the field of behavior analysis and among current and prospective HSF SIG members. We anticipate that additional committees and leadership opportunities will be added as the organization continues to grow.

In early 2020, the HSF SIG accepted applications for its newly developed small research grant program. The purpose of this grant is to support experimental research that demonstrates the application of behavior analysis to address human behavior in the areas of health, sport, or fitness. Additional goals of this program are to disseminate behavior analytic research and practice and to expand research opportunities for students of behavior analysis. The HSF SIG was able to award two $500 grants to support graduate student researchers this year. Details for the 2021 HSF SIG Small Research Grant program will be announced in late 2020, and applications will be due in January 2021.

We were pleased to see a variety of presentations on relevant topics such as behavioral medicine, self-management of health conditions, increasing physical activity, improving nutrition/eating habits, and enhancing athletic performance represented at the 46th Annual ABAI Convention. Our goal is to continue to increase visibility of the HSF SIG at future annual conventions, as well as at state and regional conferences, possibly through organizing fun activities for attendees that focus on maintaining healthy habits during travel and combating sedentary behavior while attending conferences.

Our Annual Business Meeting was held virtually on June 8, 2020. At this year’s meeting, we introduced members of the Board of Directors, including a newly elected Director. We presented an overview of the HSF SIG’s mission and strategy areas, along with an overview of the organization’s accomplishments over the past year. Major accomplishments include growing our membership, co-hosting professional development opportunities that highlight HSF practitioners, and developing a small research grant program.

Conversations among members continue to support the contention that several barriers and ethical considerations exist for those who desire to practice in the areas of health, sport, and fitness. In addition, opportunities to secure research and practicum experiences in academic programs are limited by the small number of ABA faculty with expertise or interest in health, sport, and fitness, as well as limited course offerings. Our focus will be to continue to support those who are interested in practicing behavior analysis within the areas of health, sport, and fitness.

For more information, please go to our website (www.hsfsigabai.com), Facebook Page (facebook.com/ABAI.HSF.SIG/), or follow us on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hsf.abai) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/hsfsig). If you’re interested in joining the HSF SIG, you will find details on our website. Membership is $10 per year for students and $20 per year for professionals (we also offer a 2-year option). If you have any questions, want to contribute to our blog, or would like to take a more active role in the Behavior Analysis in Health, Sport, & Fitness SIG, please email us at hsf.abai@gmail.com.

Behavior Analysis for Sustainable Societies SIG

By Julia H. Fiebig

The Behavior Analysis for Sustainable Societies (BASS) SIG reached its 10th year as an ABAI affiliated SIG in 2020. This milestone was marked by a number of practical organizational initiatives as well as fruitful dissemination efforts. Organizational efforts included establishing a SIG bank account, as well as launching a new website, www.baforsustainablesocieties.org, in April. Additionally, a crowdfunding campaign launched on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, and ran through May 31. The purpose of these fundraising efforts was to establish a BASS fund that can offer stipends to support BASS member efforts to conduct research and implement interventions that change high impact behaviors related to carbon emissions, as well as present that work at future ABAI events and through CE webinars for SIG members, in addition to disseminating that research to professional organizations outside of behavior analysis.

Relatedly, agenda items at the BASS SIG business meeting included (1) a call for volunteers to establish a three-member review committee for funding applications; (2) discussion on establishment of member dues; (3) development of CE webinars and opportunities to be hosted on the website; (4) identification of a treasurer, website coordinator, and CE coordinator; (5) identification of a committee to explore requirements and potential benefits of the SIG gaining 501(c)(3) status, and (6) discussion and consensus on SIG goals for 2021.

Dissemination and collaboration efforts of SIG members over the last year have also been very exciting. Multiple members of the BASS SIG are part of the Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) of the Coalition of Behavior Science Organizations, while other SIG members have offered many, many volunteer hours to the CCTF’s efforts on evaluating the experimental literature on effective community-level intervention to curb greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts are also shared on a new website for the CCTF: http://bsciclimate.org/. This work was also presented by BASS SIG, Behaviorists for Social Responsibility SIG, and CCTF members in a four part sustainability series at the ABAI 46th Annual Convention, and in a plenary panel at the Association for Contextual Behavior Science World Conference in July 2020. Further dissemination efforts were made at the Behavior Energy and Climate Change Conference in Sacramento, CA, in November 2019 through lightning session presentations on the role of organizational behavior management and prosocial in building cooperative groups as an action against climate change, and through a 3.5-hour workshop called “Expanding and Scaling Up Behavioral Science Research on Climate Change.” Both presentations resulted in opportunities for SIG member collaborations with professionals working on issues related to climate change. The BASS SIG is looking forward to another exciting year and to continued momentum of efforts to support research, practice, and dissemination of applications of behavior analysis to issues of climate change and sustainability of communities.

Behaviorists for Social Responsibility SIG

By Sarah Richling, Holly Seniuk, and Traci Cihon

The Behaviorists for Social Responsibility (BFSR) SIG is composed of dedicated volunteers and a board of Planners (drawing on Skinner’s Walden Two). The Planners, who meet on a monthly basis, currently consist of Jose Ardila, Kendra Combs, Traci Cihon, Sarah Richling, Mark Mattaini, Richard Rakos, and Holly Seniuk. The Planner structure, active volunteers, the easy availability of digital communications, and the resulting mutual accountability continues to produce a high level of activity by the SIG. The following report summarizes only some of the SIG’s activities for 2019–20.
Many members of the BFSR Planners supported the completion of Behavioral Perspectives on Culture and Community, the first of a new series of books to be published through Springer and in collaboration with ABAI. The book contains 17 chapters from leading behavior scientists engaged in research and applications of culturo-behavior science and is scheduled for publication in August 2020.


BFSR has continued to focus on the Matrix Project (see BFSR’s website at https://bfsr.abainternational.org/ for more information) which was first introduced in the 2014 Behavior and Social Issues editorial (Mattaini & Luke, 2014). The Matrix Project is focused on increasing the number of behavior analysts working on social issues (e.g., social justice, poverty, sustainability, public health) using behavioral systems analysis to identify interrelations and practical steps that may be taken across more than a dozen sectors/players (e.g., behavior-analytic education programs, journals, students) who might have an impact on this goal. A significant amount of activity has continued to occur in the last year, so we will highlight a few of the recent activities.

Education Group

The goal for this group is to develop materials to increase the inclusion of cultural/behavioral systems level content, particularly with emphasis on social issues, in university coursework. So far, the Course Unit Group has created multiple sample course units in the area of environmental sustainability. These units are freely available on the BFSR website and include links to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s® BCBA/BcaBA® Task List (5th ed.) items, student learning objectives, activities, assessments, and relevant readings. The group is currently exploring what resources would be most beneficial to behavior analysts interested in various social issues. The group has created a survey that will be distributed to faculty, students, and practitioners in an effort to better understand how individuals are currently contacting behavior analytic content on social issues and what resources would be most beneficial. This group is also exploring how a work group centered on diversity/bias can provide additional support to the behavioral community.

Regional BFSR Groups

The goal for the regional groups is to create a network of BFSR SIGs in affiliated chapters of ABAI. To date, two affiliated state chapters of the BFSR SIG have been formed (Texas ABA in 2016 and Kansas ABA in 2017). Another state level chapter (Alabama ABA) and a non-US affiliated chapter (ABA of Brazil) are in development.

In 2019, the Texas ABA (TxABA) BFSR SIG council proposed a new set of bylaws that shifted the leadership from the traditional council model to that of a Planners Board. The TxABA BFSR SIG Planners met several times between the 2019 TxABA conference and the upcoming 2020 TxABA conference. The TxABA BFSR SIG Planners have focused discussions in the following areas: (1) developing opportunities for engaging community members and organizations in the TxABA conference (e.g., scholarship support for students and faculty at local universities, partnerships with local NGOs to introduce TxABA attendees in issues affecting the community, etc.), (2) increasing engagement with TxABA BFSR SIG members through blog posting, descriptions of member activities, and so on, and (3) to work with the program coordinator for the education and social issues tracks for the TxABA conference). In the upcoming year, one focus of the Regional BFSR groups will be to develop a stronger infrastructure that connects the regional BFSR groups with each other and the ABAI BFSR Planners.

Bibliography Group

The Bibliography Group is currently working on putting together a list of resources to include seminal and recent articles published on topics such as sustainability, diversity, public policy, and public health. The goal of this project is to provide faculty who are interested in incorporating units on social issues into their courses with a reading list for that area. It is also a useful resource for students who are interested in pursuing these topics because it provides them with a starting point for their review of the literature. The sustainability bibliography is posted on the BFSR website and the readings have been integrated into the course units (see above). The group is currently working on developing bibliographies for diversity and poverty.

Sustainability Group

The Sustainability Group recently published an article in a special section on Cultural and Behavioral Systems Science in Perspectives on Behavior Science to describe how the Matrix Project has been used in the development of resources for behavior analysts interested in the area of sustainability. It also serves as a guide for how behavior analysts can become more involved in the area of sustainability in a variety of ways. The group is currently working on identifying resources that would be useful for behavior analysts. In the upcoming year this group will focus on strategic planning to identify measurable goals for the future.

BFSR will continue to work on the Matrix Project over the coming year, updating the activities and outcomes of active sectors and coordinating the activities of the less developed sectors. Those who want to get involved can contact BFSR at bfsr@abainternational.org.

Infrastructure Improvements

To ensure that the SIG continues to make progress toward the SIG’s mission, several infrastructure improvements were made in the last year. Since becoming an ABAI Associated SIG, BFSR has continued to develop infrastructure to provide members with valuable resources. The membership structure includes student members ($5), full members ($20), supporting members ($50), and sustaining members ($100). The SIG has also developed a process for getting volunteers involved with SIG activities (email bfsr@abainternational.org if you are interested in volunteering). The SIG has been actively working on developing our website to house resources, disseminate information, and provide members with a way to connect with the SIG.

Transition of Behavior and Social Issues to ABAI

After over 40 years of running the Behavior and Social Issues (BSI) journal, BFSR transitioned the journal over to ABAI at the end of 2018 (see Luke, Roose, Rakos, & Mattaini, 2017 for a history of the journal). This was an exciting change to ensure continued longevity and interest in BSI and will help place a greater spotlight on behavior-analytic approaches to social issues. BFSR members will continue to receive free electronic access to the journal.

ABAI Annual Convention

BFSR held our annual business meeting at the ABAI Annual Convention. BFSR was also represented at the convention EXPO and a poster presenting further developments of the Matrix Project. The Matrix poster was also presented at TxABA, Illinois ABA, Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy, Nebraska ABA, and Standard Celeration Society conferences. Planners will continue to take the poster to regional conferences in 2020 with plans for KansABA, TxABA, and the ABAI Culturo-Behavior Science for a Better World conferences.

Crime, Delinquency, and Forensic Behavior Analysis SIG

By Timothy J. Templin

The mission of the Crime, Delinquency, and Forensic Behavior Analysis SIG is to ensure that those in the criminal justice fields have access to appropriate, evidence-based behavior analytic therapy to reduce crime and delinquency. Behavioral interventions can reduce prison misconduct (French & Gendreau, 2006). SIG members have testified on behavioral intervention to reduce crime. Behavioral interventions can reduce crime by approximately 13–20% (Redondo-Illescas, Sánchez-Meca, & Garrido-Genovés, 2001) and prison misconduct (French & Gendreau, 2006). The SIG plans to remain active in this area over the coming year. Behavioral parent training is a well-established treatment for oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, which are often forerunners to adolescent delinquency (see O’Donohue &Ferguson, 2006). Finally, behaviorally-oriented residential treatment programs are listed by the Surgeon General as promising for children and adolescents with conduct disorders. Recent evaluations of the literature suggest that the program is even more effective on post-release recidivism than first thought (Kingsley, 2006) so the results are promising.

Elderly and Veterans Populations

Clinical issues for the elderly and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for veterans. The SIG has been active in sending letters to the state of PA to support use of behavior analysis for addressing the needs of these populations. The SIG is currently exploring collaboration with the Practitioner Issue SIG and the Veteran’s SIG about ways to allow licensed behavior analysts to work in the VA system. This SIG has much to offer those behavior analysts who are interested in the prevention and treatment of offenders to prevent recidivism, lessen the burden on our prison system, save society money, and overall reduce crime and the damage it does to families. The SIG operates and maintains a list serve. We currently have 265members. Discussion topics pertain to subjects such as providing consultation for veterans in prison, child medications, and psychology of false confessions, risk assessments, and functional behavioral assessment. In addition, we have disseminated research on such topics as: eliminating spousal abuse (Myers, 1995), adult sex offenders with developmental disabilities (Reyes, et al, 2006), contingency management programs in drug courts (Marlowe, et al, 2008), high-probability request sequences in hostage negotiations (Hughes, 2009), and other pertinent topics. One member currently runs a podcast on behavior analysis and crime (anchor.fm/criminalbehaviorology and criminalbehaviorology.podomatic.com). Finally, the SIG also posts employment positions for members seeking employment or a career change.


Fixsen, D. L, Blasé, K. A., Timbers, G. D., & Wolf, M. M. (2007). In search of program implementation: Replications of the teaching-family model. The Behavior Analyst Today, 8(1), 96–105. www.baojournal.com
French, S. A., & Gendreau, P. (2006). Reducing prison misconducts: What works! Criminal Justice and Behavior, 33, 185–218.

Kingsley, D. E. (2006). The teaching-family model and post-treatment recidivism: A critical review of the conventional wisdom. IJBCT, 4, 481–487. www.baojournal.com

Kingsley, D., Ringle, J. L., Thompson, R. W., Chmelka, B., & Ingram, S. (2008). Cox proportional hazards regression analysis as a modeling technique for informing program improvement: Predicting recidivism in a Boys Town five-year follow-up study. The Journal of Behavior Analysis of Offender and Victim Treatment and Prevention, 1(1), 82–97. www.baojournal.com
O’Donohue, W., & Ferguson, K. E. (2006). Evidence-based practice in psychology and behavior analysis. The Behavior Analyst Today, 7(3), 335–350. www.baojournal.com

Redondo-Illescas, S., Sanchez-Meca, J., & Garrido-Genovaes, V. (2001). Treatment of offenders and recidivism: Assessment of the effectiveness of programs applied in Europe. Psychology in Spain, 5, 47–62.

Hughes, J. (2009). A pilot study of naturally occurring high-probability request sequences in hostage negotiations. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 491–496.

Marlowe, D. B., Festinger, D. S., Dugosh, K. L., Arabia, P. L., & Kirby, K. C. (2008). An effectiveness trial of contingency management isn’t a felony preadjudication drug court. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 41, 565–577.

Myers, D. L. (1995). Eliminating the battering of women by men: Some considerations for behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 28, 493–507.

Reyes, J. R., Vollmer, T. R., Slooman, K. N., Hall, A., Reed, R., Jansen, G., Carr, S., Jackson, K., & Soutimore, M. (2006). Assessment of deviant arousal in adult male sex offenders with developmental disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 39, 173–188.

Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior SIG

By J. Adam Bennett

Report of 2018–19 Activities

The SIG held its 2019 annual meeting at the ABAI conference in Chicago, IL. At the meeting, Dr. Kathryn Kestner agreed to continue coordinating the annual student paper competition. The SIG is also grateful for the efforts of Dr. J. Adam Bennett, who continues to serve as chair, and Dr. Stephanie Jimenez, who now serves as treasurer. In October 2018, the SIG selected Dr. Kathryn J. Saunders to receive the EAHB SIG Distinguished Contributions Award for 2019. Dr. Carol Pilgrim introduced Dr. Saunders, summarizing her many contributions to the experimental analysis of human behavior. Dr. Saunders then gave an award address reflecting on her career with an eye toward the future. The session was chaired by Dr. J. Adam Bennett. In 2018, the SIG recognized the work of one young scholar in the SIG’s annual Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Student Paper Competition. Dr. Kathryn Kestner coordinated the competition. The award was presented to Vanessa Ayres-Pereira, a student at Oslo Metropolitan University for her work entitled, “Different Response Patterns during Baseline Acquisition in Many-to-One and One-to-Many Training Structures and Performance in Tests for Equivalence Class Formation.” Vanessa gave a brief presentation, was presented with a certificate, and received reimbursement for her ABAI registration. Finally, the SIG released it’s most recent issue of the Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin, which can be downloaded at eahb.org

Report of 2019–20 Activities

The SIG remains focused on our three primary goals: Promoting the experimental analysis of human behavior and basic behavioral research by encouraging student research and scholarship in EAHB, by recognizing outstanding career-long contributions to the field, and by maintaining an outlet for publishing human operant research. Due to the conference being held online, the SIG postponed many of it’s activities. The EAHB SIG Distinguished Contributions Award will presented next year to Dr. Timothy Hackenberg, professor of psychology at Reed College. Dr. Hackenberg will give an award address on cross-species comparisons of behavior and the processes by which we may separate species from procedural differences. The EAHB SIG continues to increase the size of its membership (currently 120 ABA members) by (1) presenting a poster at the ABA Expo, (2) by promoting the annual Distinguished Contributions Award address, and (3) increasing the visibility of the EAHB Bulletin. During this year’s meeting, we also discussed business related to the EAHB Bulletin including election and term limits of bulletin’s editorial board and strategies for increasing the impact of the bulletin.

History of Behavior Analysis SIG

By Edward K. Morris

The History of Behavior Analysis Special Interest Group (HoBA SIG) of the ABAI was founded in 2011. Our listserv was established in 2012. Our first business meeting was held at the 2013 ABAI convention and has been held there annually since then. As of April 2019, we had 261 members, an increase of two members from 2018. Our membership is stable. To join the SIG, log onto the HoBA website (www.historyofbehavioranalysis.org) or contact Pat Williams (University of Houston-Downtown) at WilliamsP@uhd.edu.

Aim, Mission, Objectives, Purview, and Audience

Our aim is to advance behavior analysis nationally and internationally through its history and historiography. Our mission is to cultivate and nurture, enrich and improve, and disseminate the field’s history and historiography. Our objectives are to enhance teaching (course content and pedagogy); research (presentations, publications, and workshops); and service (leadership, governance, and communications). Our purview is the field’s long past, short history, and recent origins. Our audience includes behavior analysts, other scientists and humanists, and the public at large.

Reasons and Rationales

Jack Michael (2004) offered the following reasons and rationales for teaching, researching, and serving the field’s history and historiography:

“Students of behavior analysis who know little of its history will be less than optimally effective in acquiring new knowledge. They will also be unaware of relations among various parts of their professional and scientific repertoires. In short, it is important to know where we came from. (p. 93)”

More specifically, the history and historiography of behavior analysis place the discipline, its sub-disciplines, and its practices in relation to each other. The field has breadth and depth beyond any one of them. Its history and historiography reveal the interdependence of the field’s system, its sciences, and its practices. The field is more than the sum of its parts. Its history and historiography also address the field’s relation to other sciences and the humanities. The field is defined, in part, by its comparisons and contrasts with them. History and historiography also have more general rationales. The Roman philosopher Marcus Tillius Cicero (106–43 BCE) offered among the first: “Those who know only their own generation remain children forever.”

Perhaps the most common is attributed to the Spanish-American philosopher, George Santayana (1863–1952): “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Another is based on an observation by American writer and humorist Mark Twain (1835–1910) about travel in The Innocents Abroad:

“[History] is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. (1869, p. 243).

Farrington (1949) summarizes these and other rationales in almost a behavior-analytic idiom:

“History is the most fundamental science for there is no human knowledge which cannot lose its scientific character when men forget the conditioning under which it originated, the questions which it answered, and the function it was created to serve. A great part of the mysticism and superstition of educated men consist of knowledge which has broken base from its historical moorings. (p. 173)”


Our membership is open to anyone interested in the history and historiography of behavior analysis. This includes members of (1) ABAI; (2) other behavior-analytic organizations, including Division 25 for Behavior Analysis of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and the B. F. Skinner Foundation; (3) members of organizations outside of behavior analysis, including APA Division 26 for the Society for the History of Psychology, the International Society for the History of the Behavioral Sciences (aka Cheiron), and the History of Science Society; and (4) independent scholars. The SIG’s members need not be members of ABAI. Joining the HoBA listserv is the same as joining the SIG and vice versa. We have no membership fees.


At present, our governance consists of a founding president, Edward K. Morris (University of Kansas); vice-president, Karen Wagner (Behavior Service of Brevard, FL); secretary-treasurer, Todd McKerchar (Jacksonville State University, AL); and listserv owner and moderator, Pat Williams (University of Houston-Downtown). The near-future of the HoBA SIG is to broaden its leadership and governance (see below).

Business Meeting

  • Our main activities have been hosting a ListServ for our members (n ~ 260), a website (www.historyofbehavioranalysis.org), and an annual business meeting at the ABAI conference. To summarize the minutes of the 2019 meeting:
  • Despite the size of the SIG’s membership, attendance at the business meetings have been low the last several years (e.g., Crone-Todd, Morris, McKerchar, Wagner, and n ~8 members), compared to earlier years (n ~20-25).
  • The low attendance probably reflects the SIG’s lack of engagement with its members other than through mainly its Listserv. The SIG’s activities have not changed since its founding—and neither has its leadership.
  • The SIG leadership and the audience has been discussing changes in the SIG’s structure and functions, the most fundamental of which would be to establish By-Laws. This would:
    • Formalize the SIG’s structure (e.g., governance, Executive Council)
    • Expand the SIG’s purview (e.g., committees, positions)
    • Set a calendar for elections and the succession of leadership (e.g., positions, voting, terms)

In expanding the SIG’s purview, the leadership and audience considered, further, the functions the SIG could address, in part, through a committee structure. This might include a membership committee (e.g., growth, diversity), finance committee (e.g., dues, donations, IRS status), website committee (e.g., management, communications), publications committee (e.g., a newsletter), program committee (e.g., conference posters, papers, symposia), education committee (e.g., syllabus bank), dissemination committee (e.g., bibliographies, a YouTube directory), archival committee (e.g., listing and promoting archives), and an awards committee (e.g., for the best annual HoBA presentation or publication).

Goals 2020

The SIG’s goals this year are to establish By-Laws and a committee structure. Drafts of the By-Laws will be developed, circulated, and revised by the current EC before the May 2020 Business Meeting at ABAI. At the Business Meeting, the members present will vote on it. If approved, the EC will establish an election cycle and begin assigning HoBA members as committee chairs and members. The future of history in ABAI looks bright.


Farrington, B. (1949). Greek Science, Its Meaning for Us, Volume 2: Theophrastus to Galen. New York: Penguin.

Michael, J. (2004). Historical antecedents of behavior analysis. In J. Michael (Ed.), Concepts and principles of behavior analysis and verbal behavior (pp. 93–104). Kalamazoo, MI: Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.
Twain, M. (1869). The Innocents Abroad. Hartford, CT: American Publishing.

Neuroscience SIG

By Suzanne Mitchell

The Neuroscience SIG brings together researchers, academics, clinicians, and students interested in the intersections of behavior analysis and neuroscience and has four primary missions: (1) to introduce behavior analytic research to the neurosciences and introduce neuroscience research to behavior analysis; (2) to serve as both a meeting place and training environment for students and professionals alike interested in basic and applied neuroscience research; (3) to serve as a forum for collaborative relationships, funding applications, and the sharing of best practice; and (4) to advocate for and promote high standards in the application of behavior analytic treatments for individuals with neurological dysfunction.
A business meeting and presence at the Expo were planned for the 2020 ABAI Annual Convention in Washington, DC. However, this meeting was cancelled when the convention moved to a virtual platform. Increasing the profile and relevance of the SIG to ABAI members is a major concern, and anyone who is interested in contributing to this effort or has ideas for additional initiatives is encouraged to join and become involved by contacting Suzanne Mitchell at mitchesu@ohsu.edu. Membership is open to all ABAI members, as well as academics, researchers, administrators, clinicians from other organizations, and consumers. We welcome anyone with an interest in the intersection of behavior analysis and neuroscience and look forward to an exciting year further enhancing the SIG and its place in ABAI.

Pediatric Feeding Disorders SIG

By Tessa Taylor, Cathleen C. Piazza, Keith E. Williams, Michael F. Cataldo, and Peter A. Girolami

The Pediatric Feeding Disorders SIG now has over 150 members and new queries continue to be received. The mission of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders SIG is to generate interest; foster collaborative research; share clinical information; as well as impact training, practice, and reimbursement for evaluation and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. As such, the SIG will attempt to tackle some tough issues that face clinicians who treat children with feeding disorders.

In previous business meetings, the SIG has discussed insurance reimbursement codes, standards and training requirements for best practice (training criteria, case severity, interdisciplinary team coordination needs, referrals to intensive behavior-analytic hospital programs), international exchange options for training, social media and nonevidenced-based practices, and disseminating and promoting empirically supported treatment.

In previous years, we took steps to form the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Consortium, a multi-site collaborative effort of programs providing feeding treatment services. The initial purpose of this effort is to better understand existing resources that associated with the treatment of feeding disorders of young children, including the techniques employed, as well as costs and outcomes. With this information and the existence of a working consortium, the second objective would be for these programs to work together on improving treatment techniques and outcomes, as well as to help both parents and payers navigate the sometimes confusing process of identifying the best combination of treatment modalities for each individual child. We collected pilot survey data in two phases. In addition, we solicited input concerning interest in the consortium, feedback on the surveys, and scope of data to collect in future phases. Also, programs were encouraged to send supplemental materials such as program brochures and materials (e.g., intake forms, goal and outcome forms, data collection materials). Based on input from the group, we compiled information to share as resources regarding obtaining reimbursement.

We have discussed how the consortium members could collaborate to everyone’s benefit. One area identified by many feeding clinics was approval and payment from insurance companies for services. Collaboration across sites would establish a mechanism on a scale that could not otherwise be conducted by a single clinic, as well as data that would be of particular interest to the payers for such services (e.g., insurance companies) as well as consumers. To do so would require knowledge about the range of outcomes of treatments and the variables that correlate with these outcomes, as well as which treatments work for which patients. Important to the further development of this idea would be commonly accepted and economically implemented measures across sites, particularly outcome measures. In light of this, we wish to begin the collection of data across sites on the effectiveness of assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. We have requested input from the group regarding how they are currently collecting information and measuring outcomes.

The SIG has focused in the past on developing a draft of practice guidelines for behavior analysts working in the area of pediatric feeding disorders. A committee of SIG members has begun collaborating on an outline for these guidelines. The guidelines will cover the target population (e.g., age, comorbid conditions, specific feeding targets), severity level and corresponding intensity of treatment warranted, pre-treatment issues, assessment/intervention/implementation guidelines, and treatment follow-up guidelines. The SIG will coordinate with the ABAI Practice Board on these guidelines.

Anyone interested in these issues is encouraged to contact the SIG Consortium Coordinator, Tessa Taylor, at DrTaylor@PaediatricFeedingIntl.com and Dr. Cathleen Piazza at cathleenpiazza@rutgers.edu. Members were encouraged to exchange ideas throughout the year via e-mail, telephone, and the Yahoo group site. We also generated a list of the members with contact information and program affiliation. We will resume discussion of these issues next year. Input is welcome and appreciated from all interested parties.

Practitioner Issues in Behavior Analysis SIG

By Michael Weinberg

The Practitioner Issues in Behavior Analysis (PIBA) SIG is a special interest group that focuses on all areas of specialization for behavior analyst practitioners. This SIG developed a model licensing act for behavior analysts in 2007. The BACB’s model licensing act also drew heavily from the PIBA SIG’s model act to meet the needs and concerns of BCBA and BCaBA practitioners. We currently have a membership of 75 and also maintain a yahoo list-serve for communication among members. This SIG provides a means of discussion, support and potential for action if warranted among ABAI members. The SIG collaborates with other SIGs and boards of ABAI or external organizations as individual members on legal and ethical issues pertaining to the practice of behavior analysis. We promote and support means of ensuring the continued ability for behavior analysts to practice as independent practitioners. The SIG provides a means of communicating about current trends and concerns pertaining to the practice of behavior analysis, licensing matters, legislation issues, insurance regulations and billing practices and updates, and efforts to place barriers for such practice by outside organizations or individuals. We help support and promote the ability for behavior analysts to be on insurance panels to provide services to family members with autism and other areas of application of behavior analytic methods. There are currently over 30 states which have licensure laws in place or about to be in place for the practice of behavior analysis and now all 50 states as of this report with “autism insurance mandate” laws. In the past year, the SIG has supported other SIGs that are working on the practice of behavior analysis in areas such as military/veterans issues, crime and delinquency, including juvenile justice and prisons, and substance abuse. Given the growth in the number of states with licensure bills in place and ongoing expansion of this process, our SIG provides a place for practitioners to share information and discuss opportunities and strategies to promote the practice of behavior analysis as well as expansion of insurance coverage to areas outside of autism. The recent announcements by the BACB regarding discontinuation of offering certification outside of North America and to offer certification examinations at any time, present new challenges as well as opportunities for practitioners, and those who own and operate ABA practice organizations. We host a Yahoo groups list-server for communication and opportunities to interact and share information of relevance to behavior analysts. The PIBA SIG promotes the science of behavior, and evidence-based practices, and sees the need to ensure this linkage continues. We are seeking new members and involvement for the coming year. Please join our PIBA SIG List in Yahoo Groups to post your nominations for officers. We welcome new members and hope to meet with those interested at the annual convention and other ABAI conventions. Please sign and request to join the list at: abapractice_group@yahoogroups.com.

Sexual Behavior: Research and Practice SIG

By Barbara Gross

The Sexual Behavior: Research and Practice (SBRP) SIG of ABAI disseminates empirically-verified information regarding sex education and therapy and supports basic and applied research on the emergence and maintenance of sexual behaviors. Members are professionals, teachers, direct service providers, parents, and consumers who are concerned with issues of sex therapy, sex education, and research. Check out our website www.sbrpsig.org.

The SBRP SIG was founded in 2007 and has been providing a symposium at ABAI’s annual convention since its inception. Past topics have included sex education for students with developmental disabilities, the ethical treatment of inappropriate sexual behavior, and scientific descriptions of basic processes involved in the formation of sexual behavior. At the 2019 ABAI annual convention, SIG interests were demonstrated during Sexual Behavior SIG’s two symposia and a panel discussion on ethics in the area of sexual behavior and considerations for interventions on risky sexual behaviors. Symposia topics included discussions of behavioral language to define pornography consumption, verbal behavior and relational frame theory accounting of asexuality, aromanticism, and polyamory, as well as service delivery models designed to minimize high-risk sexual behaviors. The SIG also continued to provide web-based access to information and support via our website, and also introduced a quarterly SBRP SIG Journal Club. This was an exciting way to continue meeting our mission to disseminate current research and peer-reviewed literature on topics of interest for our members. Check our website for upcoming events! In the upcoming year, the Sexual Behavior: Research and Practice SIG plans to continue to disseminate current research on topics pertaining to sexual behavior, to build on our community outreach through the maintenance of our SIG Journal Club, and to build community knowledge on sexual behavior research methodology and ethics. We also will continue to release the annual newsletter to spread information about sexual education and research. We’re looking forward to the year ahead!

Speech Pathology SIG

By Nikia Dower

The Speech Pathology-Applied Behavior Analysis (SPABA) SIG mission is to promote dissemination of behaviorally oriented speech and language research and the application of evidence-based practices to speech and language professionals, as well as to foster active dialogue between behavior analysts and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) studying issues in speech, language, feeding, and communication, including augmentative-alternative communication.

SPABA SIG is grateful for the support and guidance of former chair, Barb Esch. We would also like to thank our current officers and volunteers: Tracie Lindblad and Nikia Dower are the current co-chairs, Sudha Ramaswamy (grant awards), Heather Forbes (treasurer and membership coordinator), Lina Slim-Topdjian (secretary), and Deirdre Muldoon (communications coordinator). We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Landa Mark for being our membership coordinator for the past several years. We are happy to announce that Sari Risen has accepted the membership coordinator position moving forward.

We are proud to announce that there now 415 SLPs who are BCBAs or BCaBAs worldwide. We are present in 42 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and 13 countries outside the US. We continue to provide and maintain an online database of practitioners dually certified as SLPs and BCBAs/BCaBAs from around the world (www.behavioralspeech.com/search-for-an-slpbcba).html. Our website has enabled us to continue connecting with our members and any interested professionals. We have a document available for download detailing the online/distance courses for the BACB approved course sequences and full master’s programs in ABA. These features continue to provide families and individuals with pertinent information in one place. A consistent social media presence was a continued focus for the SPABA SIG in 2019. The SPABA SIG is continually active via our Facebook group, Facebook page, as well as Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts.

In our 2019–2020 membership cycle, our membership increased to 28 members, 17 of whom who provided a donation, and 1 student member. SPABA provides a significant amount of free access to SIG information and interaction through social media; therefore, when the combination of formal members and SPABA Facebook group members is calculated, we are pleased to report an approximate total of 7,233 formal and informal members which is an significant increase from our last report. The SPABA Facebook group has enabled our members to connect with each other to share or request pertinent information in a timelier fashion. Since our decision to make our Facebook group an open group for anyone requesting to join without requiring SIG paid membership, the interest in this group continues to increase exponentially; however, the impact of this free membership on our operating funds had also continues to be significant. Discussion regarding membership fees took place at the annual SIG meeting in 2015, when it was decided that instead of a set membership fee, a donation would be requested of members and potential members to primarily fund our annual SIG grants. This decision continues to have mixed results in terms of membership and operating funds since that time.
The SIG, and our members, were active during the past year conducting research, disseminating information regarding evidence-based practice, applying the principles of applied behavior analysis to the research and treatment of speech, language, feeding and communication disorders in children and adults, publishing scholarly articles, conducting webinars, speaking and conducting workshops at professional conventions, presenting posters at professional conferences and teaching and/or mentoring students in both the fields of ABA and speech pathology. While most of these activities took place in North America, several were done internationally and as such, furthered the SIG’s mission. Our members presented 109 times during 2019, including at ABAI 2019 Annual Convention, ASHA 2019 conference and several other annual state speech/language association conferences and applied behavior analysis association conferences. Many members were speakers at non-speech/non-behavior analytic conferences as well. For a list of presentations, please visit: www.pinterest.com/SPABASIGofABAI/2019-slp-bcba-presentations.
SPABA offers two $250 grants annually, one in empirical research and the other in application or dissemination. These grants are available to ABAI members who, as students or practicing clinicians, conduct empirical research or raise awareness about behavior analysis among SLPs. Research projects should advance the evidence base for behavior analytic conceptualization or treatment of speech, language, communication, and feeding disorders. Application or dissemination projects should involve effective application of the science-based principles of behavior by SLPs or distribution of accurate information about the science-based field of behavior analysis among SLPs. We are pleased to announce that several of SPABA Grant recipients have had their research published.

In 2020, the SPABA SIG did not offer grants as ABAI’s annual convention, which was scheduled to be in Washington, DC, ended up going virtual due to the COVID19 pandemic. The SIG plans to offer two grants in both empirical and application/dissemination to be awarded at ABAI Annual Convention in 2021. Each year student members and practitioners may obtain updated information about submitting grant proposals for the current year on our website, www.behavioralspeech.com.

The SPABA SIG executive is looking forward to expanding our membership through various initiatives, social media and increasing member participation on the executive and within our committees. We are also planning to complete several projects over the year to support our members:

  • Develop web-based tutorials and in-person courses to disseminate information regarding a behavioral approach to the study and treatment of speech, language, and communication disorders in children and adults.
    Publish a quarterly newsletter summarizing the SIGs dissemination of research and upcoming conferences or webinars to those interested in a behavioral approach to speech/language.
  • Initiate a monthly “Journal Club” to discuss a behavioral literature relevant to speech/language.
  • Work with the Verbal Behavior SIG and Behavioral Gerontology SIG on joint programs and initiatives.
  • Continue disseminating behavior analytic information to ASHA members through the ASHA community forum listserv and to US and international speech pathologists via various speech/language Facebook groups as well as presenting at local, national, and international speech/language conferences and conventions.
  • Continue disseminating speech-language information to ABAI members and BACB certified individuals via various behavior-analytic Facebook groups and list-servs as well as presenting at local, national, and international ABA conferences and conventions.
  • Continue disseminating interprofessional collaboration information across related disciplines and fields to maximize outcomes for shared consumers of our services. This collaboration has strong benefits and enhances communication between our related professions.

The identified initiatives are feasible only with increased financial support from our members. Please consider donating your expertise/services in-kind, making financial contributions, or providing committee support so that we may meet the needs of our membership and complete our targeted activities.

If you are interested in learning more about the SPABA SIG, wish to volunteer to sit on a committee, or assist with a specific project, please visit us at www.behavioralspeech.com or join or follow us on the following social media sites:

  • Facebook Group: SPABA.SIG
  • Facebook Page: SPABASIGofABAI
  • Twitter: SPABASIG
  • Instagram: SPABASIG
  • Pinterest: SPABASIGofABAI

Standard Celeration Society

By the SCS Board of Directors

The Standard Celeration Society (SCS) became an ABAI SIG in 1995. The mission of the SCS aims to uphold and advance the defining features and conventions of the Standard Celeration Chart. The SCS strives to be a friendly and enduring forum, supporting application and dissemination of standard celeration charting across an expanding range of practitioners and other stakeholders. The values of the SCS that guide behavior in fulfilling the mission include acknowledgement and appreciation of the founding principles and applications of our science (e.g., “standing on the shoulders of giants”), generosity in our interactions with others, driving and embracing change, social beneficence, commitment to evidence-based practice, and having fun. Since 2015, the SCS has employed an organizational structure composed of a board of directors and volunteer leadership teams that actively work toward implementing new and maintaining current initiatives designed to further the organization’s mission.

We have an active board of directors consisting of five members on 3-year terms, a president, president-elect, vice presidents, and associate vice presidents. The board of directors provide guidance and decision making for the SCS president, who carries out board initiatives with vice presidents, associate vice presidents, and volunteers. Current leadership teams include finance, programs, membership, scientific and academic relations, public relations, operations, international relations, diversity, and website services. Our leadership teams have actively developed the underlying systems to support the SIG’s structure and facilitated institutional memory as individuals transition into leadership roles, an important component for voluntary leadership teams to maintain productivity.

Currently, the SCS has several active priority initiatives underway. First, the SCS is current redesigning the central website for the SIG (www.celeration.org). While some components of the new website are already in place, we are completing the development of several other features, including a redesigned member gateway, free continuing education opportunities for members, publication resources, training program locations for students interested in academic training,and digital chart share. Membership in the SCS also offers additional benefits not available to non-members including discounted rates to the conference each year, access to the historical publication database of the Journal of Precision Teaching and Celeration, and soon to be announced web-based continuing education events. The fees range from sustaining membership for $100, full membership for $50, and student membership for $25.

The second initiative focuses on highlighting our organization’s entrepreneurial members such that their skills, insights, and strategies developed over decades of business development in the area of precision teaching can be made available to others looking to start their own businesses. This is an exciting time to become involved with the SCS, as this organization has a long history of entrepreneurs creating successful operations that provide clinical/educational services outside the mainstream of applied behavior analysis.

Third, the SCS has worked with several mainstream behavior analytic journals to gather information to facilitate scientific peer-reviewed publications using the chart and related inductive research methods unique to the science. These communications led to securing a special issue of Behavior Analysis in Practice focusing on precision teaching and standard celeration charting. In total, researchers in the field submitted a total of 33 academic papers in response to the call for papers. Three members of the SIG, Drs. Andrew Bulla, Mary Sawyer, and Abigail Calkin serve as the guest editors for the special issue.

Fourth, the SCS has developed strategic partnerships with both the Cambridge Center for Behavior Studies and the OBM Network. We also have partnered with The Applied Behavior Analysis Center to produce a webinar series entitled “The Gift of Og” premiering in July of this year. The series will feature four webinars beginning with an introduction to the Standard Celeration Chart. The following three presentations will explore different applications of the Standard Celeration Chart.

Finally, our 33rd Annual Conference of the Standard Celeration Society will be held November 5-7 in Denver Colorado. The conference spans three days, with the first day offering interactive workshops for practitioners and scientists of all kinds. The last two days feature invited and submitted symposium, panel, and paper presentations. Our Keynote speakers will be Dr. Ronnie Detrich, Dr. Emily Leeming, and Dr. Abigail Calkin who will receive the Ogden R. Lindsley Lifetime achievement award. We continue to monitor the COVID 19 data and are simultaneously planning for both in person and virtual options. The safety of our attendees is our priority and we will make a decision accordingly. Please visit www.celeration.org for more information regarding the conference. The SCS eagerly welcomes new charters and members into our community. This nurturing group is full of brilliant and seasoned professionals who are always willing to offer advice or mentorship. Simply become a member and see the opportunities accelerate!

Verbal Behavior SIG

By April Kisamore

The Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group (VB SIG) had another great year. We continued to fulfill the mission of advancing the theory, research, and practice of Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behavior by presenting awards to support the exemplary work of students and professionals, advancing the work of our student group, publishing two newsletters, disseminating information online, and more.

We applaud the students who received plaques and cash awards at our business meeting at the 2019 ABAI Annual Convention. There were three winners of the 2019 VB SIG Student Grant:

  • First Place: Sarah Frampton, Simmons University
  • Second Place: Michael Aragon, Munroe-Meyer Institute
  • Third Place: Rebecca Durham, University of North Texas

We would like to thank the reviewers of this competition: Garet Edwards, Siri Ming, Joanna Lomas Mevers, Amanda Zangrillo, Amanda Laprime, and Daniel Conine. In addition, there were three winners of the 2019 VB SIG Student Research Competition: Reagon Cox, Texas Christian University; Priya Patil, Caldwell University; and Tali Rudy Zaltzman, Regis College. We thank the judges: Jim Carr, Mirela Cenghar, Andresa De Souza, Kent Johnson, Dorothea Lerman, and Jim Moore.

The VB SIG presented three professional awards in 2019. The Clinical Supervisor in Verbal Behavior Award was given to Emily Sweeney-Kerwin, Carbone Clinic. The Early Career Researcher in Verbal Behavior Award was presented to April Kisamore, Hunter College. This was the first time the VB SIG awarded the Excellence in Teaching Verbal Behavior Award. Because Jack Michael has had such an influence on the teaching of verbal behavior, the VB SIG presented him with an honorary Excellence in Teaching Verbal Behavior Award. The inaugural Excellence in Teaching Verbal Behavior Award was given to Caio Miguel, California State University, Sacramento. We thank the judges: Danielle LaFrance, Hank Schlinger, Tina Sidener, Mark Sundberg, Tracy Lepper, Vince Carbone, and Dave Palmer. The Jack Michael Award started a two-year rotation in 2018 and will be awarded again at the VB SIG business meeting at the annual ABAI convention in 2020.

The VB SIG continued to support our student group this past year. The group was composed of eight graduate students from around the country. The group held video conference meetings to discuss articles and their own research; they included expert researchers in verbal behavior in those video conferences, and they continued collaborating with the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies to update their Verbal Behavior Help Center page. The group contributed to article reviews in our newsletter and on our website, and they volunteered to help with the VB SIG Expo poster and business meeting at the ABAI convention. Kristin Albert, Florida Institute of Technology, continued as the leader of the student group this year. Kristen functions as the student liaison to the VB SIG Council and attends monthly VB SIG Council meetings. The other members of the VB SIG Student Group were Landon Cowan, University of Houston-Clear Lake; Mary Halbur, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Ian McElfish, Western Michigan University; Nicole Pantano, Caldwell University; Leslie Quiroz, Caldwell University; Sandhya Rajagopal, Florida Institute of Technology; and Caleb Stanley, Southern Illinois University.

The VB SIG published two full issues of VB News, our newsletter. Features of these issues included two lab highlights—one with Landon Cowan, University of Houston-Clearlake and the second with Amarie Carnett, University of Texas at San Antonio; and an article contribution by Vince Carbone on “B. F. Skinner’s Contribution to Education.” We are excited about the quality of our newsletter and positive feedback from readers.
The VB SIG maintained a strong presence on the web and social media this year in an effort to continue dissemination of verbal behavior. We debuted a new website in July 2018 that included expanded features including mobile capabilities, historical archiving, and a membership portal. The SIG Facebook page has 2,233 likes and 2,275 followers, and the SIG Facebook group has 3,126 members. We continued to post important information and opportunities such as the student and professional awards, and events such as ABAI presentations on the Facebook page and the website. In the coming year, we plan to continue using social media platforms to contact VB SIG supporters.

The VB SIG membership remained strong this year. We plan to continue offering research and practice awards, publishing high-quality newsletters, offering a forum for graduate students to discuss verbal behavior, and showcasing verbal behavior opportunities and events on the web in an effort to maintain and increase our membership. From the 2019 ABAI convention through March 1, 2020, we gained 12 new members for a total of 74, which shows tremendous dedication to the study of verbal behavior and support of the VB SIG.Our members enjoy eight benefits: (1) receiving the VB News twice per year and having access (members only) to past issues on the website; (2) receiving emails about SIG-related events and opportunities; (3) joining the VB listserv to engage in discussions about verbal behavior; (4) becoming eligible to submit to the three VB SIG awards; (5) becoming eligible to be elected to positions on the VB SIG Council; (6) becoming involved in the VB SIG student group; (7) gaining professional development; and (8) joining an active community of people passionate about verbal behavior. We are grateful to the 74 members who joined and supported the VB SIG this year.

The work of disseminating and promoting verbal behavior would not be possible without the diligent efforts of the VB SIG Council. To that end, we announced a new VB SIG officer position at the 2019 VB SIG business meeting. This new position is titled Dissemination Coordinator. The duties of this new officer will be to focus more VB SIG efforts toward dissemination of VB.

The current VB SIG board members include: April Kisamore, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Hunter College, chair; Bethany Hansen, Ph.D., BCBA, University of Nebraska Medical Center, secretary; Laura Grow, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Garden Academy, treasurer; Caitlin Delfs, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Village Autism Center, Student Grant Competition coordinator; Alice Shillingsburg, Ph.D., BCBA-D, The May Institute, Student Research Competition coordinator; Brittany Juban, Ph.D., BCBA-D, May Institute; Amanda Laprime, Ph.D., BCBA-D, University of Rochester Medical School, newsletter editor; Catia Cividini-Motta, Ph.D., BCBA-D, University of South Florida; Kristin Albert, M.Ed., BCBA, Florida Institute of Technology, Student Group liaison; and Mark Dixon, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Southern Illinois University, editor, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior. 

About Author