Chapter Spotlight: Swedish ABA

Photo by Linus Mimietz on Unsplash

“SWABA supports the formation of special interest groups, providing information about each group on the website.”

Dag Strömberg

The Swedish Association for Behavior Analysis (SWABA) had 156 members at the end of 2020, which was three less than in 2019. Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, which hindered physical reunions, this was a smaller decrease in members than what might have been expected. One objective this year was for the chapter to continue increasing its activity on social media, in the form of disseminating research and news concerning behavior analysis, as well as providing opportunities for discussion among members. At the end of the year, 1280 people were following SWABA on Facebook, a 12% increase from 2019. The association also has accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, all with an increasing number of followers. 

SWABA’s fall meeting in September 2020, in Stockholm, included a presentation on how to stop ruminating and brooding, by Olle Wadström, and an introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and rehabilitation medicine by Dr Graciela Rovner. An invited international speaker was Dr Francesca degli Espinosa, who gave an inspiring talk entitled “A Behavioural View of Theory of Mind”.

In March 2021, the annual meeting took place, as an online event. Two talks were held by Swedish presenters; one about climate change and OBM by Kata Nylén; another one on how to communicate with other professionals and media about evidence-based psychological treatment, by Dan Katz. We were also happy to welcome Dr Jésus Rosales-Ruiz and Mary Hunter, who presented the Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab (PORTL). It was a pleasure to present the second recipient of the annual “SWABA-prize”. Peter Karlsson, licensed psychologist, and author of a number of books in Swedish about ABA and Positive Behavior Support, was awarded the prize as a recognition of his work to disseminate behavior analysis.

SWABA was represented at the 2021 ABAI Annual Convention. As usual, a poster was presented at the ABAI Expo, which took place between 2 AM and 4 AM Swedish time. A number of convention visitors joined us in the poster’s chat room.

During the year, contacts have also been taken with the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) as well as with representatives of the other Nordic countries, concerning the question about quality assurance for behavior analysts when BACB certification will no longer be available for behaviour analysts in Sweden. In the fall of 2020 SWABA became an affiliated chapter of the European Association for Behaviour Analysis.

SWABA supports the formation of special interest groups, providing information about each group on the website. This year the Animals SIG, the Certified Behavior Analysts SIG, and the PBS SIG had meetings, while some of the other groups had contacts through social media.

SWABA would like to encourage anyone who plans to visit Sweden or other countries in Scandinavia to contact the board (, to explore the possibility of meeting and/or lecturing. SWABA holds its annual meeting during the first quarter of each year and a fall meeting/conference in September or October. Our fall meeting of 2021 will take place in September. Depending upon the development of pandemic situation it will be either online or a physical event. In any case, this will be an occasion to celebrate SWABA’s 25th anniversary since its foundation in September 1996. At the same time, it is SWABA’s 20th anniversary as an affiliated chapter of the ABAI. Please visit the SWABA website for updates concerning the program.

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