Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis (AARBA)

By Carla Lasagna Del Val

In 2022–23 AARBA has been actively involved in various initiatives, specifically regarding the BA community and the growth and strengthening of our discipline in the educational, political, research and organizational fields. We are glad to share what we did to date, hoping to inspire other Chapters and to accomplish even more satisfactory results in the future.

Dissemination & ABA Community

Firstly, we will participate at the ABAI 49th Annual Convention in presence at Denver. During such event we will have the opportunity to attend to several interesting symposiums, workshops, panel discussion and one events that will involve us directly. On Saturday the 27th of May, our president, Fabio Tosolin will be presenting a paper focusing on the “BBS implementation in a construction site reality”. The study that will be presented, was carried out in a civil construction site of a double-track railway tunnel, in Italy, by two students of the engineer course of the University Politecnico of Milano. The paper will specifically focus on how the implementation of a BBS process, through observations, measurements of behaviors through checklist and release of immediate feedback and monthly safety meeting, influences the levels of safe behaviors related to maintenance of machineries used during work. Even this year we had the occasion to hold the 16th edition of our Scientific European Conference on Behavior-Based Safety (B-BS) and Performance Management (PM) that is the 18th edition of our Scientific European Congress on Applied Behavior Analysis. As the previous years the event was formed by two sessions, one focusing on the application of behavior analysis in BBS and PM projects and the second one on the application in relation to the clinical field. Finally, after two years of pandemic and online presentations, we had the opportunity to organize it in presence, at the University of Milan. People had the opportunity to participate at specific workshops, symposiums, and to an introductory plenary session. Most of the audience was OBM-related, with HSE managers, HR managers, consultants, work psychologists but also many clinical psychologists and therapists in the field of ABA. At the event we had the honor to host international guest speakers, such as Timothy Ludwig (Professor at Appalachian State University and Author at, Lory Ludwig (Chief Human Performance Engineer at Performance Ally) Sigurdur Sigurdsson (Full commissioner for the Behavior-Based Safety Accreditation Commission of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies), that gave a high focus on the importance of developing a safety culture and communication to increase the adoption of a BBS process and maintenance over time. During the event, we even had the possibility to present some research and work done by the current organization we currently collaborate with, to show the audience some real-life examples of BBS implementations.

Regarding Behavior Analysis applied to the clinical field, we had the honor to listen to both international and national professionals in the field of ABA, such as, Douglas Greer (Coordinator of the ABA Program at the Columbia University), Leasha Barry (Director of the ABA Program at the University of West Florida) Dayna Beddick (Associate Director at the University of West Florida) and other pioneers in the field of ABA. Through such event we had the opportunity to gather all together more than 200 people with one unique aim to continue with the divulgation of the science of Behavior Analysis. During the month of December (22nd –24th), we renewed our commitment to Ambiente-Lavoro, the biggest Italian fair about environment and safety at work. Even for such event we had the opportunity to participate in person, by holding two presentations. The first presentation was held by one of the AARBA researchers, that gave an introduction and theorical explanation on behavior analysis and specifically BBS protocol for increase safety in working sites. The second presentation was conducted by our President, aiming to explain how observations and measurements based on behaviors are what makes a process in terms of security succeed. Having the opportunity to participate in person this year, helped us with the continues promotion and divulgation of the science of behavior analysis, specifically in Italy. We prepared a stand, were people had the possibility to find information (articles, research, fliers of the courses we provide and data to provide real life examples) regarding the science of behavior analysis and specifically its application in the field of BBS.

The President of the association, for various years, has been collaborating with dentists in the application and creation of seminars and protocols focusing on the implementation of Behavior Analysis strategies in the dentistry field. Through the creation of presentations and specific courses, that focus on various arguments, such as the patience compliance, motivation of the team, motivation to improve the quality of the treatment given to the patient, clinical risk reduction, support for people with specific diagnosis, developing a behavioral system analysis and other more. All of them through the use and adoption of and evidence proven systems that allows individuals to measure theirs and others’ behaviors.

Higher Education

During the past years one of the most important aims of the association is to continue with the dissemination of the science of behavior analysis, specifically providing the adequate education and training for professionals in the field. For such reason with the new year’s, the AARBA team has been working on the development of the new educational course specifically on Behavior Analysis, following the requirements and standards that ABAI has determined with the Tiered Model of Education. With this continues education we really hope to continue to bring a change in our country, Italy, not only in terms of the knowledge of ABA, but most important on the correct and specific implementation that needs to be adopted, in all the field, from the one related to BBS process to the ABA in schools and home environments. The project of developing specific courses in Behavior Analysis is something AARBA is willing to continue working on, not only to support the people that need a behavior analysis base treatment, but even for the behavior analysts itself. As every year, we continued with the specific 80-hours B-BS post-graduate course. During 2022 and 2023 we had the opportunity to three different courses, focusing not only trained on the theoretical background of Behavior Analysis and its implementation on the OBM field, but even on the practical aspects (creating a checklist, presentation of data analysis, conducting safety meetings, etc.) of a process.

Research Projects

As far as research is concerned, in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Milan we dealt again with some master’s degree thesis. With the new year, in 2022 we supported 2 interns, with the development of their thesis. The project started during the month of May 2022 and concluded during November 2022, in a construction side. The main aim was to focus and measure the results of a BBS implementation process in relation safety and productivity, specifically focusing on behaviors related to the maintenance of the machineries used by the workers during their daily activities.

Companies Consulting

As far as major Italian and multinational companies support, we followed-up our commitment in the territory with some interventions based on training and OBM consulting. Throughout the year our President has been invited as guest speaker at two different events, focusing on the application of Organizational Behavioral Managements techniques in the dentistry field. The first event was held at the San Raffaele Hospital, in Milan, with a presentation focusing on the application of the science of behavior analysis to increase both the patience and team compliance in the working environment of a dental practice. Furthermore, during the month of March and April, we had the opportunity to organize a four-day intensive course. The course had the main aim to inform and train a dental office (from assistance to secretary and doctors) in relation to patience compliance, motivation of the team, motivation to improve the quality of the treatment given to the patient, clinical risk reduction, support for people with specific diagnosis, developing a behavioral system analysis and other more. The course was held by our President and with the collaboration of other members of the chapter. As you can see, we are working hard on several fronts to promote Applied Behavior Analysis knowledge and technologies in public and private institutions, with the hope of achieving further and greater results. See you next year!

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