SABA 2023 Public Awareness Grant: Maeve G. Donnelly

Raising Public Awareness of Behavior Analysis in Pediatric Primary Care Settings
By, Maeve G. Donnelly, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA.
In addition to the well-known and efficacious methods for reducing problem behavior and teaching functionally equivalent replacement behaviors, behavior analysis researchers and practitioners have developed several intervention methods to address common child development issues. These interventions address toilet training, supporting healthy sleep, teaching functional communication skills, increasing food variety, developing play skills, completing home routines and self-help tasks, improving peer interactions, increasing physical activity and fitness, teaching safety skills, and more. There has long been a call from within the field of applied behavior analysis to bring information about these evidence-based practices to pediatric primary care providers (e.g., Allen et al., 1993; Bruni & Lancaster, 2019; Friman, 2010). Correspondingly, pediatrician survey results have revealed that pediatricians may have less training or confidence to address these types of problems (i.e., related to sleep, behavior, peer interactions, etc.; e.g., Boreman et al., 2007; Leaf et al., 2004; Nasir et al., 2016). Thus, the purpose of this project is to raise awareness of behavior analytic methods and strategies for resolving common childhood problems in the area of pediatric primary care.
SABA grant funding will support development and distribution of brochures and website content related to behavior analytic approaches. Brochures developed by the primary investigator will include information about the principles of behavior and simple starting tips for intervention in caregiver-friendly language. A QR code that links to a website with more comprehensive information including information for practitioners as well as caregivers will be printed on each brochure. The website will house comprehensive multimedia content related to identification and implementation of straightforward behavior analytic principles and strategies (e.g., reinforcement) as well as information about how and when to refer or seek professional behavior analysis services. Brochures will be distributed to pediatric primary care offices in the Boston, MA area. The primary investigator will develop training for using these resources. The primary investigator will also seek pediatric practitioner input a minimum of twice annually via survey and/or focus group. In addition, a social validity survey will be distributed to gather information about the utility and efficacy of this method for raising public awareness.

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