Inside JABA Series 11: Functional Analysis Patterns of Automatic Reinforcement


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In Session 185, AKA Inside JABA Series #11, I'm joined by Drs. Linda LeBlanc, Jeff Tiger, and Javier Virues-Ortega for a deep dive into automatically maintained behavior. This session was inspired by the study Javier and his colleagues published in the Spring 2022 issue of JABA (Virues-Ortega, Clayton, Perez-Bustamante, Gaerlan, and Fahmie, 2022).

In this episode, we discuss the nature of, and challenges with automatically-maintained problem behavior. And this is tackled from both conceptual and treatment angles. As I mention in the episode, I don't encounter these types of problem behaviors that frequently these days, so it was a treat to update my knowledge in this area.

It's easy to think of automatic reinforcement as a monolith, but as it turns out, even dividing it up between positive and negative reinforcement may not be sufficient enough to render effective treatment.

We spent probably the first 25-30 minutes discussing some of the known challenges associated with assessing and treating these repertoires, and then spend the remaining time discussing Javier and his colleagues' paper, which presented two very unique investigations.

If you work with individuals with these profiles, you'll want to listen all the way through, and better still, check out the paper itself.

Here are some of the studies we discussed:

Lastly, I'd be remiss if I did not take a minute to thank Linda LeBlanc for reaching out to me to start the Inside JABA series. As I tell her every chance I get, I consider it an honor to be involved with the flagship journal in our field. If someone told me as an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire that I'd be regularly involved with JABA in some capacity, I wouldn't have believed them.

As some of you might know, Linda's term as Editor in Chief is expiring, but we are planning to continue the podcast series with incoming EIC, Dr. John Borrero. More info on this to come, but in the meantime, please enjoy this installment of the Inside JABA Series.

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