HABA Announces Dr. Patrick Friman as Annual Conference Keynote

Patrick C. Friman, Ph.D., ABPP


Dr. Patrick C. Friman received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. He is the current Vice President of Behavioral Health at Boys Town and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine. He is the former Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and former President of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. He is currently the Book Review editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and on the editorial boards of six peer reviewed journals. He has published more than 190 scientific articles and chapters and three books. The primary focus of his scientific and clinical work in is in the area of Behavioral Pediatrics and Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Friman’s work in behavioral pediatrics has concentrated on the gap between primary medical care for children on one side, and referral-based clinical child psychological and psychiatric care, on the other. A secondary focus is on adolescent behavior and development an example of which is a commercially available DVD on Adolescence and Other Temporary Mental Disorders. He also specializes in consultation regarding workplace issues such as motivation, dealing with difficult people, change, happiness and pathways to success.


Behavioral Pediatrics:  Appending Behavioral Psychology to Primary Health Care

Friday, 9:00-9:50am


Behavioral pediatrics (BP) is a branch of pediatrics that integrates behavioral and pediatric sciences to promote the health of children. A unique aspect of BP is that competencies for practice can be met by physicians or behaviorally oriented practitioners and thus its providers include both.  Most typically, however, the physician and behavioral practitioner work in partnership whether the task at hand involves a particular case or a promising area of research.  There are two general forms of treatment supplied in BP:  1) supportive counseling, usually involving the delivery of health education (e.g., the environmental basis of child learning; extended crying is normal in early infancy, three days without a bowel movement is two days too long) but no specific action; and 2) prescriptive behavioral treatment, usually involving the provision of specific procedures for remediation of presenting problems to caregivers (e.g., habit reversal, task based grounding, exposure for simple phobia). There are three general domains of care, routine behavior problems, behavior problems with significant medical dimensions, and medical problems with significant behavioral dimensions.  Recognition of the high prevalence of behavioral problems that initially and often only present in pediatric settings as well as the reciprocal nature of interactions between medical and behavioral factors in child health has led to dramatic growth in BP over the past 30 years. This growth presents opportunities for providers familiar with the principles of learning and development because both provide the epistemological basis for the majority of behavioral pediatric treatments.  This presentation will describe behavioral pediatrics in primary care, elaborate on its two forms of treatment, and elaborate on illustrative clinical examples.

  1. Participants will be able to define Primary Care Behavioral Pediatrics
  2. Participants will be able to describe at least three guiding principles in Primary Care Behavioral Pediatrics.
  3. Participants will be able to describe the two primary forms of treatment in Primary Care Behavioral Pediatrics.
  4. Participants will be able to describe at least three sample clinical targets in Primary Care Behavioral Pediatrics.


Thumb Sucking:  A Love Story

Saturday, 8:30-9:20am


Thumb sucking is an ideal behavior for behavior analytic study yet one that has been largely overlooked by behavior analysts.  Not by me however.  I saw its opportunities early in my career and have been exploiting them ever since.  Here are some of its many virtues.  It is easy to find—universal in infancy and still common after age 6.  It is easy to observe and measure.  It is very responsive to a broad array of easily applied contingencies (e.g., incentives, aversives).  It frequently co-occurs with other functionally related behaviors (e.g., object attachment, hair pulling) that are also easy to observe and measure and are also responsive to a broad array of easily applied contingencies. It is socially significant (chronic practice after age four can lead to serious dental, medical and social problems).  It lends itself readily to theorizing (e.g., cross cultural, psychodynamic, developmental, behavior analytic).  Pertinent to this last point, it has been the subject of some of the most outrageously wrongheaded theorizing in all of child psychology—which is of particular interest to me because most of it is so easy to disprove (and lampoon).  Lastly and by no means leastly, it helped me gain entry into the world of primary care pediatrics.  This talk will discuss all of this and more.



  1.  Participants will be able to describe the operant properties of thumb sucking.
  2. Participants will be able to describe the adjunctive properties of thumb sucking.
  3. Participants will be able to describe at least one effective treatment for thumbsucking.