Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Timothy Weil, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Raymond G. Miltenberger, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D., BCBA-D


ACT, Behavior analysis, Drug use, Marijuana, mindfulness


Behavior analysts have had much success in affecting behavior change with individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities as well as those who would be considered typically developing with a variety of intervention strategies; most of which involve affecting direct acting contingencies. However, the realm of language-based psychopathology has just begun to be addressed within the field through language based, or indirect acting strategies. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is based on the concept of derived stimulus relations and allows for a behavior analytic treatment of language-based psychopathology. The current study was intended to test the efficacy of a brief protocol-delivered ACT intervention with individuals who smoke marijuana. Oral swab drug screens were the primary dependent variable, along with the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire II (AAQ-II). All six ACT components were taught to each subject using a set list of metaphors and exercises and was assessed using a concurrent/non-concurrent multiple baseline across participants design. Results indicate that the brief protocol impacted levels of marijuana consumption with all three participants and that their self-reported levels of struggle (via the AAQ-II) lessened over the course of the training.