Zachary S. Glendening



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Beginning in the summer of 2013, Reeb and colleagues implemented a Behavioral Activation (BA) Program in a homeless shelter for men. Based on operant conditioning, BA is a “therapeutic process that emphasizes structured attempts at engendering increases in overt behaviors that are likely to bring [the person] into contact with reinforcing environmental contingencies and produce corresponding improvements in thoughts, mood, and overall quality of life” (Hopko et al., 2003, p. 700). Quantitative and qualitative results show that BA has efficacy in increasing homeless men’s participation in various shelter activities (Reeb et al., 2014). With funding from the Graduate Student Summer Fellowship, the author co-developed and is in the process of validating the Behavioral Activation Treatment Efficacy Measure (BATEM) to assess psychosocial outcomes of BA. This brief psychometric instrument assesses the following constructs central to mental health maintenance and recovery from mental illness: agency, hope, purpose/meaning in life, quality of life, perceived social support, emotional well-being, and positive social climate. Validation of the measure relies on anticipated support for the following hypotheses: (A) The BATEM will have strong internal consistency. (B) At baseline, participants without a history of mental illness and/or substance abuse will have higher (i.e., less clinically significant) BATEM scores, relative to those with such histories. (C) Men who engage in high numbers of BA sessions will show greater improvements in BATEM scores over a one month period, relative to those who engage less or not at all. That is, changes in BATEM scores will positively correlate with the number of BA activities in which individuals participate during the previous month. Though final statistical analysis is underway, preliminary results will be provided.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Roger N. Reeb

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project


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Behavioral Activation in a Homeless Shelter: Development and Validation of the Behavioral Activation Treatment Efficacy Measure