2020: Sydney Batchelder

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Sydney R. Batchelder is a Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) studying applied behavior analysis. She has a bachelor of science in psychology with a concentration in behavior analysis from Eastern Connecticut State University, where she graduated with university and departmental honors. Sydney received her master of arts in applied behavior analysis in December 2019 from UNCW, and she currently works with Dr. Wendy Donlin Washington researching interventions to treat substance use in at-risk populations.


Her dissertation focuses on smoking cessation in African American populations, who are at higher risk for smoking-related illnesses than the general population. African American individuals are also less likely to use nicotine replacement therapy, and one aim of this study is to understand whether there are cultural reasons that make nicotine replacement less effective or appealing. A second aim is to expand research on contingency management, an evidence-based practice for drug cessation, as there is little research on its effectiveness across ethnic groups.


The study will use a two-branch multiple-baseline across participants design. One branch will receive both contingency management monitored twice daily and nicotine replacement, and the other will receive contingency management and a placebo. The treatment will last three weeks, and a one-month follow-up will provide information about maintenance effects of the intervention after its termination. Sydney and her colleagues at UNCW will begin recruitment and data collection at the start of the fall 2020 semester and will complete the project by the end of the spring 2021 semester. She hopes this study will gather preliminary data to support her line of research focused on this understudied and at-risk population.


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