Michael J. Asher Student Dissertation Award

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These awards will be given to two students based on their doctoral dissertation proposal related to the use of Contextual Behavioral Science with children/adolescents. Accompanying this honor will be a monetary award of $750.00 USD and $250.00 USD to be used in support of research (e.g., to pay participants, to purchase testing equipment) and/or to facilitate travel to the ACBS annual conference. These awards are made possible by a generous donation from Steven B. Gordon, Ph.D., ABPP, Michael C. Selbst, Ph.D., BCBA-D, and Behavior Therapy Associates.

Michael J. Asher, Ph.D., ABPP passed away in 2016 and was a clinical psychologist at Behavior Therapy Associates, P.A. since 1988. He served as Coordinator of Consultation Services and was Board Certified in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Asher was an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Psychiatry, Rutgers Medical School where he supervised Psychiatric Fellows and taught Child Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and he was a field supervisor for the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. Dr. Asher co-authored several books on the topic of behavior disorders and children. He was passionate about his work, loved psychology, cognitive behavior therapy, and especially enjoyed learning about and practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Dr. Asher greatly impacted the lives of many and his contribution to the field of psychology and education was significant. He will be remembered fondly.


  1. Candidates must be student members of ACBS at the time of application,
  2. Topic area of dissertation research must be of direct relevance to CBS applied to the development, maintenance, and/or treatment in children and/or adolescents.
  3. The dissertation must have been successfully proposed. Proposals with preliminary results included are preferred.
Nominations/applications will be accepted annually from December 1 to February 1, with the winners determined by the ACBS Awards Committee.
The selected applications will be determined by March 15.


Award Recipients:

Madeleine Ferrari, The University of Sydney (2019)
           Self-compassion: Promoting resilience and well-being in adolescent populations
Samuel Faulkner, East Carolina University (2018)
Targeting Psychological Flexibility in Youth to Enhance Health-Related Behaviors (First Prize)
Yuen-yu Chong, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2018)
Effects of a Parental Training Program using Group-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Managing Children with Asthma: A Randomized Control Trial (Second Prize)
Danielle Moyer, University of North Texas (2017)
Peer victimization as a function of perspective taking, empathy, and psychological willingness