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Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Barbara C. Etzel

Etzel Barb

University of Kansas


Barbara Etzel, University of Kansas professor emeritus of human development and family life, has served for many years as a teacher, scholar, and leader in the Behavioral Psychology Department at the University of Kansas. Dr. Etzel earned her Associate’s degree from Stephens College in 1946, her BA from Denison University in 1948, her MA in General Experimental Psychology from the University of Miami (Florida) in 1950, and her Ph.D. in developmental & child psychology in 1953 from Iowa State University. Additionally, she served as staff psychologist for the Ohio State Bureau of Juvenile Research (1953-1954) and Chief Psychologist at Washington Medical School at Seattle (1957-1961). She taught at both Florida State University and Western Washington State College before coming to the University of Kansas in the fall of 1965. Immediately before arriving at KU, she served as a Special Fellow for the Secretary on Early Development and Learning, part of the National Institutes of Mental Health in Washington, DC.


Dr. Etzel has written numerous publications, chapters, and papers. She is the author of two books, New Developments in Behavioral Research: Theory, Methods, and Applications and Social Interaction Observation: A Manual for Training and Data Collection. She has also been nominated as an outstanding teacher for the HOPE Award in 1981 was honored with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Award for her work in developing methods to teach children with learning disabilities. The award allowed her to stay with the Japanese government for a month for a tour in which she lectured not only scholars, but also the parents and teachers of children with learning disabilities.


She has been a member of many professional organizations, such as the American Psychological Association, Society for Research in Child Development, American Association of University Professors, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Behavioral Analysis, American Educational Research Association, Southwestern Society for Research in Human Development, and the Midwestern Psychological Association. In 1975, she was elected to Fellow status for Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. She has also served as a consultant for many programs and been the editor for many professional journals.

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