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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Panel #353
Continuing Insight on Increasing Behavior Technician Retention
Sunday, May 27, 2018
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom DE
Area: PRA/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Gabriela Zapatero McWhorter (Old Dominion University)
JOYCE ORD (Butterfly Effects)
LISA OZOWARA (Navigation Behavioral Consulting)

The primary goal for the panel is to discuss key characteristics that effective behavior technicians (BTs) possess. Identifying these characteristics could assist supervisors in hiring exceptional BTs that would be more likely to remain with their companies for prolonged periods of time. Selecting BTs who could outlast low retention rates is essential when considering, the rapport built with clients, the cost of initial BT training, gaps in services while new BTs are located, and the cost of recruiting new BTs. Additionally, the Autism Society (2015), has reported that ASD is the fastest rising development disability in the United States. They claim that the North American children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) increased 119.4% from 2000 to 2006. While the number of children receiving ASD diagnosis increases so does the need for early interventionists, such as BTs, to provide critical services, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Current research on BT retention indicates that of their pool of participants 38% indicated a desire to leave their BT position, which was significantly higher when compared to the 17.9% of the average workforce (Kazemi, Shapiro & Kavner, 2015). This further suggests the necessity for additional research into increasing retention rates of BT. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and focus groups; participants were located through snowball sampling.

Instruction Level: Intermediate



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