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.


46th Annual Convention; Online; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #383
CE Offered: BACB — 
Applied Ethics: A Discussion of Rural Practice, International Dissemination, and Employee Reported Ethical Situations
Monday, May 25, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Area: TBA/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jeffrey Michael Chan (Northern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jeffrey Michael Chan, Ph.D.

Credentialed behavior analysts are expected to follow the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code (BACB, 2014). The Code itself provides general and specific guidance on acceptable behavior. As the practice of behavior analysis continues to expand (i.e., number of credentialed behavior analysts, breadth of applications of the science, and depth of application within a practice area), discussion of how the Code applies to various situations and variables is important. An area of need is understanding how credentialed behavior analysts and support personnel (e.g., finance, human resource) perceive the application of the Code in practice. Understanding these perceptions can guide the profession, organizations, and individual practitioners in developing preventive and responsive ethical practices. Additionally, current practice situations (i.e., rural practice and international dissemination) warrant specific discussion and relevance to specific Codes. The purpose of this symposium is to share survey data of employees from a mid-sized human service agency regarding ethical perceptions, discuss practice of behavior analysis in rural areas, and the ethical international dissemination of behavior analysis.

Target Audience:

Practice organization administration, practitioners, university personnel responsible for training behavior analysts, supervisors of students completing fieldwork requirements, and students.

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will describe employees' main concerns of adhering to the Code when practicing. 2. Attendees will discuss considerations of disseminating behavior analysis internationally. 3. Attendees will discuss considerations of practicing in rural areas.

CANCELED: Evaluations of Ethical Perceptions in Applied Behavior Analysis

David Cox (John Hopkins University School of Medicine), SHAWN P. QUIGLEY (Melmark), Matthew T. Brodhead (Michigan State University)

Teaching and monitoring ethical behavior is an important aspect of training professionals and supporting practicing professionals (e.g., Brodhead, Cox, & Quigley, 2018). One method for improving the training and supports is to understand areas of concern experienced by trainees and professionals. This knowledge allows for refined training and support in areas of most need. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of people, who work in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, have about Applied Behavior Analysis. In general, investigators sought to understand the needs of people working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in order to develop new training practices, or to improve upon current training practices.


Ethics in Rural Settings: Special Considerations and Implications

R. NICOLLE NICOLLE CARR (University of Oklahoma)

The practice of Applied Behavior Analysis in rural communities provides ample fodder for unique situations and ethical code violations. Surveys were sent to Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in the state of Oklahoma, a state with only 103 certified individuals, regarding ethical codes most observed to be violated. In addition to few practitioners in the state, almost 80% of Oklahoma’s certificants live within a 20 mile radius from two main hubs of service delivery. This leaves a small number to provide services for the rest of the state's mostly rural areas. Results of the survey indicate multiple relationships, poor supervision and boundary of competence as the greatest areas of concern. Aside from the short supply of supervisors putting a strain on the supervisee: supervisor ratio, other possible variables that contribute to these violations include a lack of resources within the schools, physical distance to other BCBAs for referrals, working in tight knit communities, and within a culture that defaults to the use of punishment procedures. Knowing the most violated codes within a particular community allows preventative strategies to be implemented. In this case, having a network of mentors, holiday gift reminders, and strict practices for social media are a few of those suggested for our rural practioners.

Ethics Internationally: The Need for Responsible and Sustainable Dissemination
Abstract: As of December 2018, 94.8% of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs) lived in North America according to the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) Registry. 95.3% of the world population is outside North America and the prevalence of Autism internationally is 1 in 160 (WHO, 2018). Here lies the challenge of disseminating the science internationally when the vast majority of credentialed clinicians, research, and course sequences are available to those living in North America. The challenge is further compounded in countries in which English is not widely spoken. Effective dissemination in foreign countries provides a unique challenge with respects to adhering to our ethical code with careful consideration to many implications such as: scope of competence, cultural humility, an effective and sustainable supervisory service model, resource limitations, stakeholder engagement and solicitation of clients, and conforming to a different set of laws and regulations. With access to pseudoscientific “treatments” online coupled with anecdotal information condemning Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) on the rise, sustainable dissemination of ABA internationally is of crucial importance for prospective clients seeking evidence-based treatment.



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