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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #154
CE Offered: BACB
The Contribution of Qualitative Research to the Understanding of the Application, or Lack Thereof, of Behavior Principles
Saturday, May 29, 2021
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Area: CBM/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Megan M. Griffin (Whitworth University)
CE Instructor: Deirdre M. Muldoon, Ph.D.

Qualitative research is often undertaken to understand and improve practices within a particular discipline. Qualitative researchers are interested in understanding how people perceive or interpret their lived experiences rather than working to find and prove a hypothesis or discover a cause and effect. For example, understanding others’ theoretical ways of seeing the application of behavior principles to challenging behavior is a possible objective for the coding and thematic analysis that is typical of qualitative research. This symposium will address the process of qualitative research including the use of coding, memos, nodes, and themes. The presenters will address the research process of coding, categorization of codes and subsequent generation of themes. Qualitative research requires additional methods of triangulation of data (e.g., member checking, auditor, critical friend) and these methods will also be discussed , as will the iterative nature of the analysis of data in qualitative research.

Target Audience:

This symposium is appropriate for researchers and practitioners who are interested in the perspectives of consumers of ABA services. The presenters will provide information about qualitative research and the insights that the iterative nature of qualitative data analysis provides when investigating the perspectives of consumers served by ABA researchers and practitioners.


Qualitative Methodology to Inform Applied Behavior Analytic Practices: A Literature Review

TIFFANY OTERO (University of New Mexico)

As the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) grows and transforms, so too are the methods of inquiry utilized to inform practices. Single case design methodology remains the predominant method of inquiry. However, qualitative methods have increased in prevalence, often as a measure of social validity and feasibility of practices. In this presentation, we provide the findings of a systematic literature review on the use of qualitiative methods in behavior analytic research. Specifically, we will discuss the prevalence of qualitative methodology in behavior analytic content. We will also discuss the most common qualitative methods used and for which purposes they serve. Finally, we will provide information on limitations and considerations for the future.


Understanding Caregivers’ Perceptions of Feeding/Mealtime Interventions for Their Young Child With a Feeding Difficulty

DEIRDRE M. MULDOON (The College of Saint Rose)

For this qualitative research nine caregivers were interviewed and recorded. Recordings were transcribed. Transcriptions were systematically coded and analyzed for the lived experiences of caregivers around mealtimes/feeding and difficult behavior. Three qualitative researchers coded each interview separately and a list of codes, nodes and themes was generated and shared following each meeting. Additional codes and nodes were generated as the interview coding proceeded and each code was accepted as long as 2/3 of the researchers agreed to its inclusion. Codes will be condensed into themes and a minimum of three main themes will be generated through the reiterative process of qualitative data analysis; these themes will be discussed in detail. The contribution of the understanding achieved (i.e., of parents’ perceptions of interventions around feeding and mealtimes) qualitative analysis and results will be discussed, as well as the process of qualitative research itself. Member checking and an audit is planned upon completion of coding and thematic analysis (data analysis is ongoing at the time of this submission).

Qualitative Research and Contextual Fit
SUSAN R COPELAND (University of New Mexico), Megan M. Griffin (Whitworth University)
Abstract: Practitioners often complain that families, teachers, or other individuals in applied settings do not implement interventions as planned or continue to implement them when services are faded. Qualitative research has potential for better understanding the factors that influence this problem. In this presentation, we will define and describe qualitative research and its potential contributions to behavior analytic work. To do this, we will examine findings from three single case research studies examining the use of self-management strategies to decrease problem behavior of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) as a means of exploring how future qualitative studies could be designed to understand more deeply the contextual fit of behavior analytic interventions, particularly with families from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh