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

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Symposium #17
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission On Antiracist Actions in Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 29, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
CE Instructor: Cody Morris, Ph.D.
Abstract: Not engaging in racist behaviors is often erroneously thought of as the opposite of engaging in racist behaviors. However, merely avoiding overtly racist behaviors does not counteract racism because existing racist policies continue to perpetuate inequalities if they do not encounter active resistance. As a result, inaction on the part of society only continues to promote and sustain oppressive systems. Therefore, to move towards abolishing racist systems, all members of a society must engage in anti-racist behaviors. Engaging in anti-racist behaviors involves taking actions toward dismantling racist systems and policies to create more equitable systems. The purpose of this symposium is to review and discuss specific anti-racist behaviors that behavior analysts can engage in to contribute to combating racism in our field and our communities. The first presentation will focus on evaluating risk factors related to client mistreatment in applied settings; the second presentation will focus on creating solidarity of non-black people of color in creating racial equity; and the third talk will focus on behavior analyst’s role in combatting microaggressions.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): antiracist, diversity, equity, systemic racism
Target Audience: This talk will be appropriate for BCBAs. There is no prior knowledge needed to benefit from his talk.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to (1) identify risk-factors of client-mistreatment; (2) describe important antiracist actions necessary for creating racial equity in the field and beyond; (3) define microaggressions behaviorally.
Diversity submission On the Uncanny Similarities Between Police Brutality and Client Mistreatment
NICOLE HOLLINS (Western Michigan University), Cody Morris (Salve Regina University )
Abstract: Direct-care staff are responsible for carrying out behavior-analytic services in a culture that perpetuates systemic racism and other problematic systems that can lead to the mistreatment of clients. Limited data exists on factors that influence the mistreatment of clients, so behavior analysts must look to better-studied comparison contexts as a way to identify risk-factors. Police brutality is one context where problematic systems are apparent. Therefore, examining variables known to affect police brutality offers one way to identify aspects of direct-care staff implementation of behavior-analytic treatment that may harbor similar systems. The purpose of this presentation is to examine variables associated with police brutality as risk-factors for the mistreatment of clients in direct-care settings. The primary risk-factors discussed include racial-bias, warrior mentality, lack of transparency and accountability, and ineffective intervention. This paper concludes that the field of behavior analysis needs sensitive data collection methods and systematic evaluation of risk-factors to better protect clients from mistreatment.
Diversity submission Solidarity: The Role of Non-Black People of Color in Promoting Racial Equity
ANITA LI (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Multicultural behavior analysts must stand together to address the issues of systemic racism collectively, show solidarity, and support Black lives. This paper discusses the role of culturally and linguistically diverse behavior analysts, mechanisms underlying barriers and incompatible behaviors in showing solidarity, and mechanisms required for cultural evolution to promote a compassionate and nurturing approach to racial equity. It is critical that non-Black people of color actively participate in antiracist advocacy to show solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement. Both allyship and contributors to systemic racism, especially in the context of injustice and mistreatment of Black people, are not limited to white individuals. The purpose of this paper is to invoke introspection and promote solidarity-aligned behaviors for non-Black ethnic and racial people of color within the field of applied behavior analysis, discuss the individual and metacontingencies involved, and facilitate a cultural evolution to reduce racism and prejudice towards Black individuals.
Diversity submission Understanding Microaggressions: Implications for Using a Science of Behavior to Promote and Support Anti-Racist Teaching
DENICE RIOS MOJICA (Georgia Southern University), Marlesha Bell (University of South Florida), Lorraine A Becerra (University of Missouri), Andrew Bulla (Georgia Southern University - Armstrong )
Abstract: Microaggressions are defined as daily verbal and non-verbal assaults directed toward people from historically marginalized and stigmatized groups. When compared with overt acts of racism, microaggressions can cause just as much, if not more, psychological damage. Over the last 10 years, social psychologists have done a lot of work to research the effects of microaggressions and have evaluated ways to address them in many different contexts. Often diversity and inclusion trainings use this body of literature to educate and bring awareness to the concept. However, research on these types of trainings show mixed results in terms of their effectiveness. Behavior analysts often stay away from subjective definitions and focus on function and environmental effects. Additionally, behavior analysts have a large body of literature in instructional design and concept teaching that is often used to successfully teach difficult concepts. As such, behavior analysts might be in a good position to redesign instruction and trainings around microaggressions to bring more objectivity to the definition, reduce subjective interpretations, and ensure successful learning of the concept. In this presentation, we will outline examples on how we can use the research in concept teaching and learning to successfully teach the concept of microaggressions.



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