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 #269
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Research and Practice: Where are We Now and How Do We Move Forward?
Sunday, May 30, 2021
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Pooja Panesar (Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental Therapies)
CE Instructor: Noor Younus Syed, Ph.D.
Abstract: Following the incredibly tragic deaths of Mr. George Floyd and others, it became clear that the world as a whole needed to face and address the prevalence of systemic racism in our institutions. While we have begun to discuss compassion and cultural humility conceptually, a significant need remains to investigate the topography of culturally humble behaviors in both our scholarly and applied work. The heartbreaking murders served as an impetus for the behavior analytic community to address systems change and engage in self-reflection to better understand where we have erred in addressing systemic inequality, so that we may forge a path towards equity, inclusion, and diversity in our research, our body of clinicians, and the clients we serve. In the first talk, we will focus on assessing trends in demographic variables to identify gaps in targeted populations for recently published articles in OBM literature. The second presentation will analyze disparities and potential barriers in the access of therapy as related to demographic variables for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The final talk will review understanding of inclusive terminology, analyze organizational responses addressing systemic racism, and explore stakeholder feedback on methods to increase diversity within the field of behavior analysis.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Demographics, Disparity, Diversity-equity-inclusion, Systemic racism
Target Audience: None
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Describe trends in the reporting of demographic variables for recently published articles in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and the Journal of Applied Psychology 2) Identify disparities as related to demographic variables in accessing therapeutic services for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder 3) Identify methods to increase diversity and equity within the field of behavior analysis at individual and organizational levels that are based on stakeholder input
Diversity submission 

Reporting of Demographic Variables in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and the Journal of Applied Psychology

JESSICA NASTASI (University of Florida), Andrew Smith (University of Florida), Nicole Gravina (University of Florida), Alyssa Lynn Crowe (University of Florida)

Data on participant demographics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status) can be used to evaluate the existence of treatment disparities and other correlations between the impact of an intervention and sociopolitical location, yet these data are seldom reported in behavior-analytic studies. To date, no review has been conducted evaluating the reporting of demographic variables within the subfield of organizational behavior management (OBM). OBM interventions often involve multiple participants across levels of an organization, posing unique considerations for reporting demographic variables and potentially identifiable information in accordance with an organization’s preference for disclosure and human resource policies. Interventions in industrial/organizational psychology may encounter similar barriers to reporting demographic variables. Therefore, we reviewed articles published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM) and the Journal of Applied Psychology from 2015 to 2019 to evaluate recent trends in the reporting of demographic variables. All articles that included participants and presented data (i.e., both applied and laboratory research; N = 79) were included for review and were coded based on the setting, design, and reported demographic variables. The value of reporting demographic variables in OBM and suggestions for future reporting will be discussed.

Diversity submission 

Identifying Possible Disparities in Autism Services Via Clinical File Review

(Service Delivery)
JANELLE KIRSTIE BACOTTI (University of Florida), Ann-Marie Orlando (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (University of Florida), Tracy Argueta (University of Florida)

Early diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are critical to maximizing early development (Brasher & Stapel-Wax, 2020). Prior evidence suggests that some communities within the ASD population are underserved and experience reduced access and quality of services (Bishop-Fitzpatrick & Kind, 2017). The purpose of the current study was to complete a retrospective clinical file review to identify possible disparities in access to therapeutic services. We scored demographic variables (e.g., age at time of initial contact, sex, race/ethnicity) and reported access to therapy services (e.g., applied behavior analysis, speech language pathology). We conducted visual and statistical analyses to determine correlations between demographic variables and reported access to therapy services. We discuss our findings and possible future directions for evaluating disparities to accessing therapy services in the ASD community.

Diversity submission 

The ABA Field Responds to Calls for Increased Diversity and Equity: An Analysis of Our Current Standing and the Path Forward

NOOR YOUNUS SYED (SUNY Empire State College; Endicott College; Global Autism Project), David J. Cox (Behavioral Health Center of Excellence; Endicott College), Ronnie Detrich (Utah State University)

As recent outcry emerged upon the murder of George Floyd, following Ahmaud Arberry, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, it became apparent that the world needed to significantly analyze core values and principles to address issues of systemic racism. The field of behavior analysis is no exception. While some major behavior analytic organizations have previously developed diversity policies, most chose to release statements specifically addressing racism and diversity in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s murder. Too, while there is a growing body of literature regarding cultural humility and diversity in behavior analysis, these discussions have not yet been informed by a collection of voices from the field. While the statements and literature are undoubtedly well-intentioned, they may lack actionable items and stakeholder input that research suggests are critical in sustainable development of societal and political processes. The purpose of this study therefore was twofold: to analyze responses from major behavior analytic and psychological institutions, and to analyze survey responses of clinicians and researchers on understanding demographic concepts related to diversity. Finally, an analysis of stakeholder feedback on how to increase diversity within the field of behavior analysis was conducted. We urge the field to use these data to better inform action items we can engage in to increase diversity and equity at all levels.

SUNY Empire State College; Anderson Center International; Endicott College



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh