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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Panel #22
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethical Considerations Regarding Assent and Consent in Behavior Analytic Research
Saturday, May 28, 2022
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156C
Area: PCH/AUT; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Sarah C. Mead Jasperse, Ph.D.
Chair: Sarah C. Mead Jasperse (Emirates College for Advanced Education)
JONATHAN K FERNAND (Florida Institute of Technology)
SHANNON WARD (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children)
P. RAYMOND JOSLYN (Utah State University)
Abstract: A core feature of applied behavior analytic research is studying behavioral phenomena within the context in which the behaviors are important and with the people who engage in the behaviors in those contexts. It is incumbent upon applied researchers to protect the rights, safety, and dignity of all individuals who participate in their studies. Indeed, seminal guiding documents have delineated the importance of obtaining fully-informed consent from research participants or their legal representatives. To a lesser extent, expectations also have been put forward regarding the obtainment of affirmative assent from participants when consent has been provided by another party. A review of the literature in 2021 by Morris et al. regarding research with participants with autism spectrum disorder and related developmental disabilities found that very few published articles explicitly described assent procedures used in their studies. In this panel, applied researchers with experience conducting research in a variety of clinical contexts will discuss ethical considerations they have had to take into account when developing consent and assent procedures for their projects. Practical recommendations regarding adherence to laws, regulations, and policies will be discussed and issues relating to assent processes in special circumstances will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience: Basic – Anyone who may participate in or conduct applied behavior analytic research would benefit from attending this panel.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1) identify which documents, laws, regulations, ethics codes, and policies guide the consent and assent processes in applied behavior analytic research; 2) describe what ethical considerations should be taken into account when developing consent and assent procedures for applied behavior analytic research; 3) explain how assent processes could be handled ethically in special circumstances.
Keyword(s): assent, consent, research ethics



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