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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Symposium #417
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Diversity in Mentorship and Graduate Programs: Faculty and Student Outlooks
Monday, May 30, 2022
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205C
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Brinea Osborne (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Malika N. Pritchett (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Malika Pritchett, M.A.

Creating inclusive and equitable models of mentorship and training is instrumental for retention of individuals from historically marginalized backgrounds in behavior analysis. Although improvements have been made, a call to further develop culturally responsive mentorship practices, graduate programs, and course work still requires substantial attention to address existing disparities. The first talk will discuss data from faculty regarding their mentorship practices, training, and current strategies for mentoring diverse students. The second talk will highlight mentorship experiences from students of historically marginalized groups and discuss tactics for refining current practices. The third talk will discuss the prevalence of diversity and cultural awareness in behavior analytic graduate programs from survey results of faculty and students. The final talk will review the need for critical multicultural coursework in behavior analytic curricula in comparison to other disciplines.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Participants should be knowledgeable of basic applied behavior analysis principles.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify current challenges faculty encounter when providing mentorship to students of historically marginalized groups and future strategies to improve practices; (2) Identify barriers students and BACB certificates face during mentorship and recommendations for culturally responsive mentorship practices; (3) Discuss the relationship between diversity and cultural awareness in graduate programs; (4) Identify ways to include critical multicultural education in behavior analysis curricula.
Diversity submission Survey on Culturally Responsive Mentorship Practices in Behavior Analysis
DENICE RIOS MOJICA (Georgia Southern University), Marlesha Bell (University of the Pacific), Tara A. Fahmie (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Haylee Tomberlin (Georgia Southern University), Catina Broaden (Georgia Southern University)
Abstract: Recent publications have called on behavior analysts to adopt culturally responsive and humble skills in their clinical practice. Although it is important to focus on these skills when providing therapeutic services to clients, it is just as important to apply the same responsiveness when we train and mentor future behavior analysts. Culturally responsive mentorship refers to identifying the mentor and the mentee’s culturally shaped beliefs, perceptions, and judgments in a mentorship relationship, how those cultural aspects are similar and different, and adjusting your mentorship techniques to create a carefully constructed environment responsive to the mentee’s specific needs. Practicing culturally responsive mentorship when training and mentoring future behavior analysts aligns directly with practicing cultural humility. The presentation will describe a survey conducted on the status of culturally responsive mentorship practices used with future behavior analysts. We surveyed 502 faculty who teach in a verified course sequence and/or an ABAI accredited program. The survey was completed by a total of 44 respondents. Results showed faculty are dedicated to adopting culturally responsive mentorship practices but need training and resources to do so. We outline the specific results of the survey and the implications for training and mentoring future behavior analysts.
Diversity submission 

Current State and Experiences of Racially and Ethnically Diverse Groups in Applied Behavior Analysis During Mentorship

MARLESHA BELL (University of the Pacific), Denice Rios Mojica (Georgia Southern University), Tara A. Fahmie (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Recent Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) data showed an underrepresentation of individuals from historically marginalized groups (HMGs) who have obtained BACB® certificates (BACB Certificant Data, 2021). Previous literature has described mentorship as a recommendation for retaining individuals from HMGs in various settings including higher education (Sorkness et al., 2015) and more recently in behavior analysis (Cirincione-Ulezi, 2020). Thus, the purpose of the survey was to gather information about the experiences and needs of HMGs during mentorship and provide suggestions for improving the experiences of future BACB® certificants. The survey gathered information on the importance of mentorship, whether they had mentors who matched their backgrounds (i.e., race and/or gender), factors (e.g., school’s location, racial climate) when choosing mentors, barriers (e.g., microaggressions, lack of safety/trust) experienced during mentorship, and actions the students would like from their mentors. Recommendations will be shared based on the data (i.e., voices of the BACB® certificants from HMGs) on culturally responsive mentorship practices

Diversity submission 

Evaluating the Emphasis on Cultural Humility in Graduate Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis

Jacqueline Shinall (Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology), SAMREEN RIZVI (Rutgers University New Brunswick NJ), Nishi Kadakia (Rutgers University-New Brunswick), Peter Gencarelli (Rutgers University-New Brunswick), Isabella Massaro (Rutgers University), Roberts Liriano Pena (Rutgers University-New Brunswick), Kate E. Fiske Massey (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University)

The 2022 Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts requires all behavior analysts to acquire knowledge and skills to provide culturally responsive services. However, the 5th Edition Task List on which ABA curricula are based has minimal focus on diversity and cultural awareness (D&CA). Recognizing the importance of such training, we conducted a survey for professors and students from graduate behavior analysis programs to assess the degree to which D&CA was discussed in their programs. Ninety-six students and 53 professors anonymously completed the Qualtrics survey. Less than 50% of professors were from historically marginalized groups (HMG) while almost 70% of the students represented HMG, and almost one-third of the students identified as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). Chi-square analyses revealed that non-BIPOC students were consistently more likely than BIPOC students to feel their courses included topics on D&CA such as considering ethnicity and race in their work and managing one’s own biases. Moreover, almost 80% of professors reported they consider the backgrounds of their students while presenting information and giving course examples, yet only 42% of students agreed. This research demonstrates the considerable gap in teaching competency in D&CA and speaks to the importance of multicultural perspectives in diversity training.

Diversity submission 

Examining Critical Multicultural Pedagogy in Graduate-Level Coursework Across Related Disciplines Serving Minoritized and High-Needs Populations

LAURATU BAH (University of Kansas), Hannah Lynn MacNaul (University of Texas at San Antonio)

Recent estimates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (Zeleke et al., 2019). Given the increased rate of autism diagnosis, behavior analysts are increasingly providing services to diverse populations. In 2021, the behavior analyst certification board (BACB) released demographic data on race/ethnicity and gender that showcased 71.8% of licensed behavior analysts are white and 86.1% are white females (BACB Certificant Data, 2021). This begs the question, why hasn’t the field of behavior analysis introduced Critical Multicultural Education (CME) within its curriculum? It is imperative that behavior analytic programs incorporate CME into their curricula as a prerequisite to becoming a behavior analyst. As such, the purpose of this article is to review literature on critical multicultural coursework across related disciplines (teacher education, social work, counseling, school psychology, psychology) in contrast to behavior analytic curricula. A total of 22 articles were identified, and methods were analyzed based on pedagogical approaches, including course work, applied projects, and field-based experiences. A discussion is provided regarding how behavior analysis can incorporate CME into its curricula, leaning on the previously established approaches from related disciplines.




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