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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #183
Diversity submission Applied Behavior Analysis Across the Globe: An Overview of Research, Education, and Service Delivery in Different Countries
Sunday, May 28, 2023
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri-St. Louis)
Discussant: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Andresa De Souza, Ph.D.

The applications of applied behavior analysis for the intervention of people with developmental disabilities have received recognition across the United States of America and Canada. Nonetheless, many other countries across the globe still have limited availability in terms of country-specific research, the presence of advanced education, and access to specialized services. This situation is even more prevalent in developing countries where financial barriers and public health policies might impede the dissemination of behavior analysis as a science and evidence-based intervention. This symposium will provide an overview of behavior analytic research, education, and service delivery in developing countries worldwide. First, Carlos Santos will present a literature review of applied studies conducted with participants with autism in Brazil. Next, Meral Koldas will provide an overview of the dissemination efforts in education and service delivery in Turkiye. In the third presentation, Dr. Zhichun Zhou Ostlund will describe the service delivery model in China and discuss the cultural barriers commonly encountered by practitioners. Finally, Dr. Daniella Pizzella will review the applications of behavior interventions in South Africa and Sub-Saharan schools. Dr. Caio Miguel will serve as the discussant for this symposium.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): diversity, international, research, service-delivery
Target Audience:

The audience should understand research methods, credentialing requirements, and behavior interventions in different contexts.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe the status of applied research, training, and service delivery across different countries. (2) List dissemination efforts carried over in at least one of the countries included in this symposium. (3) Discuss the importance of considering cultural variables in research, training, and service delivery.
Diversity submission 

A Literature Review of Applied Behavior Analytic Interventions for People With Autism in Brazil

ANDRESA DE SOUZA (University of Missouri-St. Louis), Carlos Henrique Santos da Silva (Brock University), Renata Michel (Instituto de Pesquisa Conduzir)

The vast majority of research providing empirical support for the effectiveness of interventions based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) for people with autism has been conducted in the United States and Canada. The lack of diverse representation in ABA-based research can compromise the external validity of outcomes and the extent to which these intervention procedures are culturally sensitive to and equally effective for communities of diverse cultural backgrounds. Brazil is a country with a long tradition in the study of behavior analysis and basic research and currently has a large demand countrywide for behavior analytic interventions for children with autism. This literature review aimed to identify and analyze ABA-based research for people with autism in Brazil. We conducted a search in international and national databases using English and Portuguese keywords. We conducted reference and citation checks to identify additional articles that might not have appeared in the original search. Studies identified and included in the review were published in Brazilian and foreign peer-reviewed journals. We will present the findings in terms of journal language, participants' demographics, target behaviors and procedures, outcomes, and study quality. The implications for service delivery and policy change will be discussed.

Diversity submission 

Dissemination Efforts of Applied Behavior Analysis Education and Intervention in Türkiye

MERAL KOLDAS (Queen's University of Belfast), Elif Tekin-Iftar (Anadolu University), Demet Tavukcu (Maltepe University)

The Republic of Turkiye has a unique geographic position as a transcontinental country in Asia and Europe on the Balkan Peninsula. About 6.9% of the total population in Turkiye, ages 3 years and older, have some type of disability, including autism (TUIK, 2021). Policies related to the intervention for individuals with disabilities typically involve meeting that population’s free health care in state hospitals and basic educational needs, such as 2-hour one-to-one therapeutic intervention weekly at rehabilitation centers. Evidence-based interventions based on applied behaviour analysis (ABA; Leaf et al., 2021) for children with disabilities are an emerging field in Turkiye. Currently, there are both institutional and clinical efforts to disseminate ABA-based technologies in agencies and schools across the country. However, considering the total number of individuals with developmental disabilities, including autism, the dissemination of ABA-based interventions nationwide is far behind the ideal level. This presentation will discuss the historical development of behavior analysis in Turkiye from an educational and service-delivery perspective.

Diversity submission 

The Development of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Training, Credentialing, and Services in China: Local Solutions in a Global Field

ZHICHUN ZHOU OSTLUND (Webster University ), Tian Jiang (University of Rochester)

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) has been recognized as an evidence-based practice for people with autism and related developmental disabilities nationally and internationally. As a result, behavior analytic services and credentials have rapidly increased in the USA, and behavior analytic techniques have been translated from English to at least twelve languages, including Chinese. This presentation will delve into the practice of ABA in China, one of the non-English speaking countries. We will provide an overview of (a) the current number of ABA training programs and agencies offering ABA services in the country; and (b) the cost and duration of obtaining a Chinese version of behavior analyst credentials (undergraduate and graduate level). We then will look into the quality of ABA services and the ethical implications of ABA practice in China in general. We will end the presentation with a question: While we can translate the techniques and strategies of ABA to the Chinese language, can we truly implement the practice of ABA in the current social and cultural context in China?

Diversity submission Research and Application of Behavior Interventions for Classroom Management in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Countries
Robin Katzen (University of the Western Cape), DANI PIZZELLA (University of Missouri-St. Louis), Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri-St. Louis), Nicolette Roman (University of the Western Cape)
Abstract: Globally, educators are challenged with barriers in facilitating sustained behavior management interventions in classrooms. In South African and Sub-Saharan African contexts, educators are inhibited due to being structurally disadvantaged (Theron & van Rensburg, 2018). Common barriers include educators' difficulties in employing evidence-based classroom management strategies, as well as a shortage of training, implementation materials, and funding (Gagnon et al., 2021). One approach to assist educators in a sustainable transition to effective classroom management is continuous research and facilitation of evidence-based classroom management (Hartnack, 2017). Contextual understanding and awareness of educators’ daily challenges and pressures (resource constraints and funding) can impact strategies to facilitate the implementation of strategies for classroom behavior management (Feldman, 2021). Furthermore, behavior intervention plans (BIP) focused on functional behavior assessments (FBA) adopted by trained educators can make significant improvements in overall classroom management (Ibigbami et al., 2021). This presentation gives a brief account of South African and Sub-Saharan research and applications of behavior interventions with a particular emphasis on educators working in mainstream and special needs schools.



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