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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Paper Session #350
Teaching Social-Emotional Skills
Monday, May 29, 2023
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center 405
Area: EDC
Chair: Gwendolyn Cartledge (The Ohio State University)

Using Culturally Diverse Literature to Teach Social-Emotional Skills

Domain: Service Delivery
Gwendolyn Cartledge (The Ohio State University, Emerita), AMANDA YURICK (Cleveland State University), Alana Telesman (Ohio State University)

The authors use a social modeling and reinforcement paradigm to teach social and emotional learning in the elementary classroom. Culturally diverse literature is used to introduce and guide the learning for the targeted behaviors. Direct observations and pupil responses to enactments and paper assignments document the extent of learning Social and emotional learning is proposed for the elementary-aged child within a diverse society. This instruction is consistent with the emphasis on global education and the need to prepare our students for a shrinking planet and increasingly diverse immediate and larger environments. Advanced societies demand that we recognize, respect, and celebrate the “other.” At minimum, authorities agree successful global citizens can affirm others, take others’ perspectives, experience empathy, develop meaningful cooperative relations with others, and pursue social justice: the ability to question unfair practices and advocate for self and others. Accordingly, we need to extend social and emotional learning. Diversity is defined broadly so that this model includes differences according to race, religion, gender, socioeconomics, language, ethnicity, disability, and age. Learners are helped to identify with literature models and discern aspects of the literature to employ most advantageously. This learning benefits the child, the classroom, the school, the family, and the community. Lessons focus on affirming self and others, asserting self, managing conflict situations, and maintaining these behaviors over time.


Behavioral Skills Training (instruction, modeling, rehearsal, feedback) has been shown in multiple studies to support teaching a wide range of skills to children and adults. In this study, Behavioral Skills Training was implemented to teach social-emotional skills such as self-awareness, emotion regulation, and stress management, to students in special education using a multi-media curriculum. A multiple baseline design across classrooms/teachers was used and outcomes includes student self-assessment, teacher behavioral ratings, stress, behavior changes, and teacher-student relationships. Teachers were also taught social-emotional skills and strategies using Behavioral Skills Training. Fidelity of implementation and social validity outcomes are included. A parent training component was also implemented and included outcomes of parent ratings on child's social-emotional skills, behavior, and parent-child relationships. The importance of using ABA procedures to teach social-emotional skills will be discussed.




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