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 #244
Diversity submission Participant Identity in Behavior Analysis: Current Landscape and Future Directions
Sunday, May 30, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Area: CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Alyssa N. Wilson (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology--SoCal)
Discussant: Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College)

Scientific research publications are permanent products that communicate the values, aims, and outcomes of the scientific enterprise to stakeholders, scientists, and members of society. Applied behavior analytic research, as a field dedicated to intervening on socially significant behaviors, should be upheld to similar publication standards as other professions. The current symposium will focus on the disciplinary reporting practices as they relate to participant identity, to explore the extent to which a) ABA research participation is equitable across social groups, and b) provides a wholistic reporting of demographic variables. The first presentation will present findings from a systematic review on the quality reporting strategies of research articles published in ABAI journals (e.g., Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Perspectives on Behavior Science, and The Psychological Record) between 2010-2019. The second presentation will present findings from a similar review on reporting of participant demographics in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Both presentations will highlight how to improve disciplinary practices for demographic reporting policies and practices in applied behavior analytic research journals.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Applied Research, Cultural Humility, Human Rights, Research Ethics
Diversity submission Participant Identity in Behavior Analytic Research: Examining ABAI Journal Publications from 2010-2019
ALYSSA N. WILSON (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology--SoCal), Kathryn Sharp (Saint Louis University), Claudia CottoVerdon (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology--SoCal)
Abstract: The current study explored quality of reporting generally as well as specifically related to participant demographic variables, within behavior analytic publications including Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Behavior Analysis in Practice, Perspectives on Behavior Science, and The Psychological Record between 2010-2019. Of 2,348 articles identified, 281 used single-subject designs and human participants. Data was extracted by researchers answering yes, no, or open-ended answers on a google form. Questions were derived from the Single-Case Reporting Guidelines for Behavior Interventions (SCRIBE; Tate et al., 2016), a 26-item checklist that describes components needed for quality reporting of single-subject experimental design. Additional questions about participant demographic variables including age, race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomics, and geographical location were added during data collection, and separated during data analysis to maintain the total score of 26. Total SCRIBE scores were calculated by counting all yes responses. Average SCRIBE scores across all included articles was 16.7 (64%), with most articles reporting scientific background in their introduction, procedural detail related to the intervention and results, and operational definitions of all target behaviors. Participant demographic information was reported inconsistently across articles (race/ethnicity = 16.6%, age=92%, sex/gender=85%, socioeconomic=16%, and geographic location = 24%). Implications for future reporting of behavior analytic research is discussed.
Diversity submission 

CANCELED: Why Participant Identity Matters

MALIKA N. PRITCHETT (Positive Enlightenment; The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Dallas), Shahla Susan Ala'i (University of North Texas), Alicia ReCruz (University of North Texas), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)

In the context of research that involves human participants, justice is about fairness, protecting vulnerability, and the equitable distribution of research burdens and benefits across social groups. Historically the burdens of biomedical and behavioral research participation have been disproportionately endured by persons with vulnerabilities. Central to the principle of justice are protections for the over selection of participants from homogenous cultural and ethnic groups. Ideally, applied behavior analytic research is driven by a steadfast orientation toward the amelioration of the types of human suffering often experienced by members of society who are marginalized. Recent analyses of participant demographics in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis suggests, on one hand, over selection of persons with vulnerabilities and on the other hand, a consistent lack information regarding demographics and selection criteria. A discussion of colonial research practices in applied behavior analytic research is critical in the assessment of human rights trends in applied behavior analytic research. There is an inherent danger when participation is a primarily a function of the ease and benefit of the researchers’ agenda. To address the lack of participant demographic reporting practices, we suggest systemic changes to policies, strategies, and research practices within our field be interwoven with a commitment to social justice, including racial justice, for all.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh