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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Paper Session #208
CE Offered: BACB
The Importance of Contextual Fit for Achieving Student Outcomes
Sunday, May 29, 2022
10:00 AM–10:25 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205C
Area: EDC
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Lisa Gurdin (Northeastern University, LSGurdin Consulting)
CE Instructor: Lisa Gurdin, M.S.

The Importance of Contextual Fit for Achieving Student Outcomes

Domain: Service Delivery
LISA GURDIN (Northeastern University, LSGurdin Consulting)

Effective behavior change is difficult to achieve in schools due to a multitude of variables, including high caseloads and limited time for staff training. Establishing treatment integrity and social validity are often overlooked as essential to this process. Although behavior analysts are trained to engage in a thoughtful process of assessment, intervention design and implementation, and data analysis, they often do not assess a key component: contextual fit. Contextual fit involves identifying environmental variables that will both enhance and potentially interfere with the success of an intervention. These variables include the values, needs, and skills of the change agents as well as the resources available at the school. Contextual fit, then, is the extent to which behavioral treatment matches the aforementioned variables. In this presentation, contextual fit will be defined and discussed as a way to maximize outcomes with teachers, students, and families and enhance ethical practices. Relevant research will be reviewed and ethical considerations will be discussed.

Target Audience:

Intermediate - practice behavior analysts in school for more than 1 year.

Learning Objectives: (1) What is contextual fit?; (2) How do you assess contextual fit?; (3) How does contextual fit affect treatment integrity, social validity, and effective behavior change?; (4) How do you incorporate contextual fit when designing and implementing behavior plans?



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