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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #495
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Advancing Cultural Responsiveness in Behavior Analysis: Insights, Tools, and Strategies From Diverse Perspectives
Monday, May 27, 2024
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon E
Area: EDC/PCH; Domain: Theory
Chair: Zeinab Hedroj (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute)
CE Instructor: Zeinab Hedroj, M.S.

This symposium explores different approaches to enhancing cultural responsiveness in behavior-analytic service delivery and research. Zeinab Hedroj from Monroe-Meyer Institute will present a systematic literature review categorizing recommendations and resources for cultural responsiveness in behavior analysis. This comprehensive overview equips practitioners and researchers with practical steps and tools to improve their cultural competency. Dr. Michelle Kelly from Emirates College for Advanced Education will share insights from a bilingual survey conducted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), exploring parents' perspectives on early childhood development training and research. The findings provide valuable strategies to enhance parent engagement and assent procedures in research. Finally, Dr. Daniel Kwak from Kennedy Krieger Institute will present on the implementation of the Values-Centered Assessment Tool (VCAT). This study illustrates how culturally adapted interventions positively impacted families and children. Together, these presentations equip practitioners and researchers with some of the tools needed to foster cultural responsiveness in the field of behavior analysis.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): cultural adaptation, cultural assessment, cultural responsiveness, ethical practice
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: (1) To inform the audience on the development and effective utilization of the Values-Centered Assessment Tool (VCAT) in behavior analysis. (2) To equip the audience with diverse perspectives on enhancing parental engagement in behavioral programs and research. (3) To provide a comprehensive list of steps and resources to practitioners and researchers looking to improve upon their cultural competency.??
Diversity submission 

Delivering Individualized and Culturally Responsive Behavioral Services: An Experimental Evaluation

DANIEL KWAK (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)

Taking an individualized approach to cultural responsiveness is essential when collaborating with families to deliver behavior-analytic services. However, behavior analysts lack the resources to initiate this collaborative process by asking caregivers informed and targeted questions. To address this area of need, our previous study involved initial development of the Values-Centered Assessment Tool (VCAT) through extensive review of the literature, in-depth interviews with service providers, and evaluation by an expert panel. The current study involved examination of the actual use of the VCAT by behavior analysts, of cultural adaptations made to services based on the information gathered, and of changes in caregivers’ and children’s behaviors. Results showed that the behavior analysts successfully gathered relevant information from using the VCAT and that they could make cultural adaptations of evidence-based interventions in the areas of interactions with the families, goal development, intervention, and training that that were unique to each family. Implementation of the culturally responsive parent training intervention resulted in substantial increases in parent implementation fidelity and improvement in children’s behaviors. As a result of the process, parenting stress decreased for all parents. The process of using the VCAT demonstrated high social validity, which was assessed with caregivers and children.

Diversity submission Early Childhood Development Training and Research: Exploring Parents' Perspectives in the United Arab Emirates
MICHELLE P. KELLY (Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE)), Sarah C. Mead Jasperse (Emirates College for Advanced Education), Shannon Ward (Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education operated by The New England Center for Children)
Abstract: This presentation will outline the findings from a two-part, online, bilingual (Arabic/English) survey that aimed to understand parents' perspectives of early childhood development (ECD) training and research in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Middle East. The first part explored how to increase parents’ engagement in parent training programs and research to positively impact the lives of young children and their families. The second part aimed to understand parents’ perspectives about the role of assent in ECD research and drew upon their lived experiences as research participants. Data from almost 900 parents will be shared, showing the types of items that would be considered as potential reinforcers for parents to engage in training and research. The data highlights the importance of different elements of parent engagement programs and research studies that motivate parents to volunteer as participants. The results also show the types of assent procedures that would make parents feel comfortable to allow their children to participate in a research study and return for future research activities. The potential implications of these findings will be outlined, including a discussion on future research, policy development, and design of ethical practices.?
Diversity submission 

Cultural Responsiveness in Behavior Analysis: A Thematic Analysis of the Recommendations and Resources

ZEINAB HEDROJ (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute), Catalina Rey (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Melissa Valdez-Nuguid (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe Meyer Institute)

The field of behavior analysis is grwing and focusing more on cultural competency and cultural responsiveness in research and practice. with this growing interest comes an increase in the number of articles published on the topic. Clinicians, practitioners, and researchers looking to improve on their culturally responsive practice may find the volume of the literature overwhelming when seeking clear and practical advice. In this systematic literature review, we compiled peer reviewed articles on cultural responsiveness in behavior analysis, extracted the recommendations provided in these articles, and conducted a thematic analysis to categorize the recommendations into distinct themes. We also provide a list of the resources and tools suggested by the authors in these articles. With a comprehensive list of the most recent recommendations and tools, the aim of our paper is to provide a list of steps and resources to practitioners and researchers looking to improve upon their cultural competency.??




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