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

Previous Page


Symposium #243
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Empowering Educators Toward Equity: Current Research on Promoting Equity in School Settings
Sunday, May 26, 2024
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon E
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Translational
Chair: Daphne Snyder (Western Michigan University; University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Discussant: Berenice de la Cruz (Texas A&M University-San Antonio)
CE Instructor: Berenice de la Cruz, Ph.D.

BIPOC students face disproportional disciplinary practices (Badger et al., 2018; Little & Tolbert, 2018; Noguera, 2003), special education identification (Sullivan & Proctor, 2016), and teacher-student interactions (Decker et al., 2007; Wymer et al., 2020) as compared to their white peers. Disproportionality may be a result of implicit bias or behaviors influenced by cues that function as an indicator of the social group to which others belong (De Houwer, 2019). School-based behavior analysts and classroom consultants are well-positioned to measure and subsequently intervene on disproportionately. This symposium will describe current research within the field to measure and promote equitable practices in the classroom setting. The first paper describes the role of school-based behavior analysts in providing culturally humble services and research. The second paper describes the implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) and disproportionality in schools. The third paper assesses teachers’ perceptions of their own cultural responsiveness and students’ classroom behaviors. The final paper describes an intervention for increasing proportional teacher-student interactions in the classroom setting during unstructured times.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): cultural responsiveness, Equitable discipline, Equity
Target Audience:

School-based BCBAs

Learning Objectives: Identify methods for school-based Board Certified Behavior Analysts to provide culturally humble services across school settings. Describe how implementation fidelity measures are used to evaluate the implementation of critical elements of PBIS within a school system. Discuss the relationship between teacher’s perceptions of their own culturally responsive teaching practices and indirect and direct estimates of students' behavior in the classroom. Describe the importance of proportional interactions across student demographic groups.
Diversity submission Current State of Behavior Analytic Equity-Focused Research in Schools
(Service Delivery)
NICOLE HOLLINS (University of Virginia)
Abstract: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students are more likely to experience inequitable discipline practices and delayed special education services compared to their peers in school settings. Many have attributed the systemic disparities to biases and the abuse of discipline policies in school settings. As biases towards BIPOC students in school settings directly impact their academic, social progress, and overall wellbeing, it is critical for school-based Board Certified Behavior Analysts to objectively measure disparities and provide objective feedback on teaching practices. While there are some comprehensive tools and interventions that attempt to address these issues, their utility and acceptability warrant further discussion. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the impact of inequitable teacher-student interactions towards BIPOC students, highlight classroom observation tools or interventions focused on equity, and emphasize the importance of school-based Board Certified Behavior Analysts providing culturally humble services across school settings. Future research endeavors are discussed.
Diversity submission Evaluating the Role of Classroom Behavior Management in Promoting Equitable Discipline Outcomes
(Applied Research)
ALEXANDRIA C. ROBERS (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) is an implementation framework commonly used by school professionals to address the adoption and application of school-wide practices to systematically teach and reinforce positive behavior. However, there is a lack of empirical studies evaluating the association between core components of PBIS implementation and equitable discipline outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine if scores on a school-wide PBIS implementation fidelity measure, the Benchmarks of Quality Revised (BoQ-R), were associated with racial discipline disparities in office discipline referrals (ODRs). To accomplish the aims of this study, researchers conducted multiple linear regression to examine the association between scores from the BoQ-R and racial discipline disparities in ODRs (i.e., risk ratios). In particular, the BoQ-R measure includes a Classroom Systems critical element to evaluate the implementation of PBIS practices in classrooms. Scores from this critical element specifically permitted analysis of the association between practices that are aligned with recommended classroom behavior management strategies and racial disparities in the use of exclusionary discipline practices in schools. A total of 333 schools were included and analyses and most disaggregated data across the racial and ethnic groups represented (i.e., Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latine, Multiracial, Indigenous/Native American, Pacific Islander, White).
Diversity submission 

An Exploration of the Relationship Between Teachers' Perceptions of Cultural Responsiveness, Student Risk, and Classroom Behavior

(Applied Research)
MAGGIE VEIGA (Bridgewater State University), Lindsay M Fallon (University of Massachusetts Boston), Annisha Susilo (University of Massachusetts Boston), Patrick Robinson-Link (University of Massachusetts Boston), Talia Berkman (University of Massachusetts Boston), Stephen Kilgus (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Racially and ethnically minoritized (REM; Proctor & Owens, 2019) youth are disproportionately exposed to detrimental exclusionary discipline procedures. To address disproportionality, researchers and policymakers have proposed implementing a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework, universally screening students for behavioral concerns. The relationship between teachers' perceptions of their cultural responsiveness, teacher’s perceptions of students’ social-emotional well-being and classroom behavior, and students; observed behavior may impact equitable screening results and access for behavioral health services. This presentation will review two studies conducted with teachers in two large suburban school districts in which linear modeling applied to predict the relationships between variables. Study 1 investigated the relationship between teachers' (n = 20) ratings on a measure of cultural responsiveness, the Assessment of Culturally and Contextually Relevant Supports (ACCReS) and students' classroom behavior. Results indicated that higher ACCReS scores significantly predicted lower class wide disruptive behavior. Study 2 investigated the relationship between teachers' (n = 30) ratings on the ACCReS and ratings of their students' risk on the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener. For social behavior, higher ACCReS scores predicted teachers perceiving lower social risk; however, identification as a Black student and a student with a disability predicted higher risk.

Diversity submission Promoting Equal Interactions in Early Childhood Settings
(Applied Research)
DAPHNE SNYDER (Western Michigan University; University of Nebraska Medical Center - Munroe-Meyer Institute), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: In the United States, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students are more likely to face disciplinary action (e.g., exclusion, suspension, and expulsion from the classroom) for engaging in the same challenging behaviors as their white peers (Badger et al., 2018; Little & Tolbert, 2018; Noguera, 2003). Due to the discrepancy in disciplinary practices, students are at risk of continued negative interactions with their teachers (Decker et al., 2007; Wymer et al., 2020). One way to improve teacher interactions toward BIPOC students is through equity-focused performance feedback regarding praise and reprimand rates (Knochel et al., 2022). The purpose of this study was to extend the research conducted by Knochel et al. (2020) by examining teacher-student interactions during unstructured times and expanding the topographies of teacher behaviors measured to include demands and social comments. This study consisted of two experiments. During the first experiment, a descriptive analysis of four early-childhood education teachers’ interactions with students was conducted. During the second experiment, a nonconcurrent multiple-baseline across participants design was used to examine the effect of self-monitoring and equality-focused performance feedback on the distribution of teacher interactions across student demographic groups for three of the teachers participating in the first experiment.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh