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 #156
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Moving Towards a Multicultural Future: Diversity and the Education of Healthcare Practitioners
Saturday, May 25, 2024
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon F
Area: EDC/CSS; Domain: Theory
Chair: Amanda Middleton (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Rocco G Catrone (The Chicago School Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Rocco G Catrone, Ph.D.

Skinner (1961; 1984) discussed the role of behavioral technologies within education and the potential that culture may operate as a third level of selection occurring for humans. These two concepts are not mutually exclusive, where education allows for the transmission of symbolic verbal behavior across cultural groups and generations. When the cultural milieu (Houmanfar et al., 2020) differentially platforms majority identities and cultures, singular narratives can dominate that sideline diverse views and perspectives, with implications across professions and including healthcare professions (e.g., behavior analysis). The first presentation will discuss the education of autism service providers and how the way we educate may strengthen or reduce stigmatizing beliefs about autistic people. The second presentation describes Hays’ (2016) ADDRESSING framework to teach multicultural competencies with implications across healthcare industries, including mental health. Finally, these conceptual topics will be discussed with a view towards cultural selection and the present-day role of behavior analysis in moving towards a multicultural future.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): autism stigma, cultural competence, cultural humility, neurodiversity
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts and practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the role of education in shaping verbal behavior about cultural groups; (2) discuss the role of relational frames in biases against autistic learners; (3) describe the ADDRESSING as a behavioral education technology.
Diversity submission Relational Coherence and Autism Education: Does How We Educate Others About Autism Matter?
AMANDA N. CHASTAIN (University of Illinois, Chicago), Claire M Zuch (University of Illinois Chicago), Mark R. Dixon (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract: Advocates of the neurodiversity movement aim to reduce discrimination towards autistic individuals, challenging the medical model narrative of autism as a disease in need of treatment or cure, and instead promoting the acceptance of diverse neurotypes. Parents and caregivers are expected to make decisions about the best therapeutic approach for their child following an autism diagnosis. Informational material available to parents is often in line with the medical model description. The current study extends the work of Relational Density Theory by exploring differences in relational coherence of socially loaded negative and positive terms with “autism diagnosis” and “no autism diagnosis” after exposure to material that either enforced the medical model description of autism or educated parents on autism acceptance. Participants were parents and caregivers of children being evaluated for autism. Half of the participants were given educational material describing autism as a medical disorder, and the other half were given educational material describing autism using neurodiversity affirming language. A multidimensional scaling procedure was then used to generate a two-dimensional geometric space for each group, where relational coherence between terms could be evaluated. Preliminary results show differences between groups, suggesting that the way that we educate parents about autism may impact their perception of it. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Diversity submission 

Hays' ADDRESSING Framework of Multicultural Influences: A Contingency Analysis and Applications

QUINTARA TUCKER (QB Consulting, LLC), Thomas G. Szabo (Capella University)

According to census estimates, in roughly 20 years the United States will no longer by comprised of one majority population group. From a behavior analytic perspective, this suggests that successful relationships among multiculturally diverse staff and clients will require training culturally sensitive practitioners. This should be considered essential for the sustainability of our field. Hays (2016) developed a framework specifically designed to teach multicultural competence by identifying ten cultural variables to consider when working with diverse cultures. The ADDRESSING framework has been proposed for use among mental health and healthcare industries. We propose that the ADDRESSING Model would be more easily adopted once the behaviors associated with these 10 constructs have been defined with respect to the variables of which behavior is a function. In this presentation, we will operationally define ADDRESSING constructs and provide applicable examples to behavior analytic professionals working with diverse individuals. Implications for research and practice in behavior analysis will be discussed.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh