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 #332
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission Black and White to Grey Areas: Ethical Guidelines Are Not Always Clear in Clinical Settings
Sunday, May 26, 2024
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, 203 AB
Area: PCH/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Shayla Oksa (Yellow Brick Academy)
CE Instructor: Ann Marie Kondrad, M.A.

As a relatively young scientific field, the research and ethical standards from the experimental to the clinical fields can present gaps in the translation from one setting to another. Clinical behavior analysis has shown significant growth in the field since 2014 which opens the need for additional training and collaboration between professionals. The Behavior Analyst Certification Boards Ethical guidelines are designed to ensure the field of applied behavior analysis as well as promote an environment in which the clinician and their clients are continuing to learn and grow. This symposium combined identified gaps in clinical behavior analysis including the need for diversity in behavior analytic training, to carrying significant workloads that increase behavior analyst stress as well as decrease the overall quality of services provided, and deficits in ethical training and the ability to access research-based resources. From the data presented in all three presentations, gaps as well as recommendations for future research and training will be identified.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to identify the gap in diversity amongst professional behavior analysts in the field, strategies to advocate for workloads that improve the quality of services offered to clients as well as prevent burnout within the field, and the need for further training in adhering to the ethical code while conducting services in the applied setting.
Diversity submission Applied Behavior Analysis and Diversity of Practice
WLADIMIR DORELIEN (The Chicago School / A Friendly Face Autism Center), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School; Yellow Brick Academy)
Abstract: The introduction of the Autism care act in 2014, coincided with an increase of 15% in the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The influx of new learners in need of ABA treatment, and the recognition by the surgeon general of the United States of ABA has the treatment of choice has also brought about an influx in the number of ABA practitioners with varying educational history and an exponential growth in the number of agencies being created to provide ABA treatment to children diagnosed with ASD. The purpose of this study was to identify the percentage of BCBAs and ABA therapists since 2014 whose only area of practice is treatment of children with ASD, their diversity of educational background and the overall reasons for their choice. The results showed that 62% of all respondents work exclusively with children with ASD with the overall reasons being greater employment opportunity and financial gains.
Diversity submission Behavior Analyst Workload: Are We Overworked and Underpaid?
KIMBERLY A. SCHRECK (Penn State Harrisburg), Tim Caldwell (TCS Education), Cameryn Padron (Penn State Universities)
Abstract: The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (2020) mandates that behavior analysts address any conditions that interferes with service delivery (2.19) and only accept clients if sufficient resources exist (3.03). Within clinical practice, we have heard many examples of behavior analysts’ and future behavior analysts being assigned to situations where these ethical codes may be violated. Between high caseloads, working outside their areas of expertise, and limited support available, this can decrease quality of services and increase burn-out. Combined with many behavior analysts having their certification for less than 10 years, this can be a risk within the field if proper training and supports are in place. This symposium will provide information related to reported caseloads, compensation, and issues related to workload for behavior analysts and/or future behavior analysts. Data were collected using an electronic survey sent to clinical behavior analysts nationwide. From data, we will determine if reports indicate we are overworked and underpaid or practicing within ethical boundaries.
Diversity submission 

Evaluating Clinical Methods of Expanding Practitioners Knowledge in the Field While Adhering to Ethical Codes

ANN MARIE KONDRAD (Yellow Brick Academy), Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School; Yellow Brick Academy), Jack Spear (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Rachel Garcia (The Chicago School), Shayla Oksa (Yellow Brick Academy)

The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (2020) introduced ethical codes surrounding the use of social media for networking, consultation, and collaboration (5.10; 5.11). As social media policies and procedures are fluid to meet the commercial needs, it is difficult for ethical standards to reflect the continuous changes. Additionally, there are limited resources available to verify the validity of information presented on social media platforms. Behavior analysts are required to complete ethical continuing education units each recertification cycle; however, the topic is subject to their choice. This can serve as a barrier to behavior analysts who use social media as a method of training, consultation, collaboration, and networking through ABA social media groups. This symposium will provide information regarding modalities of research, training, consultation, and collaboration between behavior analysts. Based on the survey data results, the authors will determine gaps in training and adherence to BACB ethical codes within the applied clinical setting.




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