By Adriana Rodriguez, M.A., BCBA
Have you ever worked with a client and have a hard time with buy in from the parents? Are the parents not following the plan you developed? If so, have you thought of the family’s culture as a factor?
The increase in minority population arriving the U.S has made it difficult for health care providers, to provide culturally competent health care services (Welterin & LaRue, 2007). This is problematic, specifically for behavior analysts because our main goal is to implement behavior analytic interventions to solve problems of social significance (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968). However, based on the definition of culture, we can presume that what is socially significant for an individual, might not be socially significant for another individual. This is an important distinction to make, specially when selecting goals for families who have a different cultural background. As behavior analysts, we might conduct an assessment and select a goal that might not be in line with the family’s culture. Thus, resulting problematic as the family might not follow the plan, or it might even make it difficult for the parents to buy-in the intervention. In recent years, more and more behavior analysts have become aware of this factor, thus increasing the research and awareness of including culture within applied behavior analysis (ABA). Despite of all our efforts, we still have a long way to go as a field in order to provide culturally competent services to the people we serve. However, the more educated we become on the topic, the better services we will be able to provide.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91–97. https://doi.org/10.1901/jaba.1968.1-91
Welterlin, A., & Larue, R. H. (2007). Serving the needs of immigrant families of children with autism. Disability & Society, 22(7), 747-760. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09687590701659600