brian conners, ph.d., BCBA is a CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR and editor of THE First BOOK EVER PUBLISHED ON
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Chapter 1: An Introduction to Multiculturalism and Diversity Issues in the Field of Applied Behavior Analysis by Brian Conners, Ph.D., BCBA
This chapter provides an introduction to the book, Multiculturalism and Diversity in Applied Behavior Analysis: Bridging Theory and Application. This chapter serves as an overview of the topic of diversity in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and reviews terminology associated with cultural issues.
Chapter 2: ADDRESSING Cultural Complexities by Rebecca Tagg, Psy.D., MSCP, NCSP, BCBA-D
The chapter focuses on bringing in Pamela Hays’ ADDRESSING model of cultural complexities into practice. It will begin with a review of the ADDRESSING model and detailed explanation of each component. The application piece of the ADDRESSING model is related to better understanding our own culture and how it may impact our interaction with others/practice. Finally moving into practical suggestions for using this model to regularly evaluate our own culture and its potential impact as well as support supervisees in doing the same.
Chapter 3: Standards for Culturally Sensitive Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis by Elizabeth Hughes Fong, Ph.D., M.A., BCBA, LBS
This chapter explores the concept of standards of culturally sensitive practice in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and the issues related to cultural competence including its relevant ethics, challenges, and strengths. While the field of ABA is closely related to psychology and education, we lack definite standards to guide practitioners on the topic. By having clear guidelines, we can have better interventions and be more effective as practitioners.
Chapter 4: Applied Behavior Analysis Within the African American Community by Shawn T. Capell, M.S., BCBA, LBA & Mawule A. Sevon, M.A., NCSP, BCBA
The African American community expands across the United States, representing various socioeconomic statuses, educational levels, religious groups, and other social factors. With a vibrant history and culture dating back to colonial America and beyond, African Americans have largely contributed to the nation's culture and systems. Statistics paint a picture of vast economic disadvantages, educational inequities, and additional negative circumstances within the African American community, but does not outline the social and political systems which created these differences. Solely looking at the statistics also omits the accomplishments, feats, and strength of those within the shared racial group. This chapter will explore the historical events which continue to impact the cultural values and practices of African Americans. Additionally, the chapter will define racial development, the impact of childhood adversity, and historical trauma. With the expansion of applied behavior analysis (ABA), this chapter seeks to provide behavior analysts and those implementing behavior analytic programs points of consideration specific to African American learners, families and communities.
Chapter 5: Latinos in Applied Behavior Analysis: We Have a Long Way to Go by Isaac L. Bermudez, M.S., BCBA & Jose D. Rios, M.S., BCBA
There are wide disparities in the provision of health, medical, and behavioral services to Latino1 families who have children with developmental disabilities. For example, there is growing evidence that Latino children with a diagnosis of autism receive such diagnosis at a later date and receive fewer services than white/Anglo families. Census population projections point to the importance of racial/ethnic minorities as the primary demographic engine of the nation’s future growth. The term “Latino” is a general, mainstream term used to categorize individuals whose most common unifying characteristic is that they trace their heritage to Spanish-speaking countries (primarily those in Latin America). Consequently, Latinos include a diverse, and somewhat nebulous grouping of individuals and communities with different nationalities and with diverse traditional customs and cultural behaviors. Furthermore, language, self-identification, education, immigration status and acculturation add to the intricacies and complexity of what constitutes being Latino. The Pew Research Center indicated that in 2016, the Latino population in the United States reached nearly 60 million and has been the principal driver of the United States demographic growth, and therefore, accounts for half of national population growth since 2000 (Noe-Bustamante, 2017). Given this, it is essential that practitioners of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and professional agencies that represent behavior analysts appraise their practices and procedures related to cultural and linguistic diversity. Some strategies to improve cultural and linguistic diversity practices in our field are to identify barriers that affect Latino’s access and utilization of behavioral services. Only through an assertive push to improve service provision can this long overdue need be addressed (this includes increasing diversity of ABA graduate and undergraduate programs, developing mentorship models, increasing professional association leadership diversity, and recognizing the need for ABA practitioners to be more aware/involved/trained on cultural and linguistic issues).
Chapter 6: Applied Behavior Analysis With Indigenous Populations by Kristine Melroe & Joanne Robbins, Ph.D.
This chapter focuses on how behavior analysts who work with Indigenous cultures can partner in the analysis and implementation of educational change. Cultural norms for working with families from Indigenous backgrounds are discussed within the context of a behavior analytic service-delivery model. An overview of Indigenous people in United States history, current conditions, and the concerns of such Indigenous people are included. This can be viewed in the context of how Indigenous cultures view behavior analytic services to inform practice and ethical implementation of services.
Chapter 7: Culturally Tailored ABA Treatments for Asian American Clients and Families by Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, Ph.D., BCBA-D, James Donggeun Lee, M.S., BCBA, Kozue Matsuda, Ph.D., BCBA-D, & Ashley Knochel,M.S.,BCaBA
The growing Asian population in the United States has resulted in a need for behavior analysts who have the necessary knowledge and skills in tailoring applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatments to the unique cultural variations of Asian American clients and families. The purpose of this chapter is to provide ABA clinicians with strategies that will be useful in working with Asian American clients and their families in delivering ABA treatment. Specifically, this chapter will: (a) discuss the need for culturally sensitive behavior analysts, (b) provide a brief overview of the unique barriers and obstacles to receiving ABA treatments experienced by Asian American individuals with disabilities and their families, (c) discuss the literature on models or approaches to cultural adaptation of treatments, and (d) offer specific strategies for use by behavior analysts in delivering culturally tailored ABA treatment services to Asian American clients and families.
Chapter 8: Applied Behavior Analysis With Arab-Muslim Populations: The Importance of Cultural Awareness by Pamela M. Olsen, Ph.D., BCBA & Michelle P. Kelly, Ph.D., BCBA-D
The current chapter investigates multiculturalism and diversity issues related to practicing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the Middle East and highlights several aspects of Arab-Muslim culture of relevance to behavior analysts. Potential challenges are outlined and practice considerations and implications for service delivery are suggested to help future ABA professionals understand this particular culture and how to best work with clients and trainees from the Middle East. Finally, some potential ethical and professional issues associated with working with this population are addressed.
Chapter 9: Clinical Competence and Social Validity: Special Issues in Serving LGBTQIA Clients and Their Allies by Worner Leland, M.S., BCBA, LBA & August Stockwell, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and Aromantic (LGBTQIA) individuals face a variety of unique needs and barriers to care. For many in this community, gender identity and sexual identity are directly tied to experiences of marginalization. According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) Ethical Code 1.04, behavior analysts “arrange the environment to promote truthful and honest behavior in others,” (BACB®, 2019). When providing behavior analytic services, there is little guidance on best practice for creating an environment that supports LGBTQIA clients being honest about their identities and experiences. This chapter provides an overview of best practice within and outside of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for arranging affirming environments from intake to planning for generalization after termination of services.
Chapter 10: Cultural Incompetency in ABA Service Delivery Models: Implications for Behavior Analysts by Paulina Luczaj, M.A., Ed.S., Fabiana Cacciaguerra-Decorato, M.A., BCBA, & Brian Conners, Ph.D., BCBA
Cultural competence and diversity training can be found throughout many human service professions. These trainings prepare future professionals to provide services that are sensitive to individuals of diverse cultures, ethnicities, race, socioeconomic status, gender, etc. Although the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) provides services to many diverse clients and families, cultural competency training is lacking when preparing future professionals to work in the field. Cultural competency training is crucial to the field of ABA because of the current issues with cultural beliefs of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) within the minority population, misdiagnosis, and lack of diversity amongst Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) who provide the services. How can cultural competence benefit those providing ABA services to individuals with ASD? Having a more diverse population of behavior analysts as well as a more in-depth cultural training will promote more effective ABA services provided to individuals of various cultural backgrounds. This chapter explores this type of training to ABA and look at equal access to culturally competent behavioral services to families of individuals with autism.
Chapter 11: Creating a Culturally Competent Clinical Practice by Sara Gershfeld Litvak, M.A., BCBA & Hanna Rue, Ph.D., BCBA-D
According to the United States Behavior Analysts Workforce report (Burning Glass Technologies, 2015), behavior analysts are in demand across the country. As the science and practice of behavior analysis evolves, it is important to continuously evaluate areas of training and practice in need of improvement. One such areas in need of improvement is resources and training devoted to supporting clinicians working with families from diverse backgrounds. Professional associations such as the American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association provide guidelines or resources or both to support practitioners working with diverse populations. This chapter focuses on issues related to organizations serving diverse populations and considerations organizations can make to better support their staff and the families they service.
Chapter 12: Cultural Accommodations in Caregiver Training by Juliana Aguilar, M.S., BCBA, LBA & Casey J. Clay, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
There is a large body of literature regarding cultural accommodations in caregiver training: how to select them and the process to implement them. Manualized caregiver trainings such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, The Incredible Years, and The Parent Management Therapy-Oregon have their roots in the principles of contingency management and are implemented following comparable procedures to the components of behavioral skills training. Evaluations of manualized caregiver trainings including cultural accommodations have found that when compared to the standard manualized interventions there are no significant benefits seen in parent or child behavior. Importantly, single-case investigations on individualized cultural accommodations are needed to compare applied behavior analysis (ABA) training methods to previous caregiver training manuals. Given the literature on cultural accommodations to caregiver training is limited in ABA, we discuss current research on cultural accommodations and propose referencing prior manualized trainings to guide future research and practice on cultural accommodations to caregiver training. It is critical to continue to assess cultural accommodations to caregiver trainings to ensure that we are providing the most socially valid intervention aligning with our professional ethics.
Chapter 13: Accounting for Cultural Differences to Make Parent Training More Socially Significant by Adriana Rodriguez, M.A., BCBA & April Michele Williams, Ph.D., BCBA-D
The engagement of parents in applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment has been shown to contribute to intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD; McConachie & Diggle, 2007). Parent engagement depends greatly on the effectiveness of the therapist’s communication with the family regarding therapy goals and desired outcomes. Communication is likely to be facilitated if the therapist interacts in ways consistent with the family’s history, culture, values, and socio-political orientation (Bernal & Flores-Ortis, 1982). Therefore, making sure the programs selected by the therapist align with the parents’ values and culture could potentially be of great benefit for the success of interventions. This chapter has a predominant focus on parent training with Latin American families.
Chapter 14: How to Integrate Multiculturalism and Diversity Sensitivity Into the Training and Ethical Skill Set of Behavior Analysts by Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Ksenia Gatzunis, M.S., BCBA, & Wafa Aljohani, M.S., BCBA
In recent years, increased attention has been given to the need for improving the degree to which behavior analytic practitioners practice, train, and supervise with cultural sensitivity and competence in mind (Beaulieu, Addington, & Almeida, 2018; Conners, Johnson, Duarte, Murriky, & Marks, 2019; Fong & Tanaka, 2013). Although this issue is being discussed by organizations and researchers within the field, there continues to be a need for the development of more resources which provide practical strategies and best practice recommendations to behavior analysts. Additionally, our field must work to empirically validate these recommendations for practice and training to ensure that utilizing them is associated with improved service delivery and social validity. This chapter seeks to synthesize and add to available literature by highlighting the current issues within the field regarding cultural competence based on previous research, discussing the current ethical and professional standards within the field and related professions, providing recommendations for best practices, and concluding with recommendations for future directions.
Chapter 15: Examining Cross-Cultural Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis by Elizabeth Hughes Fong, Ph.D., M.A., BCBA, LBS
This chapter explores issues related to cross cultural supervision including its relevant ethics, challenges, and strengths. Whether supervisees are defined as those seeking board certification, other employees, parents, or other professionals, different languages, customs, and values may impact the supervision experience. It is important for supervisor and supervisees to explore the potential impact of these factors, as well as address how to uphold clinically sound and ethical supervision experience.
Chapter 16: Multiculturalism and Diversity Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis: Where Do We Go From Here? by Brian Conners, Ph.D., BCBA
This chapter is the conclusion chapter to the book, Multiculturalism and Diversity in Applied Behavior Analysis: Bridging Theory and Application. The chapter offers guidance on future directions in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis to shape the field to better address the topic of diversity. Topics covered include professional development, graduate training, fieldwork and supervision, as well as ethical and professional practice.
"This text is admirably amongst the first to take on the massive task of understanding cultural humility and competency for practitioners in Applied Behavior Analysis. Representing voices from diverse backgrounds, it constantly calls us to action through self-awareness and case study exercises, reminding behavior analysts that we ‘don’t know what we don’t know' - unless we seek this knowledge. I recommend this text to be an integral component and required reading in every behavior analytic course sequence and supervision framework. We cannot be successful as behavior analysts unless we develop the multicultural humility repertoires outlined here. Capell, Conners, and colleagues promote discussion and debate that may at times feel uncomfortable but are truly necessary in moving forward as a culturally humble field."
-Noor Y. Syed, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA/LBS-CT, PA, NY,
Faculty and Clinical Director, Lehigh University Autism Services; Research Coordinator, Global Autism Project
Faculty and Clinical Director, Lehigh University Autism Services; Research Coordinator, Global Autism Project
"In a time when many are screaming for diversity and inclusion, very few do more than just talk about their experience or offer strategies of change. In this book, Brian and Shawn have gone the extra step that is needed within our field of ABA and in society. With a wonderful collection of authors, subject matters of importance, historical references, and methodologies to change the landscape, this book will be used as a potential blueprint for many moving forward. Fantastic efforts by a few to help create change for many. Greatly needed and appreciated."
-Dr. Antonio M. Harrison, BCBA-D, University of West Florida
"This book eloquently provides an updated view on the importance of knowledge about group memberships and characteristics, empowering the reader to engage in more cultural humility and effective practice. Context is everything, and culture is everywhere. Now it’s up to you to bring that knowledge into practice!"
-Ryan O'Donnell, M.S., BCBA, The Daily BA
"This book tackles a number of issues that are at the forefront of discussion in applied behavior analysis; I expect this book will be of great interest to practitioners in our field."
-Matthew T. Brodhead, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University