2021 Scholarly Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Photo by Martin Burch.

The Scholarly Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Paper Competition was designed to encourage, promote, and reward behavior analytic scholarship on topics and issues in DEI, both in the field of behavior analysis and more broadly. Students (graduate or undergraduate) and post-graduate professionals who have completed empirical or conceptual papers relevant to DEI that are informed, at least in part, by a behavior analytic perspective are invited to submit. The 2022 competition will begin accepting applications on September 1, 2021. Additional details may be found on the DEI Board website.

The 2021 inaugural year of the competition received 11 applications. The three winning papers (one in the student category and two in the professional category) are listed below.

Student Category

A Behavioral Approach to Analyzing Bias-Based Behaviors in Public Schools
By Nicole Hollins, Daphne Snyder, and Sydney Harmon (Western Michigan University)

Abstract: Students of color are more likely to receive negative teacher-student interactions compared to their peers. Some have attributed the inequalities of teacher-student interactions to implicit bias or bias-based behaviors. Given the impact of bias-based behaviors on student academic and social outcomes, it is critical for school-based practitioners to objectively measure bias-based behaviors to assist in providing culturally relevant and socially significant treatments. The most commonly cited procedure for assessing bias is the Implicit Bias Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). While the IRAP assessment has produced socially significant results, the utility and acceptability of the IRAP in school-based settings may be limited due to several factors. Moreover, there is limited research that extends the assessment of bias-based behaviors to treatment in primary educational settings. Practitioners must have an efficient data collection system to measure interactions and use the data collection system when providing feedback to school personnel. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to discuss considerations to current procedures being used to assess bias-based behaviors and propose the Teacher Student Interaction Tool (T-SIT) for school-based practitioners. The utility and considerations of the T-SIT will be discussed.

Professional Category

Cultural Competence in Behavior Analysis: Current Status and Future Directions
By Lauren Beaulieu (Newton, MA, Public Schools) and Corina Jimenez-Gomez (University of Auburn)

Abstract: The need for those in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to incorporate culturally competent research and practice is underscored by the increased diversity found in the US census report and the prediction that the US will continue to become more diverse over the coming decade (Frey, 2019; Vespa et al., 2018). In addition, the recent update to the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) requires certificants obtain training in the area of cultural diversity (BACB, 2020). Considering the field of behavior analysis relies on evidence-based practice, it is important for researchers and practitioners to evaluate best practices for working with diverse populations. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: a) to describe the relevant research and current practices in and outside of the field of behavior analysis regarding culturally responsive assessment and treatment procedures and b) to inspire research in the area of cultural competence in ABA by identifying current research questions in behavioral assessment and treatment to address to ensure culturally responsive practices are evidence-based.

One Size Fits One: A Comparison Between Standard and Culturally Adapted Telehealth Caregiver Training in India
By Maithri Sivaraman (Ghent University), Tara Fahmie (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Amanda Garcia (Family Model Behavior Therapy), and Rima Hamawe (Family Model Behavior Therapy)

Abstract: Telehealth is increasingly considered a viable service delivery option for functional assessments and function-based treatment for problem behavior. However, few applications have occurred with participants outside the United States and little research exists evaluating the role that culture plays in service delivery. In the current study, we compared standard and culturally-adapted functional analyses and functional communication training delivered via telehealth to six participants in India. We measured the effectiveness using a multiple baseline design and also collected supplemental measures of sessions to criterion, cancellations, treatment fidelity, and social validity. We directly assessed preference for each training modality using a concurrent chains arrangement. Both modalities were effective in reducing problem behavior and increasing functional verbal requests for participating children, and treatment fidelity was high across training modalities. There were no major differences in sessions-to-criterion or social validity across training modalities. However, all six caregivers demonstrated fewer cancellations and greater preference for culturally-adapted training compared to standard training. The implications of our findings and avenues for future research are discussed.

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