Read & Reflect: Toward Trauma-Informed Applications of Behavior Analysis (Rajaraman)

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The ABAI Task Force for the Promotion of Quality & Values-Based ABA recommends thoughtful reading and reflection upon a recent article discussing trauma-informed applications of behavior analysis (i.e., Rajaraman et al., 2022).

Rajaraman et al. (2022) described some barriers in discussing and investigating trauma from a behavior analytic lens and how core commitments of trauma-informed care could be applied to behavior analysis. Examples of how trauma-informed care might be incorporated into ABA practice are also provided. Finally, Rajaraman et al. suggested avenues for behavior analytic research and that omitting trauma-informed care from ABA could be detrimental to the public perception of ABA and the effectiveness of assessment and treatment procedures.

While reading (or hopefully revisiting) this influential work, we encourage behavior analysts to consider:

  • Rajaraman et al. (2022) suggested that trauma-informed care concepts generally can be translated or formulated in a manner compatible with behavior analysis. Do you think they have done so adequately? How, if at all, would you translate them differently?
  • Based upon Rajaraman and colleagues’ analysis of trauma-informed care from a behavioral perspective, how adequately do you think that behavior analysts have incorporated that perspective into their work, in general? In work with persons having developmental disabilities? With Autistic persons?
  • How well does your ABA work incorporate appropriate consideration of trauma-informed care?  How might this article change your ABA work in that regard, if at all?

Rajaraman, A., Austin, J. L., Gover, H. C., Cammilleri, A. P., Donnelly, D. R., & Hanley, G. P. (2022). Toward trauma-informed applications of behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 55(1), 40-61.