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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #48
CE Offered: BACB
The Roles of Cultural Competency, Cultural Values, and Verbal Behavior in Behavior-Analytic Service Delivery
Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W185d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/PRA; Domain: Theory
Chair: Andrew W. Gardner (Northern Arizona University)
CE Instructor: Andrew W. Gardner, Ph.D.

Given the growing diversity of the individuals receiving behavior-analytic services in the United States and abroad, a behavior analysis of cultural competency is becoming increasingly important. In this presentation, we will discuss the role of cultural values and the influence they may have on language acquisition and the overall quality of behavior analytic services. The first presentation will describe the role of cultural values in applied behavior analysis. Then, we will expand upon this idea and discuss the verbal aspect of culture, with particular attention to rule-governed behavior and Skinners third level of selection. Then, based off a review of the last 10 years of language acquisition research, we will provide conceptual, research, and practical applications of, and describe the importance for, understanding the role of cultural and linguistic diversity in language acquisition research. Finally, we will end with a discussion about how an increased understanding of cultural variables that affect human behavior will allow behavior analysts to further enhance the quality of services they provide.

Keyword(s): culture, service delivery, values, verbal behavior
Culture Competence in Applied Behavior Analysis: The Role of Cultural Values
ANNA GARCIA (University of South Florida), Jessica Sykes (University of South Florida), Mario Hernandez (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Behavior analysis seems to take cultural competence as an approach that is not a necessity in service delivery to affect positive change with clients of various backgrounds. This inattention to cultural differences may be due to the notion that behavioral principles are generally applicable to all humans. Although it may be true that behavioral principles can be generally applied, the ways in which they are applied may not be so. Ways in which knowledge of client's culture can aid behavior analytic services will be discussed. Special attention will be given to cultural values as rule-governed behavior.

The Verbal Aspect of Culture: Rules, Values, and Mores

ANNA GARCIA (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida), Jessica Sykes (University of South Florida)

As Skinner indicated, the third level of selection occurs at the level of culture and includes the construction of repertoires of behavior via a verbal community. While progressive in looking to verbal behavior in the maintenance of cultural practices, we must continue the discussion to the level of understanding how those cultural practices my influence the behavior of individuals--especially those with whom we may be charged with influencing their behavior or the behavior of significant others. This paper will address how verbal behavior may affect delivery of services to those of other cultural backgrounds.

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Recent Language Acquisition Research: A Review and Implications for Research and Practice
MATTHEW T. BRODHEAD (Utah State University), Lillian Durán (Utah State University), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Given the growing need for an understanding of the role of cultural and linguistic diversity (CLD) in language acquisition, a behavior-analytic understanding of CLD may be warranted. We searched recent editions of the Analysis of Verbal Behavior and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis using EBSCOhost to determine the degree to which researchers report the CLD of individuals with disabilities who participate in behavioral language acquisition research. Our results indicate that researchers in these journals rarely report the culture and language background of their research participants. Given these results, we provide a conceptual analysis and describe implications for research and clinical practice. A furthered understanding of the role of CLD in language acquisition may aid in the development of better behavioral interventions and culturally sensitive treatments. Finally, research that explores the role of CLD in language acquisition may add to the generality of behavior-analytic research and clinical practice.



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