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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #412
CE Offered: BACB — 
Examining Cross Cultural Supervision
Monday, May 29, 2017
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2C
Area: PRA/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Elizabeth Hughes Fong (Saint Joseph's University)
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Hughes Fong, M.A.
Abstract: This symposium will examine the ethics, challenges and strengths of cross cultural supervision. Whether our supervisees are those seeking board certification other employees, parents or other professionals, different languages, customs, and values may impact the supervision experience. It is important to supervisor and supervisees to explore the potential impact of these factors, as well as address how to uphold a clinically sound and ethical supervision experience. This symposium will discuss the relevant ethical codes, applied behavior analysis practices and experiences related to cross cultural supervision. This symposium discussion will include the experiences of individuals providing supervision to, or from, those in Jamaica, Korea, Japan, and Mexico.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ethics, multicultural, social validity, supervision

Tearing Down the Wall of Language Barriers: Addressing the Ethics of Providing Services to Families With a Different Native Language

KRISTA BROOKER (Mariposa Autism Service Center - AIT)

As behavior analysts it is our duty to provide quality care while following our ethical code, but there may be times where the environment makes this a difficult challenge. Our ethics state we must use language understandable by the recipients of our craft, however working in a border town often means providing services to families where English is a second language if even spoken at all. To overcome this challenge, we have implemented strategic staffing by having at least one team member who works with the family that can also speak the native language of the family, in addition to a lot of patience from all parties involved. The results fostered trust in our services and increased family participation in our programs. These results are likely able to be generalized, however providing services to a family that does not speak your same language should only be practiced when there is no better option.


Verbal Behavior and Supervision:Is the Message Lost?

SOOK KIM (Multicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts)

Different cultural groups tend to have different ways of interpreting the world and the events that happen within it (Hill, Carjuzaa, Aramburo, & Baca, 1993; McIntyre & Silva, 1992). Verbal behavior is described as being being behavior which is reinforced through the mediation of the other people (Skinner, 1957). But what happens when the speaker and listener speak different languages, or have different cultural beliefs? What happens if the listener is unable to appropriate discriminate the speakers verbal stimuli in a way in which the speaker understands? Can the supervisor still reinforce the verbal behavior of the supervisee?As a Korean BCBA working primarily with Korean American families, I have experienced receiving supervision from a supervisor from an outside culture. Similarly, I have also provided supervision to supervisees who are from a different culture. From my experience, the literal language barrier is just one of the many considerations that must be given when attempted to bridge cultures and ensure a successful supervision experience.

Supervisors as Game Changers: Narrative as Behaviors
SAKURAKO SHERRY TANAKA (Mutlicultural Alliance of Behavior Analysts)
Abstract: In her article “The Inclusion of Cultures and Cultures of Inclusion,” Charlotte Mandell writes that competing contingencies interact, modified by the larger social context, thus the behavior of individuals’ changes, and new contingencies are created. “Thus, continuous reflection on the multiple and potentially conflicting contingencies acting on the behavior of our clients, students, colleagues and neighbors may enhance our effectiveness at work and also facilitate civil and productive interactions throughout our lives” (2007). As a Japanese linguist/anthropologist-turned behavior analyst, one would like to examine what it may take to communicate functionally – not merely words – across the culturally diverse contexts; to co-create narratives through supervision experience. Do you really know if you reinforced or punished the supervisee’s response with your “feedback?” What other considerations, rules, and learning tasks may lie beyond knowing the Science and Ethics developed in the Western World? Where do we come from, and where do we aim to go, shape who we are now: history is within our hands if we can co-create narratives that can lead us beyond divisions that have set the world apart over the centuries.



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