Supply of Certified Applied Behavior Analysts in the United States: Implications for Service Delivery for Children with Autism

Zhang, Y.X.; Cummings, J.R.

Psychiatric Services 71(4): 385-388


ISSN/ISBN: 1557-9700
PMID: 31822240
DOI: 10.1176/
Accession: 069601373

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The rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) underscores the importance of access to evidence-based interventions such as applied behavior analysis (ABA). Anecdotal evidence suggests limitations in the supply of ABA providers, but data remain scarce. The authors provide the first known examination of the supply of certified ABA providers in the United States. Using 2018 data from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, the authors compared the per capita supply of certified ABA providers in each state with a benchmark established using the Board's guidelines. Additionally, the authors examined state and regional variations in the supply of certified ABA providers. The per capita supply of certified ABA providers fell below the benchmark in 49 states and was higher in the Northeast than in other regions (p<0.001). New workforce policies are needed to increase the supply of certified ABA providers to meet the needs of youths with ASD.