Section 81
Chapter 80,021

Culturally Sensitive Behavior Intervention Materials: a Tutorial for Practicing Behavior Analysts

Martinez, S.; Mahoney, A.

Behavior Analysis in Practice 15(2): 516-540


ISSN/ISBN: 1998-1929
PMID: 35692529
Accession: 080020934

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Behavior analytic interventions for people with disabilities often rely on implementation by novice caregivers and staff. However, behavior intervention documents are ineffective at evoking the level of performance needed for behavior change, and intensive training is often needed (Dogan et al., 2017; Ward-Horner & Sturmey, 2012). The cost and time requirements of intensive training may not be viable options for some clients, leading to nonadherence or attrition (Raulston et al., 2019). In addition, others may feel that prescribed interventions are not appropriate or will not work (Moore & Symons, 2011). These barriers may reflect a cultural mismatch (Rathod et al., 2018). One potential way to increase efficacy of intervention materials is to improve the cultural sensitivity and comprehensibility of these documents. Although the body of research on cultural adaptation of behavioral interventions is becoming more robust, adaptation of behavior intervention documents as a means to create effective behavior change when cultural and linguistic diversity are factors, is an area of behavior analytic practice that is not well researched and there remains a need for cultural humility. Because diversity can include expansive differences between individuals, such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, gender and sexuality; understanding and adapting to each of these areas may be best done through separate reviews. It is the intent of this article to focus on ethnic diversity in the United States as a starting point and frame of reference for cultural adaptation. This tutorial includes tips learned from health communication research to give step-by-step guidance on creating comprehensible, culturally adapted intervention plans through the example of training for parents of autistic children.

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