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.

Students' Perspective on Diversity and Culturally Responsive Supervisory Practices and Feedback

Tanya Lopez (Positive Behavior Supports)

Invited Panel




Tanya Lopez graduated from Bay Path University with a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA). She is currently working as a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) for Positive Behavior Supports (PBS), providing in-home services for children diagnosed with autism in the state of Massachusetts. In her free time, Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband and son, shopping at Target and ordering Starbucks.



A critical step in the preparation toward certification as a Behavior Analyst is supervision (Turner et al., 2016). The purpose of supervision is to equip applied behavior analysis (ABA) students with behavior analytic, professional, and ethical skills necessary for effective client treatment in practice (BACB, 2021). The rules for supervision are found in the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts, also known as “the Code” (Sellers et al., 2016b). A successful supervision experience involves clearly defined expectations at the onset of the relationship (Sellers et al., 2016a), and accurate training and feedback by the supervisor (Sellers et al., 2019). Factors that are considered include the supervisees’ beliefs and values originating from previous supervision experiences (Turner et al., 2016). Supervisees from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds may also require unique interactions with the supervisors while still satisfying the BACB’s objectives. One aspect of supervision that should be discussed and explored further are the modifications made to the supervision experience for supervisees from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. These candidates may require unique interactions with supervisors while still satisfying the BACB’s objectives. This panel discussion will explore the importance of cultural diversity and responsiveness in the supervision experience, challenges that may be experienced by relevant supervisees, and suggested solutions to address them. References Behavior Analyst Certification Board (2016). 2022 Eligibility Requirements. Sellers, T. P., Valentino, A. L., & LeBlanc, L. A. (2016a). Recommended practices for individual supervision of aspiring behavior analysts. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9(4), 274-286. Sellers, T. P., Alai-Rosales, S., & MacDonald, R. P. F. (2016b). Taking full responsibility: The ethics of supervision in behavior analytic practice. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9(4), 299-308. Sellers, T. P., Valentino, A. L., Landon, T. J., & Aiello, S. (2019). Board certified behavior analysts’ supervisory practices of trainees: Survey results and recommendations. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 12(3), 536-546. Turner, L. B., Fischer, A. J., & Luiselli, J. K. (2016). Towards a competency-based, ethical, and socially valid approach to the supervision of applied behavior analytic trainees. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9(4), 287-298.


Modifed by Eddie Soh