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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #68
CE Offered: BACB — 
Working With Practitioners in Mainland China: From Theory to Practice
Saturday, May 25, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Fairmont, Lobby Level, Rouge
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Fan-Yu Lin (Robert Morris University)
CE Instructor: Dorothy Xuan Zhang, Ph.D.

The number of certified behavior analysts in mainland China is increasing at a drastic pace every year. Despite this growth, its nature of service delivery, the focus of target service recipients, and the presence of a comprehensive professional standards make behavior analysis a developing profession that is unlike others in China. In this critical phase of development, practitioners’ adherence to ethical and professional standards becomes an even more critical key for its future success. While it is important to understand the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts, one must demonstrate the interpretation of this Code through everyday practice. In a country with a vast diversity in beliefs, customs, and other cultural variables, this interpretation may not be apparent at times. The central theme for this symposium is working with practitioners in mainland, China. From a theoretical perspective, the presenters will first illustrate the ethical challenges that behavior analysts may face while providing services in a variety of settings in China. The audience will then learn about two empirical studies that demonstrate the use of data-based decision making to guide practitioners’ service delivery in the context of direct teaching and supervision in mainland, China.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): China, Ethics, Service delivery, Supervision
Target Audience:

Undergraduate, graduate, or practitioners in the field of behavior analysis


Service Delivery Through a Cultural Lens: It May Not Be That Simple

DOROTHY XUAN ZHANG (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; George Mason University; ABA Professional Committee of China Association of Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (ABA-CARDP)

Over the past decade, educational and therapeutic services driven by Applied Behavior Analysis has gained more and more attention in mainland, China, particularly in the area of treatment for autism. Despite this increase in recognition and acceptance, the quality of service for students with special needs varies drastically across settings. This variation is caused by a need for more quality training courses, current misunderstanding toward students with special needs and their educators, and the availability of alternative, and often nonscientific treatment options. Behavior analysts provide services under clear and comprehensive professional and ethical guidelines. However, when cultural variations come into play, practitioners may require additional guidance with decision making during service delivery. From a conceptual analysis of behavioral perspective, this presentation will focus on the ethical challenges that behavior analysts may encounter while working in different educational and therapeutic setting in China. Potential directions and recommendations for future research and practice will also be discussed.


Comparison of Simple Conditional Discrimination Method and Conditional Only Discrimination Method: Using Discrete Trial Training in Teaching Receptive Labeling to Young Children With Autism in China

(Applied Research)
FAN-YU LIN (Robert Morris University), Jing Zhu (University of Iowa)

The emerging Western model of professional training and service delivery in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) leads to a continuous debate between universal designs and localized decisions in China, a country with over 75,000 preschools with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (Sun & Allison, 2010; Zhang & Ji, 2005), who receive alarmingly uneven service quality given the high demand of treatment (Xu, Yang, Ji, Xu, & Wang, 2014). Even for those who claim the use of ABA procedures in teaching receptive labeling, one of the fundamental skills for preschoolers, the decision-making process is not typically based on data, but is rather on routines or personal preferences. In this study, two discrimination methods were compared in teaching students with autism. The first method is simple conditional discrimination (SCD), which involves a total of nine steps to gradually increase task difficulty over time. The second method is conditional only discrimination method (COD), which includes presenting the target task from the onset of the intervention (Grow, Carr, Kodak, Jostad, & Kisamore 2011). The data suggested COD resulted in more efficient acquisition while SCD fostered gradual improvement. The results provide data driven guidance for Chinese ABA practitioners in the decision making process of ASD program design.

A Comparison of Two Types of Remote Performance Feedback on Treatment Integrity
(Applied Research)
JING ZHU (University of Iowa), Allison Bruhn (University of Iowa)
Abstract: Treatment integrity (TI) has a direct impact on early intensive behavioral interventions outcomes for children with autism. Research suggests that providing feedback can improve TI. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate and compare the effects of two remote feedback methods, videoconferencing feedback and email feedback (with graph), on TI of teachers working with children with autism in China. Four teachers will participate in the study. During baseline, teachers’ TI of implementing discrete trial training and incidental teaching will be measured. During comparison, the teachers will receive performance feedback via either videoconferencing or email with graph. The associations of the feedback method and teaching procedure will be counterbalanced across all teachers. Teachers’ acceptance and preference of the two types of feedback will be collected via a social validity questionnaire at the end of the study. Results of the study will answer the following questions: (1) whether either or both of the remote feedback methods are effective, (2) whether email feedback is as effective as videoconferencing feedback, and (3) whether if there is a preferences between the two types of feedback. We expect to complete the data collection by the end of February in 2019.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh