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.


16th Annual Autism Conference; Seattle, WA; 2022

All times listed are Pacific Standard Time (UTC -8 at the time of the convention in March).

Workshop Details

The terminology utilized in the presentation titles and abstracts for this conference was selected to adhere to the seventh edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual and to be inclusive of those who prefer person-first as well as identity-first language.

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Workshop #W1
Cultural Considerations in Applied Behavior Analysis: A Functional and Contextual Perspective
Saturday, March 5, 2022
9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Fourth Floor; Grand Ballroom 1/2
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Akihiko Masuda, Ph.D.
AKIHIKO MASUDA (University of Hawaii)

Akihiko (Aki) Masuda is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He earned his BA in Psychology at West Virginia University in 1993, MA in Applied Behavior Analysis at University of the Pacific in 2000, and Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical Psychology) at University of Nevada, Reno in 2006. His primary areas of interest are broad, including philosophy of science, clinical behavior analysis, acceptance- and mindfulness-based behavioral therapies, diversity and cultural considerations in behavioral health, and happiness. He is the author of over 90 peer-reviewed papers and 40 book chapters. His recent works include Mindfulness and Acceptance in Multicultural Competency (New Harbinger, 2014), Handbook of Zen, Mindfulness and Behavioral Health (Springer, 2017), and Prejudice, Stigma, Privilege, and Oppression: A Behavioral Health Handbook (Springer, 2020).

Description: Following a framework of contextual behavioral science (CBS), this workshop offers insights into the cultural considerations in clinical behavior analysis and applied behavior analysis. To begin, I briefly present an overview of CBS as well as that of cultural competency, cultural humility, and cultural adaptation. Subsequently, I argue that our intervention work is best understood functionally and contextually as the purposeful behavior of an interventionist (e.g., behavior analyst) in a therapeutic context and the way in which behavior of the interventionist is both principle-informed and experientially guided. From a functional and contextual account, every applied case is subject to cultural adaptation because no two individuals have identical learning histories and situational contexts. I also argue that if our work is practiced functionally and contextually, no additional guidelines for cultural adaptation are needed. What is extremely difficult, however, is to practice and embody behavior analytic work functionally and contextually. This workshop offers some insights of how a behavior analyst stays connected with the therapeutic context with a given client functionally and contextually.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the philosophy (assumption), theory, and practice underlying “the purposeful behavior of an interventionist in a given applied context;” (2) describe the cultural adaptation of behavioral intervention from the perspective of functional contextualism; (3) identify the areas in practice where cultural adaptation is particularly important.
Activities: This workshop will include a balanced presentation of lecture, guided practice in a small group activity, and group discussion. Core content will be taught through lecture and in-person demonstrations of strategies will be provided. Supplemental materials for identifying language and learning barriers will be provided in order to support participant learning.
Audience: A basic understanding of the contingency of reinforcement in theory and practice is required.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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