Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 84–94 | Cite as

Developing the Cultural Awareness Skills of Behavior Analysts

  • Elizabeth Hughes Fong
  • Robyn M. Catagnus
  • Matthew T. Brodhead
  • Shawn Quigley
  • Sean Field
Discussion and Review Paper


All individuals are a part of at least one culture. These cultural contingencies shape behavior, behavior that may or may not be acceptable or familiar to behavior analysts from another culture. To better serve individuals, assessments and interventions should be selected with a consideration of cultural factors, including cultural preferences and norms. The purpose of this paper is to provide suggestions to serve as a starting point for developing behavior analysts’ cultural awareness skills. We present strategies for understanding behavior analysts’ personal cultural values and contingencies and those of their clients, integrating cultural awareness practices into service delivery, supervision, and professional development, and becoming culturally aware in everyday practice.


Culture Cultural awareness Applied behavior analysis Diversity 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Hughes Fong
    • 1
  • Robyn M. Catagnus
    • 2
  • Matthew T. Brodhead
    • 3
  • Shawn Quigley
    • 4
  • Sean Field
    • 5
  1. 1.Arcadia UniversityGlensideUSA
  2. 2.The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  4. 4.The University of New Mexico Medical GroupAlbuquerqueUSA
  5. 5.Western Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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