The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 267–277 | Cite as

Women in applied behavior analysis

  • Frances K. McSweeney
  • Patricia Donahoe
  • Samantha Swindell


The status of women in applied behavior analysis was examined by comparing the participation of women in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) to their participation in three similar journals. For all journals, the percentage of articles with at least one female author, the percentage of authors who are female, and the percentage of articles with a female first author increased from 1978 to 1997. Participation by women in JABA was equal to or greater than participation by women in the comparison journals. However, women appeared as authors on papers in special sections of Behavior Modification substantially more often when the editor was female than when the editor was male. In addition, female membership on the editorial boards of JABA, Behavior Modification, and Behaviour Research and Therapy failed to increase from 1978 to 1997. We conclude that a “glass ceiling” reduces the participation of women at the highest levels of applied behavior analysis and related fields.

Key words

participation of women gender equity glass ceiling applied behavior analysis 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frances K. McSweeney
    • 1
  • Patricia Donahoe
    • 1
  • Samantha Swindell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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