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A Contextual Behavioral Framework for Enhancing Cultural Responsiveness in Behavioral Service Delivery for Latino Families

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In recent years, the field of behavior analysis has shifted its attention to issues of diversity, social justice, and cultural responsiveness. With various cultural groups in the United States, behavior analytic practitioners increasingly find themselves serving clients of diverse cultural backgrounds. One of the populations that continue to face underrepresentation is Latinos. In the current article, a cultural understanding of the Latino culture is provided to support cultural responsiveness in behavioral service delivery. This article explores the Latino identity of individuals receiving behavioral services, systemic barriers faced by Latinos, the use of acceptance and commitment training for Latino families and clients, and Latino cultural values and their role in behavioral service delivery. Most important, a shift in perspective to account for the barriers perceived by practitioners within the context of Latino cultural values is offered through a contextual behavioral framework, the literature, and the authors’ personal and professional experiences as Latino behavior analysts. Recommendations in the areas of assessment, treatment design, service delivery, and collaboration when working with Latinos are also discussed.

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  1. The term “practitioner” will be used throughout the article to reference a professional who provides services based on applied behavior analysis, regardless of certification status.

  2. Although authors of the current article understand the importance of the terms “Latinx” and “Latine,” the term “Latino” will be used throughout the article because the former terms are rarely used and accepted in Latin America, and most Latin Americans believe the terms are only used in the United States (Vargas, 2018).

  3. Although Spanish and Portuguese are commonly spoken in Latin America, they are not the only languages spoken in the region, as indigenous languages are also spoken by Latinos.


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Correspondence to Natalia A. Baires.

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Baires, N.A., Cañón, L.F., García-Zambrano, S. et al. A Contextual Behavioral Framework for Enhancing Cultural Responsiveness in Behavioral Service Delivery for Latino Families. Behav Analysis Practice 16, 938–962 (2023).

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