The Frequency of Behavior Analysis in School Psychology Literature: a Review of 20 Years


Although assessment for special education services continues to be a primary role of school psychologists, an increased role in behavioral assessment and treatment has been noted over time. This indicates a need for behavior analytic research within the school psychology literature. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the frequency of articles consistent with the theories and practices of applied behavior analysis published in four school psychology journals between 2000 and 2020. A total of 2765 original research articles were reviewed by looking for the presence of ABA focused content within the title or abstract. Results indicate that only 5.5% of articles (n=153) had a primary focus reflective of ABA theory or practice. These data were lower than would have been expected given the current job roles reported by practicing school psychologists.

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The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Correspondence to Frank R. Cicero.

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No human or animal participants were used in the current research. The current work is a literature review of pre-existing published studies. Human rights approval and informed consent were not required.

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Cicero, F.R., Luczaj, P., Younger, A. et al. The Frequency of Behavior Analysis in School Psychology Literature: a Review of 20 Years. Contemp School Psychol (2021).

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  • School psychology
  • Behavior analysis
  • ABA
  • Publication trends