A Crumbling Foundation? The Relationship Between Instructional Delivery, Practicum Experiences and Academic Major to BA's Use of CUTs

Open Access
Wilford, Heather Marie
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Kimberly Anne Schreck, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Ronald Walker, Honors Advisor
  • Gina Brelsford, Faculty Reader
  • ABA
  • ASD
  • Autism
  • BCBA
  • Treatments
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Ethics
  • Behavior Analysis
Despite ethical guidelines, clinical observation and empirical research continually indicates that behavior analysts struggle with choosing scientifically supported treatments for people with autism. Although ethical guidelines and training standards exist to guide the academic and practicum instruction of behavior analysts, they continue to choose Contemporary Unsupported Treatments (CUT) and non-scientifically supported eclectic treatment approaches. This study examined academic (i.e., instructional delivery methods, academic majors) and practicum (i.e., location, type of program, level of practicum) influences that perpetuate behavior analysts’ (N=782) choices of CUTs. Surveyed BCBA-Ds and BCBAs used an array of CUT treatments (i.e., sensory integration, auditory integration, and facilitated communication). Instructional delivery methods, practicum experiences, and academic majors related to behavior analysts’ choices to use some of the CUTs but not for others. These results indicate that for some popular CUTs, specific remediation must be made to the instructional and practicum foundations of behavior analysts’ training.