Inherent Tensions and Possibilities: Behavior Analysis and Cultural Responsiveness

  • Kristin L. MillerEmail author
  • Alicia Re Cruz
  • Shahla Ala’i-Rosales
Diversity and Inclusion Forum


The demographics of the United States, and of the world, are rapidly changing; national and racial diversity is increasing and bifurcation of socioeconomic status continues. These societal patterns highlight the tensions and hopeful possibilities inherent in the science and practice of behavior analysis. In this paper, we review the general climate surrounding diverse populations and access to care, characterize the demographics of behavior analysis and leadership, and discuss the synergistic activities 2 related disciplines, public health and anthropology, may contribute toward social justice. We conclude with recommendations and goals for increasing cultural responsiveness in the study and practice of behavior analysis. Such responsiveness is likely to allow advances in our understanding of how behavior changes and what meaning those changes have for individuals and society.


Cultural responsiveness Applied behavior analysis Social justice Diversity Ethics 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

No authors have known conflicts or dual interests related to this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin L. Miller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alicia Re Cruz
    • 2
  • Shahla Ala’i-Rosales
    • 2
  1. 1.Juvo Autism and Behavioral Health and Tri-Valley Anti-Poverty CollaborativeConcordUSA
  2. 2.University of North TexasDentonUSA

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