An Ecobehavioral Model for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect

History and Applications
  • John R. Lutzker
  • Kathryn M. Bigelow
  • Ronald M. Doctor
  • Ronit M. Gershater
  • Brandon F. Greene
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)


The term ecobehavioral was coined in the 1970s when a dialogue was published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis between ecological psychologists and applied behavior analysts. The ecological psychologists suggested that while behavioral psychology had much to offer in the way of empirically based treatments, especially with children and their families, the field at that point had ignored social ecological factors between treatment and outcome (Willems, 1974). That is, although behavioral psychology had prided itself on direct Observation methodologies of assessment and treatment, as opposed to reliance on indirect measures, observations tended to be narrow in focus, restricted in environments, and temporally proximate. Thus, in examining parent-child interactions, the behavior analyst of the time might have observed mother-child interactions in a clinic setting and drawn conclusions about the parent-child relationship based upon the behavioral antecedents and consequences to each molecular interaction in that setting. A more ecological approach would be to observe the mother and child in a more natural and treatment-specific setting such as the home. Further, it was suggested that if treatment in some form was applied to parent-child interactions, data should be collected on how that treatment may have affected other aspects of the parent-child relationship.


Child Abuse Child Behavior Parent Training Apply Behavior Analysis Video Training 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Lutzker
    • 1
  • Kathryn M. Bigelow
    • 2
  • Ronald M. Doctor
    • 3
  • Ronit M. Gershater
    • 2
  • Brandon F. Greene
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JudaismLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.University of KansasLawrenceUSA
  3. 3.California State UniversityNorthridgeUSA
  4. 4.Behavior Analysis and Therapy ProgramSouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

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