The Wonderful World of Behavioral Analysis

Many professionals in applied behavior analysis (ABA) provide services to people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That’s because the practice of behavior analysis is widely recognized as an effective method of treating behavior disorders, specifically for children with autism. Behavior analysts also help those with autism acquire skills in communication, safety, social, adaption, and daily living. They also help them integrate into the community environment successfully. Common workplace settings include clinics, schools, long-term care facilities, and in-home services. Yet, there are many other Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) jobs available to practitioners.

An analysis by the BACB provides an overview of what these subspecialty areas are:

Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) focuses on assessing and changing the work environment to
improve employee performance and workplace culture. Concentration areas within this subspecialty include: performance management, behavior-based safety, behavioral systems analysis, consumer behavior analysis, health and wellness, monetary incentive systems, training and development, and leadership and culture.

Behavioral Gerontology focuses on helping seniors battle obesity, depression, diabetes, neurocognitive disorders, and other conditions. Concentration areas within this subspecialty include: behavioral medicine, health and fitness, mental health, memory problems, and neurocognitive disorders.

Behavioral Pediatrics focuses on behavior problems that present in pediatric medical settings. This area of application is important because up to half of all pediatric medical visits involve behavior problems that could be remediated through behavior-analytic treatment approaches.

Clinical Behavior Analysis is the application of the conceptual and methodological tools of behavior analysis to treat problems that have traditionally been characterized as mental disorders. Common problems addressed through clinical behavior analysis include depression, anxiety, stress, relationship discord, substance misuse, chronic pain, disruptive behavior, impulsivity, inattention, tic disorders, and sleep disturbance, among others.

Behavioral Sport Psychology focuses on the use of behavior analysis concepts, principles, and techniques to enhance the performance and satisfaction of athletes, teams, and coaches. Concentration areas within this subspecialty include: athletic training, behavioral coaching, behavioral sport psychology consultation, personal training, and sports strength and conditioning.

Behavior Analysis in Brain Injury Rehabilitation – Behavior analysts add value to interdisciplinary teams for
patients with a brain injury by developing both skill-acquisition and behavior-reduction programs throughout
the continuum of care (i.e., acute, post-acute, long term).

Behavior Analysis in Education – Behavior analysis in education has been used to improve teaching and increase learning across content areas, grade levels, and student populations for years. Concentration areas within this subspecialty include: classroom management, curriculum and instruction, direct instruction, educational technology, evidence-based education, general education, gifted education, mainstream education, special education, instructional design, and more.

Behavior Analysis in Health and Fitness – Behavior analysts apply behavior-analytic concepts and principles to improve personal health and fitness, primarily outside of the formal healthcare system, with a focus on health promotion through diet and exercise modification.

Behavior Analysis in Environmental Sustainability – Behavior analysts collaborate with experts and policy makers to improve sustainable practices in a variety of areas including environmental conservation and preservation; energy use and renewable energy; pollution, emission control, and transportation; food production, consumption, and waste; recycling and waste reduction; consumer education; and political action.

Prevention and Behavioral Intervention of Child Maltreatment – Behavior analysts conduct interventions to prevent child maltreatment by concentrating on improving parent-child interactions, home safety, and child health care, as well as conducting planned-activity training and promoting the achievement of developmental norms.

Behavioral Treatment of Substance Use Disorders – Behavioral approaches here can prevent and treat misuse of legal and illegal drugs (e.g., alcohol, stimulants, opioids, nicotine) and associated psychosocial problems (e.g., psychiatric comorbidities, unemployment).

By Maeghan Myers
Maeghan Myers Graduate Student Assistant