Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Sarah E. Bloom, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Andrew L. Samaha, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Committee Member

Mario Hernandez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tara Deubel, Ph.D.


Applied Behavior Analysis, Cultural Competence, Functional Communication Responses, Problem Behavior


Disparities in the use, quality, and outcomes of treatments, and the barriers that deter Hispanics from receiving healthcare services have been widely studied. Yet, similar efforts have been slow in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). A way to decrease treatment disparities is to assess the influence of cultural variables in behavior analytic interventions, and to evaluate whether manipulations to these variables improve the overall results of the interventions among Hispanic families. During this study, we adapted functional communication training (FCT) to Hispanic parent’s cultural values, we assessed the preference for culturally adapted and non-culturally adapted functional communication responses (FCR), and we evaluated the social validity of both FCRs. We achieved this by creating the Culturally-Adapted Response Evaluation Survey (CARES) for behavior analysts to use as a guide when interviewing parents to identify an FCR that adheres to the families’ cultural values. We evaluated parents’ preference for each FCR using a multiple-baseline design in which parents were trained to implement procedures to maintain the FCR that was taught and we provided parents an opportunity to choose the FCR they wanted to reinforce. The results of the study and their implications for ABA services are discussed.