Collaborative Efforts by the Auburn University Applied Behavior Analysis Program in the Treatment of Adolescents Adjudicated for Illegal Sexual Behavior

Kristen M Brogan, Sarah M Richling, John T Rapp, Kelli R Thompson, Barry R Burkhart


As the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) moves towards recognition as an established profession (Johnston, Carr, & Mellichamp, 2017), it is important to identify strides in diverse treatment and research areas.  One such area is that of the treatment of adolescents adjudicated for illegal sexual behavior.  This is a population of individuals for whom psychologists have recognized the need for a unique and holistic treatment approach (LeTourneau et al., 2009).  Although some branches of psychology have a well-established history working with this population, the behaviorist branch has yet to establish a strong foothold.  The purpose of the current article is to describe a partnership between the Auburn ABA Master’s Program and the Accountability Based Sex Offender Program based in Alabama.  This partnership has resulted in fruitful consequences for both parties in the areas of clinical service delivery and research productivity.  The manner in which the partnership evolved and flourished is not unique to work with adolescents adjudicated for illegal sexual behavior.  We describe the specific steps and groups of behaviors we employed to find success in this unique setting and suggest that they be employed in other diverse areas. 


juvenile delinquency, criminal behavior, illegal sexual behavior, interdisciplinary collaboration

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility