Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Koch, Darwin


Applied Behavior Analysis has experienced an increase need for practitioners at all certification levels. Most recently, a demand for the paraprofessional-level certification, the Registered Behavior Technician™ (RBT®), is being driven by state licensure and health insurance reform. This has subsequently led to pressure to quickly train paraprofessionals to work with at-need clients. While this growth is favorable for the field it means that agencies are often at odds with balancing quality and breadth of knowledge, which can negatively impact clients’ lives. Furthermore, outside of basic minimum training standards, the behavior analytic governing bodies do not currently regulate RBT trainings the way they do for higher levels of certification, leaving it up to training supervisors to determine competency. In a series of experiments, some of the concerns with respect to RBT training will be addressed. The first will determine if an online curriculum is feasible for training RBT candidates to a level of proficiency for conceptual and practical knowledge. The second thread of research will examine if Acceptance and Commitment Training can lead to gains in RBT performance. Implications for the findings as well as future directions are discussed.

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