PSYC 6731 Walden University Ethical Treatment Discussion


Ethics are fundamental to any profession. In this Discussion, you will explore one of the greatest ethical dilemmas faced in behavior analysis—the use of aversives in the treatment of children engaging in self-injurious behavior (SIB). While there is research to support the efficacy of aversive treatment with some children with SIBs, some states outlaw their use, and many people question whether it is ever an ethical approach.

To Prepare
  • Review the Learning Resources for this week including the required weekly media programs to gain an understanding of ethical codes and aspects of those codes relevant to the use of aversive techniques. Note: It is important for you to review all media for this week prior to completing this Discussion.
  • Search the Walden Library and/or the Internet for research related to the efficacy of using aversives in the treatment of SIB, as well as ethical concerns and arguments professionals and laypeople make regarding their use.
  • Consider that self-injurious behavior (SIB) occurs most frequently among persons with severe intellectual disability (ID) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • Consider the following scenario:
      You are working as a behavior analyst and are referred a 7-year-old boy with ASD (Level 3 severity), who is engaging in repetitive head banging to the point where he has required medical treatment

Based on the scenario provided and your search results, post an explanation of whether you believe aversives should be used in the treatment of SIB. Justify your rationale by explaining ethical issues regarding the use of a behavior management approach that includes aversives. Cite specific aspects of ethical codes (e.g., ABAI, APA) in justifying your conclusion as to the use of aversives in the treatment of SIB.

Be sure to support your postings with specific references to the Learning Resources and from your search of current relevant literature to support your work.

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