Reporting Participant Characteristics in Intervention Articles Published in Five Behavior-Analytic Journals, 2013–2015

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Abstract

The current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association indicates that the sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and disability status of research participants should be reported. The present study found that most (90.6%) of the manuscripts describing clinical interventions and published from 2013–2015 in five journals sympathetic to behavior analysis reported the sex of participants. Fewer such articles described participants’ disability status (69.1%), race/ethnicity (10.7%), or socioeconomic status (2.8%). Although there is general agreement that participant characteristics likely to influence responsiveness to the intervention being examined should be reported, there apparently is no agreement as to whether race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and disability status constitute such characteristics. The purpose of this article is to encourage authors, reviewers, editors, and readers of behavior-analytic research articles to consider which characteristics of participants merit reporting and the consequences of not consistently reporting those characteristics.

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