The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is one of the most popular membership organizations for behavior analysts. The repute organization offers a multitude of supports for behavior analysts regardless of level of experience. Ultimately, ABAI exists “to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice” (Association for Behavior Analysis International Mission Statement).

Here at AATBS, we are preparing to host our first exhibitor’s booth at the annual ABAI conference, May 27th – May 31st, 2021, and we thought this might be a valuable opportunity to share some information about this particular professional organization for behavior analysts.

Originally called the MidWestern Association for Behavior Analysis, ABAI was established in 1974 to distinguish the behavior analysis from the Psychology field. It has become one of the most established ABA organizations with more than 9000 members worldwide and 28,000 members through affiliated chapter organizations. 

The Association for Behavior Analysis International includes a robust leadership team. Presently, the leadership structure includes the following: Presidents (past, current, president-elect), Representatives (applied, experimental, international), two Members at Large, Students (past, current, student-elect), and Chief Executive Officer/Secretary-Treasurer. 

The ABAI Annual Conference is its hallmark event. The Annual Conference usually takes place in May and is on-site in a major United States city, though it will be held online in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other ABAI events include the Annual Autism Conference and the semi-annual International Conference held in a country outside of the United States. Each conference affords attendees the opportunity to earn continuing education credits.

Though not required, many behavior analysts choose to become ABAI members. The membership term runs from September 1-August 31 each year, and ABAI includes six levels of membership: Associate Chapter Member, Chapter/Adjunct Member, First-Time Member, Student Member, Affiliate Member, and Full Member. Additionally, members can identify as scientists, educators, providers, students, chapters (e.g., state organizations), special interest groups, or press, which allows members to receive the most relevant information from ABAI.

Each membership level includes different benefits which may include access to journals, discounted conference pricing, access to the ABAI job board, discounted professional liability insurance, and discounts on a variety of additional activities such as theme parks, hotels, rental cars, movie theatres, and more. Perhaps most valuably, ABAI offers networking opportunities to its expansive membership.  

The next ABAI event is the 47th Annual Convention. It will take place from May 27, 2021- May 31, 2021 and will be held online. During the conference weekend, stop by the AATBS booth to see what continuing education courses and BCBA exam prep support we have for you!

Please follow the links below for general information about ABAI:

By: Jesse Yarger, BCBA