Headshot of Bethany Contreras

Bethany Contreras

Assistant Professor She/her/hers

Summary

Dr. Bethany Contreras earned her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Organizational Behavior Management at the Florida Institute of Technology and her PhD in Disability Disciplines with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis from Utah State University. Dr. Contreras also completed a one year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Contreras has over a decade of experience implementing early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) with young children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. She also has extensive experience training teachers, parents, and students to implement behavior analytic interventions.

Dr. Contreras conducts research related to behavior analytic interventions for young children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Her lines of research include reinforced variability and its role in problem solving, enhancing the efficiency and fidelity of skill acquisition procedures, and promoting independent language and play skills. Dr. Contreras is also interested in evaluating methods of effective instruction in higher education (e.g., scholarship of teaching and learning).

Research interests

  • Autism Spectrum
  • Disorders Skill Acquisition
  • Response Variability
  • Behaviorism
  • Instruction in higher education Parent training

Courses taught

  • PSY 701 Research Methods in Behavior Analysis
  • PSY 783 Behavioral Interventions
  • PSY 695 Ethics in Psychology

Education

  • B.S. Biology, Arizona State University, 2008
  • M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis and Organizational Behavior Management, Florida Institute of Technology, 2012
  • PhD Disability Disciplines, Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, Utah State University, 2017

Selected publications

  • Becerra, L. A., Sellers, T. P., Contreras, B. P., (2020). Maximizing the conference experience: Tips to effectively navigate academic conferences. Submitted to Behavior Analysis in Practice. Advance Online Publication.
  • Schmitz, B., Contreras, B. P., Tate, S. A., & Kahng, S. (in press). Variations of functional communication training and their effects on resurgence. Current Developmental Disorders Reports.
  • Contreras, B. P., Cooper, A., & Kahng, S. (2019). Recent research on the relative efficiency of speaker and listener instruction for children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 53, 584-589.
  • Gerencser, K. R., Higbee, T. S., Contreras, B. P. & Pellegrino, A. J. (2018) Evaluation of an interactive computerized training to teach paraprofessionals to implement errorless discrete trial instruction. Journal of Behavioral Education, 27, 461-487.
  • Gerencser, K. R., Higbee, T. S., Akers, J. A., & Contreras, B. P. (2017). Evaluation of interactive computerized training to teach parents to implement photographic activity schedules with children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 50, 567-581.
  • Contreras, B. P., & Betz, A. M. (2016). Using lag schedules to strengthen the intraverbal repertoires of children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 49, 3-16.
  • Hoffmann, A. M., Contreras, B. P., Clay, C. J., & Twohig, M. P. (2016). Acceptance and commitment therapy for individuals with disabilities: A behavior analytic strategy for addressing private events in challenging behavior. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9, 14-24.

Learn more about Dr. Contreras' research 

Professional Certifications

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D)