The association for behavior analysis international position statement on restraint and seclusion

Timothy R. Vollmer, Louis Hagopian, Jon S. Bailey, Michael F. Dorsey, Gregory Hanley, David Lennox, Mary M. Riordan, Scott Spreat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


A task force authorized by the Executive Council of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) generated the statement below concerning the techniques called restraint and seclusion. Members of the task force independently reviewed the scientific literature concerning restraint and seclusion and agreed unanimously to the content of the statement. The Executive Council accepted the statement, and it was subsequently approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the general membership. It now constitutes official ABAI policy. The position statement is posted on the ABAI Web site ( RestraintSeclusion.asp). The purpose of the position statement is to provide guidance to behavior analysts and other professionals interested in the position of ABAI on these controversial topics. In extreme cases, abuses of procedures erroneously used in the name of behavior analysis are not defensible. On the other hand, behavior analysts acting ethically and in good faith are provided with guidelines for sound and acceptably safe practice. To the extent that behavior-analytic positions influence public policy and law, this statement can be presented to officials and lawmakers to guide informed decision making. At the conclusion of the document, a bibliography is provided of articles and presentations considered by one or more task force members in developing the position statement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalBehavior Analyst
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Ethics
  • Position statement
  • Restraint
  • Seclusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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