Dr. Jowett Hirst's Research Lab| Behavior Analysis and Therapy | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

Dr. Jowett Hirst's Lab

 Child Behavior Research and Training Lab


CBRT lab logoDr. Jowett Hirst runs the Child Behavior Research and Training Lab where she works with students on a variety of projects involving the study of child behavior.

Through research, Dr. Jowett Hirst aims to conduct research that (1) influences best practice guidelines, (2) aids in the dissemination of the technology of behavior analysis, and (3) debunks pseudoscientific therapy for Autism treatment. Her research is guided in part by her own interests, but also by the interests of her students.

Current research topics include:

  • Variables that influence preference for token economies
  • Physiological side effects of behavioral interventions
  • Parent training

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Practicum & Internship

Students completing their practicum and internship with Dr. Jowett Hirst gain experience in developing and implementing skill-acquisition programs and behavior intervention plans with typically developing children and children with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Practicum and internship sites include Head Start and Rainbow’s End.

Children in labThrough practicum and internships, students learn how to:

  • Conduct preference assessments
  • Conduct skills assessments
  • Select target skills
  • Write skill-acquisition programs
  • Implement discrete-trial teaching
  • Conduct functional behavior assessments
  • Write behavior intervention plans
  • Implement behavior intervention plans
  • Make data-based decisions
  • Use behavioral skills training to train staff

Graduate Students

Several graduate students assist with data collection, graphing, and conducting research in the CBRT lab.

Graduate Students

Back (left to right): Anwer Ul Azim, Alexis Henry, Nicolette Robertson, Isaac Nzuki, Sarah Sternquist
Front (left to right): Maureen O’Connor, Allie <Ribley, Jomi Hirata


Alexis Henry, B.S.

Thesis: Evaluation of a Group Parent-Training Model to Teach Behavior Management Strategies

Isaac Nzuki, B.S.

Thesis: An Evaluation of Variables that Influence Preference for Response Cost


Dr. Jowett Hirst is currently accepting applications for Fall 2016.