Child Behavior Research and Training Lab| BAT | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Child Behavior Research and Training Lab


CBRT lab logoResearch

Dr. 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:

  • Treatment of food selectivity
  • Effects of mastery criteria on skill maintenance
  • A comparison of simple and elaborative prompting
  • Social skills training
  • Safety skills training in the classroom
  • Parent training
  • Infant toilet training

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Practicum & Internship

Students completing their practicum and internship with Dr. Jowett Hirst gain experience in a variety of areas. Students involved with Rainbow’s End Child Development Center work on developing and implementing skill-acquisition programs and behavior intervention plans with typically developing children and children with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Students who work in the on-campus clinic implement 1:1 treatment for food selectivity and social skills groups. In addition, some students gain experience with implementing intensive, in-home toilet training.

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