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Easterseals Southern California Research Division

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Mission Statement

Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) Research Division conducts state of the art behavioral and scientific research to evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of the interventions that ESSC provides so that individuals with disabilities and their families have equal and better opportunities to live, learn, work, and play in their communities.

Kid practicing pronuncation with therapist

Research Division Background

The ESSC Research Division is a sub-branch of ESSC’s Autism Services. The Research Division and the ESSC Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (HSIRB) were launched in November 2014. The division was developed to conduct research on various aspects of autism treatments and organizational practices in order to inform clinicians, researchers, and the organization. Many of the ESSC researchers collaborate with a variety of universities around the globe and their publications have been presented at various professional conferences.

The Research Division projects are designed with the primary objective of evaluating short-term and long-term clinical intervention outcomes (clinical research area), staff performance (organizational behavior management area), and experimental research in the field of behavior analysis and psychology (Experimental and conceptual research area). 

Therapist discussing drawing during play with child

Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (HSIRB)

The ESSC HSIRB was developed to oversee ESSC research protocols in order to assure the safety and rights of all research participants. The ESSC HSIRB consists of a committee of volunteer members with diverse backgrounds, most of whom are not ESSC associates. The committee comprises parents of children with autism, lawyers, physicians, autism practitioners, educators, and others trained to evaluate adherence of research protocols to federal guidelines for research. The committee meets once a month and reviews new and active protocols.

toddler writing

Recent Publications

To obtain a pre-print copy, contact our Research Division


Haq, S. S., Alresheed, F., & Tu, J. C. (2020). Behavioral Treatment of Problem Behavior for an Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Misophonia. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 1-11.

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Carter, C., Schroeder-MacKay, C., & Poling, A. (2020). Hiring Behavior Analysts: Free Gifts at a Booth Increase Verbal Contacts with a Recruiter, but Not Serious Job Inquiries. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 40, 119-128.


Edwards, T., Lotfizaeh, A., & Poling, A. (2019). Motivating operations and stimulus control. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. doi: 10.1002/jeab.516

Edwards, T., Lotfizaeh, A. D., & Poling, A. (2019). Rethinking motivating operations: A reply to commentaries on Edwards, Lotfizadeh, and Poling (2019). Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 112(1), https://doi.org/10.1002/jeab.542

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Herron, M. A., & Poling, A. (2019). Frequency of learning trials presented during trial-by-trial versus first-trial data recording. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/bar0000164

Montallana, K., Gard, B., Lotfizadeh, A. D., & Poling, A. (2019). Inter-rater agreement for the milestones and barriers assessments of the verbal behavior milestones assessment and placement program (VB-MAPP). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-03879-4

Poling, A., Lotfizadeh, A.D., & Edwards (2019). Motivating operations and discriminative stimuli: Distinguishable but interactive variables. Behavior Analysis in Practice. doi: 10.1007/s40617-019-00400-2


Herron, M., Lotfizadeh, A. D., & Poling, A. (2018). Using Conditioned Reinforcers to Improve Behavior-Change Skills: Clicker Training for Practitioners. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 38, 172-190.

Lotfizadeh, A. D., Kazemi, E., Pompa-Craven, P., & Eldevik, S. (2018). Moderate effects of low-intensity behavioral interventions. Behavior Modification. doi: 10.1177/0145445518796204.


Poling, A., Lotfizadeh, A.D., & Edwards, T. (2017). Predicting reinforcement: Utility of the motivating operations concept. The Behavior Analyst, 40(1), 49-56.

Prior to 2017

Eilers, H. J., & Hayes, S. C. (2015). Exposure and response prevention therapy with cognitive defusion exercises to reduce repetitive and restrictive behaviors displayed by children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders19, 18-31.

Kazemi, E., Shapiro, M., & Kavner, A. (2015). Predictors of intention to turnover in behavior technicians working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders17, 106-115. 

Girl playing with slime toy

 Research Studies

Click on the links below to see the study flyers.

Inside Easterseals Research Division
Assessing Motivational Level on Generalization of Play/Leisure Skills
Study to Assess Telehealth-Based Methods
Study to Assess Group Telehealth-Based Methods

External Studies (These studies are being conducted by outside organizations that have asked Easterseals to share their study flyers. Easterseals does not sponsor or endorse any of these listed research projects.)
UCLA Research Study- Autism Genetics and Human Diversity

BackgroundHuman Subjects Institutional Review BoardRecent PublicationsTeam MembersLaboratoriesContinuing Education UnitsContact Us

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