Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education

First Committee Member

Wendy Rodgers

Second Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Third Committee Member

Cori More

Fourth Committee Member

Tiberio Garza

Number of Pages



Approximately one in 54 children in the United States were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in 2020 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). The most common treatment for children with ASD is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which uses and applies behavior analytic principles to various interventions to increase social skills, self-help skills, and communication skills, as well as decrease protest or self-stimulatory behaviors (BACB, 2021a; Dixon et al., 2017). Registered behavior technicians (RBTs; BACB, 2021d) are the individuals necessary to work directly with children with ASD providing ABA services, however, the estimated turnover rates for RBTs range from 30% to 75% (Molko, 2018). Since there are no research studies focusing on RBT retention rates at this time, this study used a Delphi study to determine the factors that affect an RBT’s (1) intent to stay or (2) intent to leave the profession. Based on three Delphi rounds using surveys and coding procedures, participants agreed to the top five factors that affect an RBT’s intent to stay or leave. Using these factors, I propose a conceptual framework of the factors affecting an RBT’s intent to stay or leave, as well as give recommendations for future research and practice amongst ABA providers.


Autism spectrum disorder; Delphi study; Registered behavior technician; Retention rates


Special Education and Teaching

File Format


File Size

1076 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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