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Over the course of my career as a behavior analyst, I have been fascinated by the work of certain researchers: one of those being Nancy Neef. It was her articles on ADHD, published in 2005, that gave me the language to explain to parents and teachers what a kid with ADHD was experiencing in a way I could not articulate before. It was a turning point in my career actually, and I am very thankful to her and her colleagues for all their tremendous work in this area.

The work of Dr. Nancy Neef marked a turning point in my career…

Yes. For over 10 years I had read, studied, and talked about every journal article, chapter, and book written on the applied and experimental behavior analysis of behavior that I could get my hands on. I enjoyed deep and lengthy conversations about equivalence and emergent behavior, regularly annoyed fellow graduate students by asking just “one more” question about concurrent schedules, behavior economics, and delay discounting right as class was about to end, and had amazing afternoons just hanging around talking about a behavioral approach to tackling the obesity epidemic. Despite all of what I knew applied behavior analysis was and could be, for whatever reason it was the journal article Behavioral Assessment Of Impulsivity: A Comparison Of Children With And Without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Neef et. al., 2005) that made applied behavior analytic approaches for the assessment and intervention of behavior in individuals other than those with autism real for me.

Once ABAC was safely established, I wrote a dream list of future guest speakers. Dr. Nancy Neef was in the top 5 of that list. Since my first email to her, she and I have had a number of phone conversations and email exchanges, and we got to spend some time chatting at the ABAi conference last May. I am happy to report that not only is she a fabulous behavior scientist, but she is also a lovely person and I am thrilled that she is joining us this weekend to present her first ABACLive Webinar “ADHD: Conceptualization and Research-Based Treatments.”

If you have not had a chance to read some of Dr. Neef’s work, I have included a few of the open access articles available to you via PubMed, including the article I mentioned earlier. Not all her work is on ADHD so take the time to check out some of the other cool research she has published. FYI, There is a body of recent work that you can gain access to if you are on ResearchGate and don’t otherwise have access to journals via a university or public library. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.



Neef, N. A., Perrin, C. J., Haberlin, A. T., & Rodrigues, L. C. (2011). STUDYING AS FUN AND GAMES: EFFECTS ON COLLEGE STUDENTS’ QUIZ PERFORMANCE. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44(4), 897–901.

Neef, N. A., Marckel, J., Ferreri, S. J., Bicard, D. F., Endo, S., Aman, M. G., … Armstrong, N. (2005). Behavioral Assessment Of Impulsivity: A Comparison Of Children With And Without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38(1), 23–37.

Link to Dr. Neef’s profile on ResearchGate

Link to Dr. Neef’s profile on Google Scholar