Response to ABAI task force on the use of contingent electric skin shock

Jennifer R. Zarcone, Ivan Brown, Peter E. Langdon, Michael Mullane, Mindy Scheithauer

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


In this article, the authors provide their response to the Association for Behavior Analysis International (2022) position statement on the use of contingent electric skin shock (CESS). In this response, we address concerns raised by the task force regarding limitations of the Zarcone et al. (2020) review article in which both methodological and ethical concerns were raised about the quality of research in the use of CESS with people with disabilities in the treatment of challenging behavior. We note that with the exception of the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, no state or country currently supports the use of CESS as it is not recognized as the standard of care in any other program, school, or facility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalPerspectives on Behavior Science
Issue number2
Early online date6 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Challenging behavior
  • Contingent electric skin shock
  • Punishment

Cite this