Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Cynthia Pietras

Second Advisor

Nicole Grajewski


Culture of Gentleness, Working with People, behavior


The purpose of this paper is to explain the fundamentals of an ideological framework for caregivers providing services to people with disabilities called a Culture of Gentleness. The material is traditionally taught within the two-day Working with People training, and the efforts to spread this theory is headed by the Center for Positive Living Supports located in Clinton Township, Michigan. The material is then analyzed through a behavior analytic perspective. Each segment of the initial training will be discussed through both a Culture of Gentleness and behavioral perspective, rooted in Applied Behavior Analysis. Although established in the practice of Positive Behavior Support, a Culture of Gentleness will be described and analyzed without the rhetoric used to deviate Positive Behavior Support from Applied Behavior Analysis, such as the idea that behavior analysis is a one-time intervention that is largely ineffective, and it is a practice of the past, being replaced with comprehensive Positive Behavior Support. The Four Pillars, Four Tools, Six Elements, and the Culture of Gentleness’ philosophy regarding punishment and contingencies will be represented through the lens of behavioral science. By utilizing research from applied settings, theory, and fundamentals of punishment and reinforcement, a Culture of Gentleness is translated into behavioral terms.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access