Impacting Community Sustainability through Behavior Change: A Research Framework

Molli Luke, Mark Alavosius


The need for “sustainability” has encouraged a variety of disciplines to weigh in on ways to reduce the impact of a given community on the environment around it. Approaches can range from changing the behavior of a few people to completely restructuring the communities in which people live. Interventions in the larger system of a community provide potential for larger levels of change. How to do this has yet to be fully evaluated, especially from the perspective of people’s behavior interacting within a community environment. Individual level interventions in the behavior analysis literature provide many interventions, such as contingency management programs and empirically evaluated “kernels” (Embry & Biglan, 2008) across various populations and behaviors. The current paper argues that these provide a starting point for working with other sciences to change the environment, impact the cultural practices of people in the community, and promote sustainability. A snapshot of the current literature is provided along with various models for application of these interventions to larger communities.


sustainability, kernels, large-scale implementation, communities

Full Text:



Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility