Chengan Yuan

Farmer (ED) 418D
Assistant Professor
TEMPE Campus


Dr. Chengan Yuan is an assistant professor in special education and applied behavior analysis in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. His current research interests focus on improving treatment outcomes of early behavioral intervention for children with autism and related developmental disabilities through examining effective, efficient, and socially valid instructional strategies.

Dr. Yuan is also a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and has extensive experience in the international practice of behavior analysis. He has worked and conducted research with children to young adults with autism and developmental disabilities in New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United States. He continues to collaborate and consult with international colleagues on research and clinical practice. In addition, Dr. Yuan taught behavior analysis courses at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. He was also involved in developing and teaching the first online BCaBA course sequence for practitioners in China while he was studying at the University of Iowa.


  • 2018 PhD, Teaching and Learning (Special Education), University of Iowa
  • 2009 MAppPsy 1st class hons, Behaviour Analysis, University of Waikato, New Zealand,
  • 2006 BSocSci, Psychology, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Guiding Research Topic:

  • Improving intervention efficiency and effectiveness for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities through
    • comparative analyses of instructional procedures,
    • addressing multiple behavioral targets concurrently, and
    • involving and training natural behavior-change agents to increase teaching opportunities.


Selected Publications (see the list of publications in the CV)

Yuan, C., & Chen, L.* (2020). Improving reciprocal conversation and social preference of children with autism. Exceptional Children. Advance online publication.

Hua, Y., Hinzman, M., Yuan, C., & Balint Langel, K. (2020). Comparing the effects of two reading interventions using a randomized alternating treatment design. Exceptional Children, 86(4), 355-373.

Yuan, C., & Hua, Y. (2020). Treatment preference evaluation. In F. R. Volkmar (Ed.). Encyclopedia of autism spectrum disorders. New York, NY: Springer.

Yuan, C., Hua, Y., & Zhu, J. (2019). The role of reinforcement in multiple response repetition error correction and treatment preference of Chinese children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders49(9), 3704-3715.

Yuan, C., Balint-Langel, K., & Hua, Y. (2019). Effects of constant time delay on route planning using Google Maps for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities54(3), 215-224.





Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
SPE 526 Concepts and Principles of ABA
SPE 564 Cntrvrsl Therapies Sci in Ed
Summer 2020
Course Number Course Title
SPE 527 Behavior Analytic Assessment
SPE 593 Applied Project
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
SPE 526 Concepts and Principles of ABA
SPE 560 Behavior Change Procedures
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
SPE 526 Concepts and Principles of ABA
SPE 566 Appl Beh Analysis Inclus Set
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
SPE 598 Special Topics
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
SPE 567 Ethics Applied Behav Analysis