Gretchen Dittrich

Professor of Practice, Chair of the Behavior Analysis Department and Director of the Master's Program


  • PhD in Behavior Analysis, Simmons University
  • MS in Applied Behavior Analysis, Northeastern University
  • BA in Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno
  • BA in Spanish, University of Nevada, Reno


  • Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst (LABA) in Massachusetts
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Doctoral-level (BCBA-D)

About Me

Dr. Gretchen Dittrich (she/her) is Professor of Practice and Chair of the Department of Behavior Analysis at Simmons University. She also serves as the Program Director for the Master of Science (MS) and Educational Specialist (EdS) degree programs on campus.

Dr. Dittrich has been utilizing the science of behavior to help individuals, caregivers, families, and school systems since 1998. Her research interests and areas of expertise include behavioral medicine and health promotion (including the prevention and amelioration of obesity and inactivity), functional analysis of complex behaviors, social skills training, the application of behavior analytic methodologies to higher education, supervision, interprofessional collaboration, and verbal behavior.

Dr. Dittrich is the current chair of the Behavioral Medicine Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

Area of Expertise

  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Health Promotion
  • Instructional Design
  • Evidence-Based and Competency-Based Instruction
  • Functional Analysis of Complex Behavior
  • Supervision
  • Interprofessional Practice and Collaboration
  • Verbal Behavior

What I Teach

  • BEHV/O 427 Methods for Changing Behavior I
  • BEHV/O 434 Methods for Changing Behavior II
  • BEHV 450, 451, 452, 453, 454, 455 Supervised Fieldwork courses
  • BEHV/O 465 Verbal Behavior
  • BEHV 470, 471, 472 Practicum
  • BEHV 495 Independent Study
  • DABA 625 Advanced Functional Assessment and Analysis
  • DABA 635 Behavioral Medicine
  • DABA 640 Professional and Scholarly Activity
  • DABA 690, 699 Dissertation Lab

Recent Health Promotion Publications

(*student research; Δinterdisciplinary research)

ΔFleming, R. K., Eliasziw, M., Dittrich, G. A., Curtin, C., Maslin, M., Must, A., & Bandini, L. (2023). Changes in physical activity associated with a multi-component weight loss randomized controlled trial for youth with intellectual disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. Advanced online publication.  

*Newman, J. R., Dittrich, G. A., & Miltenberger, R. G. (2022). Effects of behavioral coaching treatment package on physical activity and adherence. Behavior Analysis Research and Practice, 22, 1, 50-65.

ΔCurtin, C., Bowling, A., Boutelle, K., Broder-Fingert, S., Dittrich, G. A., Ptomey, L., Stanish, H., Boas, D., Fleming, R. K., Kral, T., & Bandini, L. (2021). Lifestyle intervention adaptations to promote healthy eating and physical activity of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In N. R. Riggs & B. Rigles (Eds), Prevention Science and Research in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (1st ed., pp. 223-261). Academic Press.

ΔBandini, L., Eliasziw, M., Dittrich, G. A., Curtin, C., Maslin, M., Must, A., Boutelle, K.N., & Fleming, R. K. (2021). A family-based weight loss randomized controlled trial for youth with intellectual disabilities. Pediatric Obesity, 16, 11, e12816.