Citation analysis of relational frame theory: 2009-2016

Martin O'Connor, Lynn Farrell, Anita Munnelly, and Louise McHugh


Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a contemporary account of language and cognition rooted in behavior analysis. This paper presents a citation analysis of the RFT literature that follows on from that conducted by Dymond, May, Munnelly and Hoon (2010) who examined the evidence base for and impact of RFT between 1991 and 2008. The current analysis focused on Empirical and Non-Empirical studies citing RFT-related search terms and their publishing outlets in the period from 2009 to 2016. An emphasis was placed on Empirical RFT articles, which were organized by frames targeted, country of origin and participant demographics. The analysis revealed 521 papers that met inclusion criteria. Of these 288 (55.3%) were Empirical and 233 (44.7%) were Non-Empirical. The Empirical category included 160 (30.7%) Empirical RFT and 128 (24.6%) Empirical Other. The Non-Empirical category included 110 (21.1%) Review and 123 (23.6%) Conceptual. This analysis provides further evidence of substantial growth in RFT research.

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