Title

A comparison of functional behavior assessment methodologies with young children: Descriptive methods and functional analysis

SMC Author

Peter Alter

SMC Affiliated Work

1

Author Role

co-author

Status

Faculty

School

Kalmanovitz School of Education

Department

Education

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Publication Title

Journal of Behavior Education

Description/Abstract

The use of functional behavior assessment (FBA) to guide the development of behavior intervention plans continues to increase since they were first mandated in IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, 20 U.S.C. Section 1400 et seq, 1997). A variety of indirect and direct instruments have been developed to facilitate this process. Although many researchers believe that a full functional analysis is necessary to identify the function of a behavior, more rapid and efficient FBA procedures are more commonly used. This investigation examined the correspondence between indirect and direct FBA procedures. Specifically, the results of three descriptive assessments and a functional analysis for four young children at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders were compared. Separation of all descriptive and experimental results was maintained and the assessment order was counterbalanced. Results of the descriptive assessments had low consistency with each other, and the results of two indirect FBA assessments (the Functional Assessment Interview and Motivation Assessment Scale) had low agreement with the results of functional analyses. On the other hand, the direct assessment procedure (ABC assessment) agreed with the results of functional analyses for all participants. These results support the use of direct observations and indicate that indirect measures should be used with caution as stand-alone assessments of the function of challenging behaviors.

Keywords

Functional behavior assessment, Descriptive assessments, Functional analysis, Young children, Emotional and behavioral disorders

Scholarly

yes

Peer Reviewed

1

DOI

10.1007/s10864-008-9064-3

ISSN

1053-0819

Volume

17

First Page

200

Last Page

219

Disciplines

Education

Original Citation


Alter, P.J. Conroy, M.A., Mancil, G.R. & Haydon, T. (2008). A comparison of functional behavior assessment methodologies with young children: Descriptive methods and functional analysis. Journal of Behavior Education 17, 200-219. 10.1007/s10864-008-9064-3. 1053-0819.

Share

COinS