In this unit, we covered how we can test the hypothesis of the function of behavior using the Functional Analysis. The difference between FBA (Functional Behavior Assessment) and FA (Functional Analysis) is that with FBA we are forming a hypothesis about the functional relationship between antecedent and consequence conditions and behavior. With Functional Analysis, we are confirming or proving that these hypothesized relationships are indeed cause and effect relationships. This is done through systematic manipulation of antecedents and consequences to prove that these are the variables that are responsible for the interfering behavior.
Debbie is a ten-year-old student at Pine Valley Elementary school. She was previously diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of two. Debbie has, historically, engaged in self-injurious behavior (SIB), including head banging, which has resulted in significant facial injury. A previous functional behavior assessment was conducted by the BCBA from the school district and it was determined that the function of the SIB appeared to be escape from non-preferred tasks or demands. The teacher was not sure that the results were accurate, as she felt that Debbie was usually compliant with most requests. You are taking over this case and have determined that a structural and consequence analysis should be completed to test the hypothesis that difficult tasks are the antecedent to SIB.
- According to the examples in the text, how would you conduct a structural analysis for this scenario? Be sure to discuss specific antecedent conditions that could be presented and how you would collect data.
- According to the examples in the text, how would you conduct a consequence analysis for this scenario? Be sure to discuss specific consequence conditions that could be presented and how you would collect data.
Peer Responses: Review your peers outline of how they would conduct a structural and consequence analysis for the provided scenario. Explain ethical considerations that would apply to the functional analysis that your peer has outlined.
Reading and Resources
Read Chapter 9 in Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessments: A Practitioners Guide: “Experimental Functional Behavior Assessment”
Chapter 9 presents information on the process of testing the hypotheses identified during indirect and direct assessment methods through the use of Brief Functional Analysis.
Steege, M. W., Pratt, J. L., Wickerd, G., Guare, R., Watson, T. S. Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessments, Third Edition.