Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #199
CE Offered: BACB
Analysis and Treatment of Problem Behavior in School Settings
Sunday, May 29, 2005
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Williford B (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael M. Mueller (May South)
Discussant: T. Steuart Watson (University of Miami of Ohio)
CE Instructor: Bryan J. Davey, M.Ed.

The symposium will highlight the application of functional analyses methodology in a variety of school settings. The session will begin with a review of current literature on functional behavioral assessments that include experimental analyses conducted in public schools. The review will present collective data from 42 empirical studies. Population characteristics, educational placement, functional behavior assessment methodologies and outcomes, and treatment selection and outcomes will be presented. The literature review will be followed by two data-based presentations. The presentations will present multiple data sets depicting traditional and innovative functional analyses conditions conducted in school settings for a variety of problem behaviors. Additionally, outcomes from functional analyses based interventions will be presented. The presentations address analyses and interventions responsive to the dynamic environment of public school settings. A synthesis of the presentations and general comments regarding the current state of analysis and treatment of problem behavior in schools settings will conclude the symposium.

Functional Behavioral Assessments Including Experimental Manipulations in Public School Settings for Students with Mild, Moderate and Severe Disabilities
BRYAN J. DAVEY (Utah State University)
Abstract: The presentation examines the research literature on functional behavioral assessments that included experimental manipulations (e.g., functional analyses) conducted in special education settings within public schools. While it is true that the majority of published research that utilizes such analyses is conducted in hospitals and institutional settings (see Hanley, Iwata, & McCord, 2003), a growing literature base is evolving on functional behavioral assessment that included experimental manipulations within special education settings within public schools. The investigators sought a better understanding of the methodologies used to asses target behaviors, intervention selection, and intervention outcomes. The purpose of this presentation is to examine experimental analyses conducted in public school, special education settings. This review examined participants receiving FBA services, their educational placements, target behaviors which lead to assessment, and practitioners/researchers conducting assessments within public schools. Data were collected on population characteristics such as disability category, educational placement, functional behavior assessment methodologies and outcomes. Additionally, data were collected, when provided, on treatment selection and outcomes. Results are discussed in terms of current trends in the literature, and areas in which future research is necessary.
Innovative Approaches to Functional Analysis and Treatment of Severe Problem Behavior in School Settings
Abstract: Functional analysis has been demonstrated as an effective assessment procedure used to determine the reinforcers for severe problem behavior. Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, and Richman (1982) described for the first time what has become typical conditions used in functional analyses. Given the dynamic and often changing environment of public school settings, procedures can, and should, be modified to fit those instances when the referral environment differs from typical functional analysis conditions. Some of those changes include shortening or lengthening the duration of functional analysis conditions, including atypical reinforcers in test conditions, testing abnormal school behaviors, using other professional as therapists, etc. When functional analyses yield specific results that identify reinforcers, treatments are often created that incorporate the functional reinforcers. Creating easy to use, nonaversive, effective, and acceptable interventions should be the goal of behavior analysts in the schools. The proposed data-based presentation will present multiple data sets depicting innovative functional analyses and effective interventions based on those results. All data sets identified reinforcers for severe behavior in school settings and all interventions were based on those results and conducted in school settings.
Using Functional Analysis to Design Intervention Plans to Facilitate Inclusion
DEBORAH A. NAPOLITANO (University of Rochester), Tasha C. Geiger (University of Rochester), Caroline I. Magyar (University of Rochester), Amy R. Leo (University of Rochester)
Abstract: Problem behavior can be disruptive to classrooms and a barrier to placement in least-restrictive settings. Although analogue-functional analyses are effective in identifying the function of problem behavior leading to appropriate intervention plans, teachers familiar with this assessment procedure often report difficulty in school implementation. This is due to time constraints and teachers’ lack of training to successfully conduct functional analysis. Despite these issues, use of functional analysis in schools is increasing. The purpose of this study was to conduct functional analyses in various school settings to design function-based intervention plans for three participants with autism. These intervention plans facilitated a successful transition to the next grade level, decreased the restrictiveness of student placement, or maintained a fully inclusive placement. Functional analyses were designed to be conducted in school environments and each student’s intervention was designed to be implemented within their school by school staff. Functional analyses were conducted by general and special education teachers and 1:1 aides. Data collected from these functional analyses were used to develop classroom intervention plans. Strategies for decreasing resistance to conducting functional analyses by school professionals, the clinical importance of conducting analogue-functional analyses in school settings and directions for future research will be discussed.



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