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

Previous Page


Symposium #420
Functional Analysis and Assesment of Behavior in the Natural Setting
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Continental A (1st floor)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Frank L. Bird, M.Ed.
Abstract: Assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors has received much attention in the literature. As practitioners in the applied setting it is important to be able to take procedures described in the literature and adjust them for effectiveness in the community and school settings. The purpose of this symposium is to review innovative methods for conducting Descriptive and Functional analysis in the applied setting. The first paper illustrates the use of continued descriptive analysis to develop treatment for aggression with a chained controlling function. The second paper reviews the use of an analog analysis in conjunction with a structural analysis to determine the specific environmental stimuli that maintain a student’s aggression through negative reinforcement. The third study reviews the novel procedure for expanding a systematic manipulation for a behavior maintained by positive reinforcement attention seeking. Results for each study are displayed graphically.
Reduction of Challenging Behavior and Intrusiveness of Treatment Thought Descriptive Analysis and Treatment: A Case Study
LISA DUNN (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The assessment and treatment of aggression and the implementation of intrusive procedures has been an issue of much debate in the literature. While many studies have reviewed the role of descriptive analysis in the development of treatment few address the roles of ongoing assessment in the systematic reduction of the intrusiveness of intervention for aggressive behavior. On going Descriptive analysis was conducted on 13 year old boy with developmental disabilities. Descriptive analysis indicated that the student’s aggression was maintained by negative and positive attention. Do to the severity and effectiveness of the aggression a time out in conjunction with escape extinction was introduced with various levels of Reinforcement procedures. Treatment over a 12 month in conjunction with ongoing Descriptive analysis reduced the rates of aggression from a average daily frequency of 70 to and average daily frequency of 2.5 occurrences. On going descriptive analysis highlighted Antecedent behavior which allowed clinicians to implement antecedent management strategies to reduce the necessity for intrusive procedures. Data is displayed graphically.
A Comparison of Functional Analysis in Experimental Versus Applied Setting for a Child with Autism
JOHN STOKES (Melmark New England), Frank L. Bird (Melmark New England)
Abstract: Currently the strongest criticism of Functional Analysis methodologies in the literature is its inability to account for all of the effects that environmental variables exert on the targeted behavior in the natural environment. A brief Functional Analysis based on the research conducted on functional analysis, (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, Richman, 1982) was developed for aggression exhibited by a 12year old boy. Analogue analysis was conducted in diagnostic room and later re- implemented in the natural classroom environment. Results indicated that Aggression was maintained by negative reinforcement” Escape from demands” in both the analogue and natural setting. Later a structural Analysis was conducted to develop a hierarchy of stimulus in which the subject attempted to escape. Based on the results a treatment package was developed including escape extinction as well as interspersal training. . Data indicated a rapid deceleration in rates of aggression in the classroom.
Expanded Functional Analysis of Aggression Maintained by Positive Reinforcement
FRANK L. BIRD (Melmark New England), John Stokes (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The results of two consecutive functional analyses conducted with a 17-year old female with PDD, NOS are described. During the initial functional analysis, the highest rates of aggression occurred in the demand Social disapproval condition. In that condition the delivery of negative attention appeared to occasion aggression. A second functional analysis was conducted wherein attention was broken down into three additional conditions: Loud verbal, high body language, Low body language/Low verbal. Highest rates of aggression were recorded during the high body language condition indicating that the subject was reinforced for her aggression by the physical reaction of staff she aggressed upon. Rates of aggression were also high during the loud vocal condition indicating that staff that responded to aggression with loud re-direction were also reinforcing. Aggression was treated using staff training on verbal and physical interaction with the subject and during crisis. Results are graphically displayed.
Analysis of the Effect on Service Enviornment on Function of Behavior
LISA DUNN (Melmark New England), John Stokes (Melmark New England)
Abstract: A functional analysis was conducted in a student home, residential program and school setting to determine the maintaining environmental variable of her yelling behavior. Data indicated that her behavior was maintained by a different function in each environment. Results were used to develop a comprehensive treatment that reduced rates of yelling in two of three environments. Data is displayed graphically.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh