Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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.

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40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

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Symposium #213
CE Offered: BACB
Procedural Modifications to Increase the Accuracy and Efficiency of Functional Analysis
Sunday, May 25, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W186 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
CE Instructor: Griffin Rooker, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Functional Analysis(FA) of problem behavior (Iwata et al., 1982/1994) is an effective means of determining the maintaining variables of problem behavior (e.g., Beavers, Iwata, & Lerman, 2013) and is an essential part of effective clinical treatment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Hagopian, Dozier, Rooker, & Jones, 2013). Although FAs are often effective at determining the function of problem behavior, two current directions of FA research involve making FA results more accurate and making FAs more efficient. The papers in this symposium address this research by: 1) comparing FAs where consequences are placed on a single response or on multiple responses, 2) developing procedures to assess whether some individuals escape to other events rather than escape from demands in the FA demand condition, and 3) evaluation brief FA procedures. Taken together, these data suggest that small modifications to the FA procedures may make this procedure more accurate and efficient. Interobserver agreement is sufficient and data collection is complete for all three studies.

Keyword(s): Functional Analysis, Methodology, Problem Behavior, Undifferentiated Outcomes
 

Within-Subject Comparison of Single and Multiple Topography Functional Analysis Outcomes

GRIFFIN ROOKER (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Louis P. Hagopian (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Heather Jennett (Little Leaves Behavioral Services), Kevin J. Schlichenmeyer (Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School  ), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract:

Functional analysis of problem behavior (FA; Iwata et al., 1982/1994) is an effective means to determine the maintaining variables of problem behavior for individuals with intellectual disabilities (IDD). When individuals engage in multiple topographies of problem behavior, conducting an FA by programming consequences for all topographies of problem behaviors in each test condition may sometimes be an appropriate practice for identifying the function of these responses (Derby et al., 1994). However, in some cases, providing programmed consequences for all topographies of behavior that occur in an FA test condition may inadvertently mask the function of some responses (Asmus et al., 2003). In the current study, the outcome of two concurrent FAs (with consequences on single and multiple topographies of problem behavior) were compared to determine the extent to which conducting an FA where multiple topographies of problem behavior receive consequences obscured FA outcomes and delayed identification of function for three individuals with IDD. Results for some problem behaviors indicated that multiple topography FAs may obscure FA outcomes and that single topography FAs may be better able to determine a function when undifferentiated outcomes are obtained. Reliability data were collected in at least 25% of sessions and averaged 98.1% across participants.

 

Identifying Potential Positive Reinforcement Contingencies during the Functional Analysis Escape Condition

KEVIN J. SCHLICHENMEYER (Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School  ), Griffin Rooker (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children), Jason M Keeler (New England Center for Children), William V. Dube (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract:

For 3 participants, an initial functional analysis indicated that problem behavior was maintained by escape from demands. During the escape interval, participants were frequently engaged in alternative activities (i.e., flopping, stereotypy, or climbing on furniture), suggesting that their problem behavior may have been maintained by positive reinforcement (i.e., access to these alternative behaviors) instead of or in addition to negative reinforcement (i.e., escape from demands). To examine this possibility, we conducted an additional functional analysis that included 3 modified conditions: continuous access to the alternative response with no demands, continuous access to the alternative response combined with continuous demands, and continuous interruption of the alternative response combined with continuous demands. For all participants, high levels of problem behavior occurred when continuous access to the alternative response was combined with continuous demands, and one of these participants also showed higher levels during the continuous interruption of the alternative response combined with continuous demands condition. These data suggest that problem behavior maintained by escape may also be maintained by positive reinforcement in the form of access to alternative behavior that is freely available during the escape interval. Reliability data were collected for 25% of sessions and averaged 97% across participants.

 

Evaluation of an Abbreviated Functional Analysis and Treatment Assessment

BRAD ASSENZIO (The New England Center for Children), Eileen M. Roscoe (The New England Center for Children)
Abstract:

Although functional analyses are considered best practice for identifying the function of problem behavior, clinicians have expressed concern regarding the time commitment required to complete them. The purpose of the current study was to extend previous work on brief functional analyses by assessing the utility of a functional analysis format that incorporates brief sessions, repeated measures, and a 25 min function-based treatment assessment. Five students with an autism spectrum disorder who exhibited problem behavior participated. Brief functional analysis and treatment sessions were only 5 min in duration, and no more than three sessions of each functional analysis condition were conducted. A multielement design was used to demonstrate experimental control during the functional analysis and treatment assessment. An abbreviated function-based treatment (i.e., differential reinforcement of alternative behavior), based on the maintaining variable identified by the brief functional analysis, was evaluated. For 3 of the 5 participants, a maintaining variable was identified in 75 minutes and a treatment was evaluated in 25 minutes. For 2 participants, an extended functional analysis was required to identify the maintaining variable for problem behavior. Reliability was calculated for 47% of sessions and averaged 96.4%

 

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