|The Use of Trial-Based Functional Analysis in Applied Settings
|Monday, May 26, 2014
|9:00 AM–9:50 AM
|W194b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
|Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
|Chair: Mack D. Burke (Texas A&M University)
|CE Instructor: Mack D. Burke, Ph.D.
The purpose of this symposium is to provide an overview of three studies focused on aspects of Trial-Based Functional Analysis (TBFA). Traditional functional analyses of challenging behavior can be difficult to implement in applied settings such as classrooms. The use of trial-based functional analyses of challenging behavior may provide a viable alternative to identifying behavioral functions in applied settings. Study 1 provides an overview of the state of the literature on TBFA. Study 2 provides results of a multiple probe design for training Head Start teachers in TBFA in early childhood settings. Study 3 provides results of examining function vs. non-function interventions identified based on the results of a TBFA conducted with young children engaged in challenging behavior in early childhood settings.
|Keyword(s): Challenging behavior, Function-based interventions, Functional analysis, Functional assessment
A Systematic Review of the Literature on Trial-Based Functional Analysis of Challenging Behavior
|SAMAR ZAINI (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Michelle Ninci (Texas A&M University), Leslie Neely (Texas A&M University)
Traditional functional analyses of challenging behavior can be difficult to conduct in applied settings such as classrooms and in the community. Recently, the use of trial-based functional analyses of challenging behavior has gained attention in the literature as a potential means of maintaining tight experimental control of environmental variables while also capturing relevant establishing operations for challenging behavior in applied settings. The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the literature to date on the use of trial-based functional analysis published in peer-reviewed journals. Studies were identified using electronic database searches, hand searches, and ancestral searches. After applying specific inclusion criteria, a total of 14 studies evaluating the use of trial-based functional analysis were synthesized. Results of this synthesis show that trial-based functional analyses have been conducted in a variety of applied settings, with natural change agents serving as implementers and have been successful in identifying functions of challenging behavior. Implications for practice and for research will be discussed.
Training Early Childhood Teachers to Implement Trial-Based Functional Analyses (TBFAs)
|HEATHER HATTON (Texas A&M University), Mack D. Burke (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Michelle Ninci (Texas A&M University), Samar Zaini (Texas A&M University), Lisa Sanchez (Texas A&M University)
The purpose of this presentation is to provide results from an study focused on training Headstart teachers to implement Trial-Based Functional Analyses (TBFAs). TBFAs provide an alternative to analog functional analysis, can be completed in less time, and occur in the same environment as the challenging behavior is exhibited. This study employed a multiple-baseline design across 4 participants. Two assistant teachers worked in the same classroom at Head Start location, while two lead teachers worked in independent classrooms at a separate center. In baseline teachers read an article on TBFAs and attempted to implement the procedures in role-play scenarios representing each trial condition (demand, attention, and tangible). During intervention, teachers received training that consisted of direct instruction, viewing videos of in-vivo demonstrations, and role-play activities with performance feedback. In the post-intervention condition, the teachers implemented the procedures in same role-play scenarios as baseline. Teachers received performance feedback and repeated the role-plays until they reached 100% implementation fidelity. Finally, during generalization, teachers implemented TBFAs in each condition with a student in their classroom. Again, teachers received performance feedback and repeated the trial until they reached criterion. This study demonstrated that classroom teachers in early childhood settings can feasibly conduct TBFAs after a short training process. The data demonstrate a strong functional relationship between the training and the ability of early childhood teachers to implement TBFAs with fidelity.
Validation of Trial-Based Functional Analysis in Early Childhood Settings
|JENNIFER NINCI (Texas A&M University), Mandy J. Rispoli (Texas A&M University), Mack D. Burke (Texas A&M University), Heather Hatton (Texas A&M University), Samar Zaini (Texas A&M University), Lisa Sanchez (Texas A&M University)
The technology of the functional analysis (FA) has come to be considered the gold standard in the functional assessment and treatment of challenging behavior. The traditional FA permits controlled experimental analysis of behavioral functions via comparison of analog test and control conditions in a multi-element design. The trial-based functional analysis (TBFA) is adapted from the traditional FA and similarly utilizes analog conditions to simulate contingencies potentially maintaining a challenging behavior. The TBFA differs from the traditional FA in that the procedures and measures are designed to capture the natural maintaining contingencies through analog discrete trials embedded into ongoing activities. Previous studies demonstrate that the TBFA can be linked to successful treatments. The purpose of this study is to validate the putative reinforcers identified in TBFAs by matching the assessment results to function-based and non-function based treatments in an alternating treatments design. Results will be provided baaed on TBFAs conducted in Head Start programs using early childhood teachers who have been trained to implement the TBFA in their classrooms. Social validity measures will be included and implications for practitioners will be discussed.