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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Symposium #43
Efficacy and Fidelity of Functional Based-Assessments Within Public School Settings
Saturday, May 26, 2012
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
616/617 (Convention Center)
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Alyssa Byers (Missouri State University)
Discussant: Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)

The current status of IDEA (2004) mandates the use of functional behavioral assessment for students whose behaviors impede their learning or the learning of others. Unfortunately, this current mandate lacks clarity on the actual implementation of an effective functional behavioral assessment within our schools (Asmus, Vollmer, & Borrero, 2002). This lack of clarity in conjunction with inadequate teacher training frequently poses a research-to-practice disconnect within our public schools (Sasso, Conroy, Stichter & Fox, 2001). Operating under negative constraints, educators are often left to select methodologies that may or may not mirror best practices within the field of functional behavioral assessment research. Treatment integrity remains a critical concern for researchers and teachers, and is often considered the confounding variable in treatment effectiveness within public schools. This symposium will focuses on the implementation and assessment of functional behavioral methodology in three public school settings. Treatment effects for all fifteen participants in the three schools were assessed with single-subject ABAB methodology. These database presentations selected for this symposium will discuss the results of the school-based studies, the fidelity of treatment and reliability measures that were employed by classroom teachers to ensure research to practice implementation of functional behavioral assessment methodology. Attached are graphic representations of the data for all three presentations.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Assessments, Functional, School Settings

The Efficacy of Functional Behavior Assessment With Escape and Attention Maintained Behavior

TERRI BAUER (Republic School District), Linda Garrison-Kane (Missouri State University)

The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of functional behavior assessment to identify the function of off-task behaviors exhibited by middle school students receiving special education services. Upon determining the functions of the observed behavior(s), a researchbased intervention, self-monitoring was selected to treat the problematic behavior and replaced it with functionally equivalent socially appropriate behaviors. An ABAB single-subject design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the self-monitoring intervention with each participant. The results indicated that the self-monitoring intervention was associated with increased levels of on-task behavior and decreased levels of off-task behavior for all five participants. The mean percentage of on-task behavior across all five participants was as follows: 75.6% during baseline (A1), 94.5% during first phase of treatment (B1), 64.5% during return to baseline (A2), and 95.2% during return to treatment (B2). These results demonstrated a functional relationship was established between the implementation of the self-monitoring intervention and the mean level of on-task behavior for the five participants. Data was obtained from direct and indirect functional behavioral methodologies to determine the function of problem behavior as well as an experimental analysis conducted within the classroom environment.


Teaching On-task Behaviors via Functional Behavioral Assessment in an Elementary Resource Room

MICHAEL GOERINGER (Republic School District), Linda Garrison-Kane (Missouri State University)

The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a teacher directed functional behavioral assessment to identify the functions of undesirable behaviors in elementary students receiving special education services in a public school. The participants in this study consisted of two males in fifth grade, two males in fourth grade and one female in second grade. All the students in this study were receiving special education services and displaying problematic behaviors in their learning environment. The results of the direct and indirect observations as well as the formal functional analysis indicated that the maintaining variable for disruptive and off-task behavior for all five participants was maintained by teacher and/or peer attention and escape. To address both, escape and attention functions with each participant, a function-based treatment consisting of DRA of specific-praise (Sutherland et al., 2000) on continual reinforcement schedule, self-monitoring (Lloyd et al., 1989), and a FI schedule of Premack reinforcement of free time (Azrin et al., 2007), was employed. A single-subject multi-element reversal design was employed with each participant to assess the hypothesis and treatment effects of the intervention. All five participants increased their on-task behaviors to over 90% during both treatment phases.


The Effectiveness of Functional Behavior Assessment for Identifying the Function of Off-Task Behavior of Students Diagnosed With Autism and Intellectual Disabilities in a High School

AMY BULLARD (Springfield Public Schools), Linda Garrison-Kane (Missouri State University)

This teacher directed functional behavioral assessment study was conducted in a high school self-contained special education classroom in a public school. The population of the study included five students diagnosed with disability categories of Other Health Impaired (OHI), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Intellectual Disability (ID). A series of single-subject ABAB design was employed with each participant. The Intervention implemented was a multi-element treatment designed to meet the needs of each participant based upon their results from a comprehensive functional behavioral assessment (direct observations, indirect assessments and functional analysis) conducted within their classrooms. The function-based intervention phases utilized Functional Communication Training (FCT) as well as, Self-monitoring components to teach to function of attention and escape-motivated behaviors. During the FCT phase, the students were given a break card and an I need help card and were taught how to use these cards appropriately. The second element of the treatment required the students to self monitor their on-task and off-task behavior on a fixed interval (FI) schedule of reinforcement. The data illustrated a functional relationship between participants on-task behaviors and the functionally based intervention of FCT and self-monitoring. Increases in on-tasks behaviors averaged 90% and above for all five participants.




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