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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #407
CE Offered: BACB
School Based Functional Assessments, Analysis, and Function Based Interventions
Monday, May 28, 2007
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
America's Cup AB
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
CE Instructor: Linda S. Heitzman-Powell, Ph.D.

This symposium includes four studies concerning functional assessments, analysis and function based interventions in school settings.

Functional Assessment with a Student with Autism in a Special Education Setting.
RACHEL L. WHITE (University of Kansas), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: This study uses the functional behavior assessment (FBA) process for schools suggested by Crone and Horner (2003) to develop a function based intervention for a fourth grade student with autism in a special education setting. An FBA interview and direct observation were used to develop a written schedule intervention. Effects of the written schedule on student behavior were measured using a reversal design. Student engagement and compliance increased and teacher prompts decreased. A functional analysis conducted in the classroom confirmed the hypothesized functions of behavior and supported the use of the written schedule intervention. The need for future research in the use of the FBA process in schools is discussed.
Training a Reading Teacher to Implement a Functional Analysis and Intervention.
EMILY D. SHUMATE (University of Kansas and Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: This presentation will describe the training procedures used to teach a reading teacher how to run the play, escape, and attention conditions of a functional analysis and how to implement a function based intervention. The presentation will also describe the effectiveness of the functional analysis and intervention. The referred student was identified as being a reading and a behavior risk and attended an inner city school. The functional analysis was conducted in the reading classroom while the teacher was conducting the daily session with the target student and four other students. Training consisted of a 15 minute meeting going over the conditions and giving the teacher color coded sheets with a short description of each condition that he could refer to during the sessions and they served as a stimulus for condition changes. The results of the functional analysis suggested that attention was maintaining behavior. The intervention was a differential reinforcement of other behaviors procedure. The teacher also used a check-off sheet to monitor his rate of attention and to help him thin the schedule. During intervention the students problem behaviors decreased to near zero and during the last two follow-up probes the rate of problem behaviors was at zero.
Escape to Attention: Differentiating between Attention and Escape Behavior during an Escape Condition.
LINDA S. HEITZMAN-POWELL (University of Kansas), Kimberly K. Bessette (University of Kansas)
Abstract: This study modifies the traditional functional analysis process (Iwata, 1982, 1994) to differentiate between “escape” behavior and “escape to attention” behavior. An FBA interview and direct observation were used to develop a hypothesis about the function of the behavior. Results indicated that the behavior “served multiple functions”, a common report from school FBA’s. Initially, the behavior appeared to be maintained by escape. However, diverted attention resulted in significant increases in problematic behavior. Results indicated that traditional escape methodology resulted in levels of target behavior that were similar to attention conditions. During the modified FA, the modified task removal (escape condition) resulted in small increases in target behaviors, while the diverted attention condition resulted in significant increases in challenging behavior. The need for future research in the use of the FBA process in schools is discussed.
An Investigation of Functional Assessment and Function Based Intervention Plans in Schools Implementing School-Wide PBS.
LORI L. NEWCOMER (University of Missouri)
Abstract: The presentation reflects a study designed to investigate (1) the efficacy of functional assessment-behavior support planning for students diagnosed as having EBD, (2) the robustness of indirect strategies in generating valid hypotheses, (3) the efficiency and effectiveness of behavior support plans based on functional assessment versus plans that are not and (4) maintenance and generalization of plans in schools that have developed school wide discipline systems of positive behavior support. A series of single subject and descriptive studies are presented. The study was conducted in two phases. Study One examines (a) functional assessment strategies in general education settings with students with EBD and who are considered at risk for school failure to determine the most parsimonious strategies that lead to effective interventions, and (b) if functional assessment leads to more efficient and effective interventions than traditional approaches. Study two focuses on the potential impact of school-wide systems of PBS on student behavioral outcomes at the tertiary level. Study participants included students in grades 1, 2 and 3 who display chronic problem behaviors and who have been labeled EBD. They attended a school that met criteria for implementation of Schoolwide Systems of PBS as measured by the Systems Evaluation Tool (SET).



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh