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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W25
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Molecular Functional Analysis: Ethical and Legal Challenges and Potential Solutions
Thursday, May 25, 2017
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 6
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Michael Weinberg, Ph.D.
MICHAEL WEINBERG (Orlando Behavior Health Services, LLC; Amego, Inc; BEST Consulting Services), WILLIAM T. MARSH (Brevard Public Schools)
Description: In recent years the issue of conducting functional assessment vs. functional analysis has posed increasing ethical, legal and regulatory dilemmas for behavior analysts. Ethically, we are bound to conducting the most efficient, evidence-based assessment to find the function and other maintaining variables for problem behavior and devise a plan that is most likely to be effective based on the literature. However, there have been legal and ethical challenges to doing so in many states and jurisdictions and in various settings such as public schools, as well as via public funded services such as state departments of developmental disabilities. This presentation will review the main concerns regarding functional assessment and how these are presenting ethical and legal challenges to behavior analysts and some possible solutions to these dilemmas. The presenters will offer approaches to functional assessment and functional analysis including Molecular Functional Analysis which is based on use of trial-based systematic manipulations to reliably and validly identify function. These approaches can be readily implemented in applied settings and may serve as potential solutions to these challenges and permit for ethical, and evidence-based functional analysis methods in settings where these are not currently permitted or are considered an ethical/legal violation.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Identify at least one main ethical concern being posed in various settings to the use of functional analysis ; (2) Identify two primary bases of legal challenges to functional analyses and explain the reasoning; (3) Describe alternative approaches to functional analysis that will permit for evidence-based methods, and may be acceptable ethically and legally in applied practice settings; (4) Identify how such an alternative will aid in maintaining BACB ethical standards.
Activities: Through the use of lecture and slide presentation, group discussion, practice vignettes, role play and guided practice exercises, and video clips, participant practice with assessment tools, participants will be actively engaged in learning processes throughout this workshop. Participants in this workshop will learn a new and unique method for functional assessment and functional analysis using our methods. Participants will be provided with supplemental materials including our assessment data collection tools and PowerPoint slides that present the methodology and logic.
Audience: Intermediate to Advanced audience. Participants should have training and experience with use of at least descriptive assessment methods and awareness of prevailing functional analysis methodology such as analog conditions (i.e. Iwata et. al., 1982/1994).
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Applied Settings, Ethics, Functional Anaysis, Regulatory Aspects



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