Functional Behavior Analysis
The main part of emphasis in developing effective behavioral intervention is the completion of a FBA. The Goal of the FBA is to develop a hypothesis regarding the function of the behavior(S) that we are concerned with and, subsequently, develop a behavior intervention plan based on this hypothesis. Most often ABA practitioners assume that their original hypothesis is accurate and move forward with the development of the interventions. Very rare is the hypothesis tested for accuracy.
In the current learning activity, we will cover how we can test the hypothesis of the behavior with a discussion of functional analysis. The difference between Functional Behavioral assessment (FBA) and Function Analysis (FA) is that with the FBA we are forming a hypothesis about the functional relationship between antecedent and consequence conditions and behavior. With Function Analysis, we are conforming or proving that these hypothesized relationships are indeed cause and effect relationships. This is done through systematic manipulation of antecedents and consequences to prove that these are the variables that are responsible for the interfering behavior. These two methods of manipulation which include structural analysis (manipulation of antecedent conditions) and Consequence Analysis (providing specific consequence to test hypothesis of maintaining variables). In Structural Analysis, antecedents are arranged and manipulated to that problem behaviors are recorded under different antecedent conditions (e.g presentation of different tasks, denial of preferred items/activities, etc.). In consequence analysis situations are arranged in a manner in which specific consequences are provided in response to problem behavior to determine which consequence appears to maintain the problem behavior (e,g, escape, access to preferred outcomes, ect,) Let us look at two scenario in which a function analysis is performed.
Be sure to answer the questions following each scenario Below.
Scenario 1. Structural Analysis:
Betty is a 10-year student at Pine Valley Elementary school, Betty was previously diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 2, Betty has previously engaged with self-injurious behavior (SIB), which involved head banging which has resulted in significant facial injury. A previous FBA was conducted by the BCBA from the school district, and it was determined that the function SIB appeared to be escape from non-preferred tasks or demands. The teacher wasn’t sure that this was accurate as Betty was usually compliant with most requests. The BCBA decided to conduct a structural analysis to test the hypothesis that difficult tasks (antecedent) serves as triggers to SIB. Answer the following questions pertaining to the BCBA’s use of structural analysis.
- According to the examples in the text, how would you conduct a structural analysis in the scenario? Be sure to discuss specific antecedent conditions that could be presented, and how you would collect data.
- Discuss the results of your functional analysis, Was the original analysis of the functional behavior supported? Why or Why not?
- What are some ethical considerations that should be considered in performing a functional analysis in this scenario?
Scenario 2. Consequence Analysis:
Jake is a sixth-grade student at Andrew Jackson Middle school. Jake has been displaying significant behavior in his reading class. This behavior consists of talking during instructions, getting out of seat and tapping drum beats on his desk. The school behavior specialist conducted interviews and DIRECT Observations, and completed a brief functional behavior assessment, which indicated the function of disruptive behavior appeared to be escape from task demands. The teacher seems to think that Jake is engaging in disruptive behavior to access to social attention from herself and his classmates. The district BCBA was called in to perform a consequence analysis to test the hypothesis that disruptive behavior was maintained by access to positive reinforcement in the form of social attention. Answer the following questions pertaining to the BCBA’s use of consequence analysis.
- According to the examples in your text, how would you conduct the consequence analysis in this scenario? Be sure to discuss specific consequence conditions that could be presented, and how you would collect data?
- Discuss the results of your functional analysis? Was the original hypothesis for the function of behavior supported? Why or why not.
- What are some of the ethical considerations that should be considered in performing a functional analysis in this scenario.
Include References from: Steege, M. W. (2009). Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessments, Second Edition, 2nd Edition.