This Discussion focuses on Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and the considerations involved in selecting appropriate experimental designs with a focus on internal and external validity and social significance.
Please respond to the following:
- Discuss the purpose and importance of conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), and address each topic below:
- Indirect and Direct Assessment Approaches
- The environmental variables examined and how the identification of these variables inform the behavior analyst of the probable function of the target behavior
- Why an understanding of the probable function of a target behavior is important in designing an effective behavior intervention plan
- The guidelines for selecting target behaviors for intervention
- Peer 1:Hello class, When working with Functional Behaviors Assessment, the purpose is to determine the relationship between the environment and behaviors to hypothesize what motivates the behaviors. There are two main data taking methods with the FBA; indirect and direct assessment. Indirect assessment procedures involve any data taken on the behavior that didn’t come directly from observation (Cooper, Heron, and & Heward, 2019). Some examples of indirect assessments are interviews, rating scales, and questionnaires. While direct descriptive assessment involves any data taken directly through first-person observation of the behaviors. When observing these behaviors, it is also important to look at the environmental variables that could play a factor in influencing the behaviors. The two main environmental variables that we examine are what happens before and after an observed targeted behavior; also known as the antecedents and consequences. With the antecedent environmental variables, it focuses on observing any factors that happen right before the behavior that influences the behavior (Cooper et, al., 2019). While the consequences are environmental variables that happen as a result of a behavior (Cooper et, al., 2019). The consequences can become generalized to those behaviors, which will increase the frequency of that targeted behavior. Knowing the antecedents and consequences will give insight as to what function the target behavior serves. Knowing the function of the behavior will make it easier to make behavior intervention plans that teach new behaviors that serve the same function as the target behavior. If treatment is given without knowing the function of the behavior, we also have the potential to accidentally reinforce the target behavior that we are trying to reduce.When selecting a target behavior to study and make a behavior plan on there are certain things that we should be looking for. The first factor to think of is if the behavior is observable. Meaning that it has to be a behavior that can be seen and excluding anything that happens internally. The second factor to think of when choosing a target behavior is to ensure that it is measurable. Meaning that there must be a clear beginning and end to the target behavior otherwise, it wouldn’t be easy to observe and take data on. If the behavior can’t mean operationally defined, then data can’t be taken, and a behavior plan would be impossible to create. Without a behavior intervention plan, there is little hope in effectively changing the problem behavior.Thank you,
- Discuss the purpose and importance of conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), and address each topic below:Indirect Assessment ApproachThe behavior analyst gathers information using indirect assessment, which may include interviews, rating scales, checklists, and record reviews. Information gathered during the indirect assessment phase of the FBA is obtained from those familiar with the client or the client him/herself. The behavior analyst can gain important insights into the topography of the behavior and the usual setting, situation, and time of occurrence. This information can guide the behavior analyst when scheduling direct observations and when operationally defining the target behaviors. The indirect assessment can also provide information as to diagnoses, medications, and previous treatments for the target behavior.Direct Assessment ApproachesDirect descriptive assessment is the second phase of the FBA. Preform a functional assessment to determine the antecedents and consequences of the target behavior and competing alternative behaviors. Typically, using the antecedent-behavior-consequence (A-B-C) data collection form is the best approach to identifying the antecedents and consequences of the target behavior, which will lead to the identification, over time, of the probable function of the behavior. This is completed to obtain an understanding of the discriminative stimulus that contribute to making the behavior occur, obtain the function of behavior and create an appropriate intervention to be used.The environmental variables examined and how the identification of these variables inform the behavior analyst of the probable function of the target behavior.Interfering behaviors could be a result of environmental factors such as lighting and noise level (Miltenberger. 2016). Certain environments could present barriers with a specific set of circumstances.Why an understanding of the probable function of a target behavior is important in designing an effective behavior intervention planThe four main functions that maintain behaviors are 1) escape/avoidance where the individual behaves in order to get out of doing something he/she does not want to do 2) attention seeking the individual behaves to get focused attention from parents, teachers, siblings, peers, or other people that are around them 3) seeking access to materials where the individual behaves in order to get a preferred item or participate in an enjoyable activity and 4) sensory stimulation where the individual behaves in a specific way because it feels good to them (Cooper, Heron, & Heward. 2007). The importance of identifying the function of behavior to prevent behaviors, choose socially appropriate replacement behaviors and to design an effective intervention plan. If the correct function of behavior is obtained it will decrease interfering behavior and increase appropriate behavior.The guidelines for selecting target behaviors for interventionThe guidelines for selecting target behaviors for intervention is that intervention must match the function of problem behavior, helps identify reinforcers and replacement behavior is equal to the interring behavior. In addition, there must be socially important and have long lasting meaning or improvement of life for the individual. Some areas in be improved in the individual’s life are in language, motor and academic.