Evaluation Of A Functional Analysis Essay

Evaluation Of A Functional Analysis Essay

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There are two basic approaches to conducting a functional analysis which can be used in combination or individually. The first is utilized when testing hypotheses concerning antecedent events, or those variables which may trigger a behavior (O 'Neill, Albin, Storey, Horner, & Sprague, 2015). In this scenario, manipulations are made in the way of introducing variables, such as instructions, making requests, having specific people or environmental conditions present, or asking the participant to engage in activities. In doing so, specific activities, people, events, or environmental factors may be identified as more or less likely to precede behavior, and therefore be predictive of it.
Alternately, one might the second approach, which is focused on identifying the maintaining consequences of the behavior. In this approach, specific situations are arranged in relation to the hypothesis and consequences are provided dependent on the occurrence of problem behavior (O 'Neill et al., 2015). For example, if attention is suspected of being a maintaining consequence of whining, one might manipulate the levels of attention the individual receives when utilizing this form of communication. In one condition they may engage with the child and if whining occurs, they may simply ignore the behavior; while in another condition they may not engage with the child, yet tend to them when they whine. If the behavior occurs in one condition more often than in the other, it can be determined that those consequences are maintaining the behavior.
Sometimes, however, both designs must be utilized if there are both antecedent and consequent events, in order to determine under which conditions the behavior is most likely to occur (O 'Neill et al., 201...


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...s (O 'Neill et al., 2015). In order to obtain the most valid and useful information, the data collection system must be gathering information on the target behavior. This can be done through utilizing videotaping, having designated observers, and conducting the FA in an appropriate research design such as a reversal or alternating treatment design (O 'Neill et al., 2015).
When a child engages in SIB’s, it is frequently unknown whether the behavior is maintained by escape, attention, or automatic reinforcement. In this case, different conditions could be tested utilizing the alternating treatment design to determine under which condition the behavior occurred most frequently. If the behavior were higher in one condition and lower in the other two it could be determined that condition with the highest frequency of behavior was most likely maintaining the behavior.

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