Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Functional Behavioral Assessment
Michelle S. Athanasiou & Rhiannon Ducey & Amanda Stoeckel
Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) refers to a range of assessment strategies to identify variables that influence behavior in the natural environment. The purposes of FBA are to (1) define and describe problem behaviors, (2) predict when problem behaviors are likely and unlikely to occur, and (3) identify consequences that maintain the behavior (i.e., the functions of the behavior). Learning theory has provided the foundation for the principles of FBA. A variety of processes are used in conducting an FBA, including direct (e.g., behavioral observations) and indirect methods (e.g., interviews) and functional (or experimental) analysis. FBA data are used to create individualized behavioral interventions that account for the identified predictive variables and behavioral functions. Functional behavioral assessment is rooted in the philosophical perspectives of empiricism, contextualism, and determinism. These positions assume that many problem behaviors are learned, that learning occurs through particular interactions, and that these interactions can be altered to ...