Recent Research on Practical Functional Assessment and Treatment


Three studies relevant to the practical functional assessment and treatment of problem behavior have been published over the past few months. A brief description of each and links to the articles follow.


  • A reasonable question regarding the practical functional assessment process is the extent to which it may be effective in different contexts and with individuals of different ages or diagnoses. The generality and present limits of the practical functional assessment process is described in this article. In addition, this article reveals a way to conduct a functional analysis in 5 minutes. To see this article, click here.
  • When BCBAs receive training on how to conduct a functional analysis, they usually learn how to conduct a standard functional analysis, which involves the isolated testing of generic reinforcement contingencies on one or a few topographies of dangerous behavior.  By conducting both practical functional assessment processes as well as standard analyses with nine persons with autism who engaged in severe problem behavior, the relative advantages of conducting a practical functional assessment process over a standard functional analysis are evident in this article. To see this article, click here.
  • Once the reinforcement contingency for problem behavior has been identified and has been applied to develop functional communication responses, the next, and arguably most difficult, step in the treatment process is making the treatment practical and thus transferable to contexts in which it is not always known when reinforcement for communication will be available. There are several effective procedures for transporting FCT-based treatments into everyday life, but click here for a series of empirical analyses demonstrating the relative efficacy of contingency based progressive delays.

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  1. Pingback: New Implementation Supports | Practical Functional Assessment

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