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Volume 30, Issue 2 (2001)

A Descriptive Analysis and Critique of the Empirical Literature on School-Based Functional Assessment

pp. 193—210

Abstract. This article provides a wide range of information for 100 articles published from January 1980 through July 1999 that describe the functional assessment (FA) of behavior in school settings. Results indicate that FA is useful for ascertaining the variables that control high-frequency problem behaviors in students with low-incidence disabilities and for designing effective interventions for those behaviors. Few studies, however, have examined low-rate problem behaviors and involved students with no disabilities. Moreover, few studies have applied FA to academic behaviors, had school personnel conduct FA without assistance, presented social validity data, or ascertained the relative effectiveness of different variations of FA. FA has great promise for school psychologists, but more work in several areas is needed if this promise is to be fulfilled.

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