Volume 34, Issue 3 (2005)
Towards Developing a Classroom-Based Functional Analysis Condition to Assess Escape-to-Attention as a Variable Maintaining Problem Behavior
Michael M. Mueller, Heather E. Sterling-Turner, James W. Moore
Abstract. Functional behavior assessment (FBA) incorporating a functional analysis is emerging as an effective model used to assess classroom behavior problems. However, conducting an FBA in a classroom presents challenges for school psychologists such as determining which environmental variables to evaluate in the assessment. Because teacher attention is often delivered at the same time a child is escaping academic tasks, a functional analysis might be conducted to determine which specific variable (escape or attention) is responsible for reinforcing the behavior. Currently, no published studies have evaluated functional analysis conditions designed to determine if the combination of multiple variables (i.e., escape and attention) presented together lead to differences in the level of problem behavior compared to when they are presented separately. This case study presents a classroom-based functional analysis in which an escape-to-attention condition was used. All data were collected during an actual consultation case and used for clinical decision making in a public school. A school-based behavioral consultant collected data and a paraprofessional conducted the analyses. Future research in this area, benefits of including the new analysis conditions in classrooms, and limitations of consultant-collected data are discussed.
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