Functional Behavioral Assessment

Angela S. McIntosh, San Diego State University
Alert Issue 16, Winter 2008

Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is a systematic way of gathering data to assess environmental variables that contribute to problem behaviors. Using reliable FBA data, educators and other clinicians can alter those environmental factors—antecedents and consequences of the behavior—and thereby change the behavior. Although FBA was originally developed to address severe behavior problems, it is mandated by US law and is appropriate for use in some cases with students with learning disabilities. Extensive research has shown that interventions based on FBA data are highly effective, but there are barriers to using FBA successfully. Despite the impediments, it is worth pursuing.

Functional Behavioral Assessment - Alert Issue 16

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