Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

  • AUT: Autism

    BPN: Behavioral Pharmacology and Neuroscience

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PRA: Practice

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

12th Annual Autism Conference; Miami, FL; 2018

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #12

Training Caregivers to Conduct Functional Analyses and Function-Based Interventions for Severe Problem Behavior

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
9:30 AM–10:20 AM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Patricia F. Kurtz, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
PATRICIA F. KURTZ (Kennedy Krieger Institute)

Patricia F. Kurtz is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She serves as the Director of the Outpatient Programs of Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Neurobehavioral Unit, which provides intensive assessment and treatment for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities who exhibit severe problem behavior.  Dr. Kurtz’s clinical and research activities focus on functional analysis and treatment approaches for problem behavior and their utility in outpatient service settings; parent/staff training; generalization of treatment effects and long-term outcome following inpatient or outpatient treatment; and early identification and prevention of self-injurious behavior.


Individuals with autism are at increased risk of developing severe behavior problems such as self-injury and aggression. Problem behavior remains among the most serious challenges for the habilitation of persons with autism, and the largest barrier to community integration. Based on decades of research, a best practices model has emerged whereby problem behavior is assessed via functional analysis (Iwata et al, 1982/1994) to determine the environmental variables that occasion and maintain the behavior (the function); a treatment is then selected that matches that function. Inclusion of parents/caregivers in assessment of problem behavior can improve functional analysis accuracy and produce effective interventions. This presentation will review clinical practices and research findings demonstrating the efficacy of using caregivers as therapists in functional analyses and treatment services for severe problem behavior.

Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: PENDING



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Modifed by Eddie Soh