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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Panel #264
CE Offered: BACB — 
Ethical Considerations and Risk Assessment During Functional Analysis and Treatment of Problem Behavior
Sunday, May 26, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Lobby Level, Crystal Ballroom B
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Rebecca Renee Eldridge, Ph.D.
Chair: Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
REBECCA RENEE ELDRIDGE (Western Michigan University)

Functional analysis of problem behavior has become the "gold standard" assessment to be used. However, the use of functional analysis involves some risk, because it creates conditions that occasion problem behavior (Khang et al., 2015). Safety precautions should be part of the considerations when designing and implementing a functional analysis (Poling et al., 2012). Despite the widely accepted use of functional analysis technology to assess problem behavior and the need for safety precautions to reduce risk during a functional analyses, there is not a single source to access recommended safety precautions. Instead, they are scattered throughout the literature. As such, Wiskirchen, Deochand, & Peterson (2017) suggested the need to develop a formal risk-benefit assessment for proceeding with a functional analysis. This session discusses ethical considerations when designing and implementing a functional analysis as well as safety precautions that should be considered in the evaluation of problem behavior. The panelists will also address when to use alternative assessments when the risks of a functional analysis cannot be ameliorated satisfactorily. These safety precautions must also be considered during treatment implementation, because problem behavior is likely to occur during treatment as well. Thus, the panelists will also address safety precautions and considerations within treatment during the discussion.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts working with individuals who engage in severe and challenging behavior

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss how to conduct a risk-benefit analysis with functional analysis procedures; (2) discuss some ways to reduce risk for functional analysis or state other alternative assessments to functional analysis; (3) discuss some safety precautions to consider within treatment procedures for problem behavior.



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