|Functional Behavior Assessment: What Are We Teaching and What Are We Implementing?|
|Monday, May 29, 2023|
|10:00 AM–10:50 AM |
|Convention Center 406/407|
|Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research|
|Chair: Amy Crye (Behavior Services of the Rockies)|
|Discussant: Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)|
|CE Instructor: Amy Crye, M.S.|
In 2015, researchers surveyed practitioners regarding the procedures they used to conduct functional behavior assessments (Oliver, et al., 2015; Roscoe, et al., 2015). The results indicated that while most respondents agreed that functional analysis is a critical component for accurately determining the function of behavior, they primarily focused on indirect and descriptive assessments. Several researchers have identified functional analysis modifications that can address many of the concerns raised related to conducting functional analyses. The purpose of the current symposium is to present data that expands upon previous research to determine the extent to which universities are teaching students on these functional analysis modifications and the degree to which practitioners are implementing these modifications in their functional behavior assessment process.
|Instruction Level: Basic|
|Keyword(s): Course Sequence, Functional Analyses, Functional Assessment, Supervision|
|Target Audience: |
Practitioner BCBAs, Fieldwork Supervisors, University Faculty
|Learning Objectives: (1) Attendees will be able to describe the most common functional behavior assessment strategies taught to students by university faculty and determine needs for further training accordingly. (2) Attendees will be able to explain the strategies most commonly used to teach functional behavior assessment procedures to students. (3) Attendees will be able to describe the most common types of functional behavior assessment strategies employed by practitioners in the field.|
A Survey of Functional Behavior Assessment Methods Taught in Universities: Are We Preparing Behavior Analysts?
|LINDA K. HAYMES (Touro University California), Lisa N. Britton (Britton Behavioral Consulting), Amy Crye (Behavior Services of the Rockies)|
This study was an evaluation of the instructional practices at universities related to indirect functional assessments, descriptive assessments, and functional analyses, as well as functional analysis modifications (e.g., trial-based functional analysis, precursor functional analysis, brief functional analysis). In total 369 people responded to the electronic survey with 174 providing consent to participate in the survey. Of those responders to the survey, 30 identified their primary role as university faculty and 36 identified as primarily a student in a behavior analysis program seeking certification. Results from both university instructors and students indicated that behavior analytic coursework continues to focus primarily on indirect functional assessments, descriptive assessments, and traditional functional analysis practices. Instruction is limited as it relates to the functional analysis modifications that other researchers have highlighted as ways to address limitations to traditional functional analysis. The mode of instruction on functional analysis and modifications is primarily centered on journal articles and case studies. Results will be discussed from the perspective of the types of methods for instruction and what we know in terms of effective instructional practices for the application of skills (i.e., behavioral skills training).
Practitioner Survey of Functional Behavior Assessment Methods Utilized: Is Research Guiding Our Practices?
|AMY CRYE (Behavior Services of the Rockies), Lisa N. Britton (Britton Behavioral Consulting), Linda K. Haymes (Touro University California)|
Although behavior analysts widely recognize the usefulness of functional analyses in identifying the function of challenging behavior, multiple measures indicate a low percentage of Board Certified Behavior Analysts conduct functional analyses and instead rely on indirect and descriptive assessments. Since these surveys were conducted, additional research and recommendations for modifying functional analysis procedures in ways to eliminate previously identified barriers have been published (e.g., precursor assessment, latency-based assessment, interview informed synthesized contingency analysis). Considering new research and increased accessibility to training via online webinars and conferences, this study investigated whether research and access to information impacts practice at the practitioner level. In total 369 people responded to the survey with 174 providing consent to participate in the survey. One hundred and eight identified their primary role as practitioner, 30 identified their primary role as university faculty, and 36 identified as a student in a behavior analysis program seeking certification. Faculty and student data were analyzed in a separate paper (Haymes et al, 2022). Results of the current study echo those of previous surveys in that the highest percentage of respondents indicated use of indirect and descriptive assessment. The underutilization of traditional functional analysis and functional analysis modifications is impacted by a lack of training on these methods. These results are discussed from the perspective of best practices for assessment and intervention of challenging behaviors in clinical applications.