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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #296
CE Offered: BACB
Functional Analysis and Function-Based Interventions in Practice
Sunday, May 27, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Seaport Ballroom DE
Area: PRA/DDA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Becky Penrod (California State University, Sacramento)
Discussant: Tara A. Fahmie (California State University, Northridge)
CE Instructor: Tara A. Fahmie, Ph.D.

Experimental functional analyses are generally underutilized in practice settings given concerns regarding the time required to complete an experimental analysis. Trial-based functional analyses developed in recent years can address this concern, however, the time required to train practitioners to conduct such analyses can also contribute to underutilization. The first study in this symposium presents instructional methods that can be used to efficiently train practitioners to implement trial-based functional analyses. The second study in the symposium addresses a common practitioner concern of encountering an extinction burst when the identified reinforcer for a problem behavior is first withheld. Data on the prevalence of extinction bursts in applied behavior analytic research between the years of 2000 and 2017 are presented and implications concerning behavior intervention plans are discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

practitioners and researchers


The Effects of Detailed Written Instructions and a Task Analysis Data Sheet on Staff Implementation of Trial-Based Functional Analysis

(Applied Research)
KRISTIN GRIFFITH (California State University, Sacramento), Becky Penrod (California State University, Sacramento), Jenifer Price (California State University, Sacramento)

This study examined the effectiveness of detailed written instructions (WI) and a task analysis data sheet (TA DS) in training three undergraduate students with no previous coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to conduct trial-based functional analyses (TBFA). This study extended previous research by using instructional materials that were written using conventional language and did not include information on the principles of ABA or the underlying rationale for functional analysis methodology. Although the WI and TA DS produced significant increases in performance and reliable data collection on the targeted problem behavior, small-group performance feedback training was necessary to achieve mastery across all trial types. Results offer a socially valid training package to teach paraprofessionals to conduct TBFAs in applied settings.


The Prevalence of Extinction Bursts in Applied Behavior Analytic Research

(Applied Research)
MIA BROUSSEAU (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids), Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)

An extinction burst is a temporary increase in the rate of a previously reinforced behavior when extinction is first implemented. Previous research has suggested that extinction bursts may be less prevalent than is commonly believed by practitioners (Lerman & Iwata, 1995). The current study is a replication of Lerman and Iwata’s 1995 review. We analyzed 100 cases of extinction in peer reviewed publications between the years of 2000 and 2017 and found that only 14% of cases demonstrated an extinction burst, a number even lower than the 24% reported by Lerman and Iwata. Furthermore, only 8% of the cases we analyzed implemented extinction alone, compared to 50% in the Lerman study. Changes in conceptions of what constitutes a complete behavior intervention plan are discussed, as are implications for practitioners.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh