FRHD 3150 Study Guide - Final Guide: Figure Skating, Intellectual Disability, Stimulus Control

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Chapter 20
Behavioural Assessment: Initial Considerations
A successful behavior modification program has four phases
- during which the target behavior is identified, defined, and recorded:
(a) a screening or intake phase
- to determine whether a particular agency or behavior therapist is appropriate to deal with a
potential client’s behavior
- to inform the client about the agency’s or practitioner’s policies and procedures related to
service provision
- screen for the presence of a crisis condition (child abuse, suicide risk, etc.) that might require
immediate intervention
(b) a preprogram or baseline assessment phase
- assesses the target behavior to determine its level prior to the introduction of the program or
© a treatment phase, and
- fter making a precise preprogram assessment, an applied behavior analyst or behavior therapist
will design a program to bring about the desired behavior change.
- a training or teaching program. In community and clinical settings, the program is referred to
more often as an intervention strategy or a therapy program.
(d) a follow-up phase. In this section, we give a brief overview of these phases.
- determine whether the improvements achieved during treatment are maintained
Indirect Assessment Procedures
behavior therapists have made considerable use of indirect assessment procedures. The most common are
interviews with the client and significant others, questionnaires, role-playing, information obtained from
consulting professionals, and client self-monitoring. Indirect assessment procedures have the advantages
of being convenient, not requiring an inordinate amount of time, and potentially providing information
about covert behaviors.
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Third-party behavioral checklists or rating scales permit significant others and professionals to
subjectively assess the frequency and quality of certain client behaviors.
Role-Playing If it is not feasible for the therapist to observe the client in the actual situation in which the
problem occurs
Information from Consulting Professionals If other professionals (physicians, physiotherapists,
teachers, nurses, social workers) have been dealing with the client in any way related to the problem, the
therapist should obtain relevant information from them.
Client Self-Monitoring Self-monitoring—the direct observation by the client of his or her own behavior
—is the next best thing to the therapist’s direct observation.
Observation of a person’s behavior by another individual constitutes a direct assessment procedure. The
main advantage of direct assessment procedures is that they are more accurate than indirect assessment
Experimental Assessment Procedures
Experimental assessment procedures are used to clearly reveal the antecedent and consequent events that
control and maintain problem behavior. Such procedures are referred to as experimental functional
analyses or more simply as functional analyses. They are used to demonstrate that the occurrence of a
behavior is a function of certain controlling variables.
1. helps the behavior modifier identify both the causes of a behavior and the best treatment strategy.
2. Without accurate data, one might also make the opposite type of error. One might conclude that a
procedure is working and continue it when in fact it is ineffective and should be abandoned or modified.
3. Thinking it doesn’t work but it actually does. Having data can show people the results are actually
3. publicly posted results—preferably in the form of a graph or a chart—can prompt and reinforce
behavior modifiers for carrying out a program.
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