Methods used to conduct functional assessment 3 categories:
-indirect assessment: where information is gathered through interviews and
-direct observation methods: observer records the antecedents, behavior and
consequences as they occur.
-experimental methods: where antecedents and consequences are manipulated to
observe their effect on the problem behavior.
It is known as informant assessment methods. Provides information in response to
assessment questions. Easy to conduct and do not take much time. Disadvantage is
informants must rely on their memory of the events. Thus information may be
incorrect as a result of forgetting or bias.
The interview is the most common assessment method. Information about the
problem behavior, antecedents, and consequences should describe environmental
The goal of a behavioral interview is to generate information on the problem
behaviors antecendents, consequences and other variables that will permit you to
form a hypothesis about controlling variables for the problem.
Once the interviewer can discern a reliable pattern of antecedents and
consequences, the interviewer can develop a hypothesis about the antecedents that
have stimulus control over the problem behavior and the reinforce that maintains it.
Because indirect functional assessment methods have the disadvantage of relying
on informants memories of events, researchers suggest using multiple functional
assessment methods to produce the most accurate information on antecedents,
consequences and other variables.
Direct observation methods
Direct observation methods, a person observes and records the antecedents and
records the antecedents and consequences each time the problem behavior occurs.
The antecedents and consequences are observed and recorded in the natural
environment where the problem behavior typically takes place. Direct observation
assessment is also called ABC observation. the goal is to record the immediate
antecedents and consequences typically associated with the problem behavior under
Main advantages is the observer is recording the antecedents and consequences as
they occur rather than reporting the antecedents and consequences from memory.
Disadvantage is it takes more time and effort than interview or questionnaire
methods. ABC observations do not demonstrate a functional relationship but rather
a correlation f the antecendents and consequences with the problem behavior. To