FRHD 3150 Chapter Notes - Chapter 23: Functional Analysis, Intellectual Disability, Classical Conditioning

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
University of Guelph
Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course
FRHD 3150
Chapter 23
Functional Assessment of the Causes of Problem
Behavior 4/18/2013 8:14:00 PM
Functional Assessment Procedures
Functional Assessment: variety of procedures for attempting to identify
antecedents and consequences for problem behaviors and controlling these
variables:
1. Questionnaire Assessment:
-administering a questionnaire with series of questions that people familiar with the
client are asked
2. Observational Assessment
-Observational assessor observes/described the antecedents and immediate
consequences of the problem behavior in its natural settings
-Forms hypotheses about antecedent stimuli, motivational variable’s, and
consequences controlled the problem behavior
-Treatment plan is devised and implemented
-If treatment is successful, the descriptive analysis is validated
3. Functional Analysis
-Systematic manipulation of environmental events to experimentally test their role
as antecedents or as consequences in controlling and maintaining specific problem
behaviors
Experimental functional assessment: therapist assesses the effects of potential
controlling variables on the problem behavior
Eg. Susi with developmental disabilities that banged her head and slapped
her face was referred to therapy
Attention condition: approaching client and voice concern following instances of
self-abuse
Eg. “Oh Susie, What is wrong?”
Demand Condition: therapist presents educational tasks at a rate of one every 30
seconds
Results: Susie was self-abusive in the demand condition but was rarely self-abusive
in other two conditions
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Treatment program designed where the self-injurious escape behavior
was extinguished b y continued the demand when Susie engaged in self-
abuse
Instead of backing off following self-abuse, therapist physically guided her
to complete the educational activities
o Self-abuse decreased to 0
Limitations of functional analysis
1. Many behavior problems occur at frequencies of less than one per day
functional analysis for such low-frequency behaviors require great deal of
time
2. Functional analysis cannot be applied to extremely dangerous behaviors (suicide
threats)
3. Expense and personnel requirements might be prohibitive
Major Causes of Problem Behaviors
Divided into 2 categories:
1. Operant and respondent
2. Elicited
Problem Behaviors Maintained by Social Positive Reinforcement
-Behavioral excesses often are developed and maintained by the social attention
they evoke
-Indicator’s that attention maintains the behavior include
a) whether attention reliably follows the behavior
b) whether the person looks at or approaches a caregiver just before
engaging in the behavior
c) whether the person smiles just before engaging in the behavior
-If functional analysis indicates that attention maintains the behavior, treatment
involving social reinforcement is recommended
Eg. therapist devises a treatment using attention when the person is not
engaging in the problem behavior or is engaging in some behavior that is
incompatible with it
o Goal is to eliminate the undesirable behavior
Problem Behaviors Maintained by Self-Stimulatory Positive Reinforcement
Self-Stimulation: behaviors are reinforced by the sensory stimulation they
produce, and is said to be self-reinforcing
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Eg. massaging ones scalp produces an enjoyable sensation, but for people
with intellectual disabilities, this type of consequence might maintain
extreme self-stimulatory behavior (body rocking, hand flipping, self-
injuries)
-Reinforcers for such behavior include sensory or perceptual feedback (visual
patterns, repetitive sounds)
-Self-reinforcing indicator- behavior continues persistent at a steady rate
although it has no apparent effect on other people or the external environment
Eg. Case of Face Scratching
- illustrates functional analysis and treatment of a problem behavior maintained by
sensory stimulation
4 year old child with intellectual disability scratched her face when
smiling, upset, interacting with others, alone and wheter or not demands
were placed on her
Behavior appeared to be maintained by self-stimulation reinforcement and
NOT social reinforcement
Treatment- extinction of scratching by eliminating the tactile sensations
that the scratching produced (rubber gloves)
Problem Behaviors Maintained by Nonsocial External Sensory Positive
Reinforcement
-Some problem behavior is maintained by reinforcing sights and sounds from the
nonsocial external environment
-Eg. child who throws toys enjoys loud noises when they land
-If functional assessment shows the behavior is maintained by external sensory
reinforcement, treatment will involve sensory reinforcement of a desirable
alternative behavior
Eg. Case of Flushing Jewelry Down Toilet
Appearance of jewelry swirling around toilet might have functioned as a
sensory reinforcer
Activities might be behavioral chain that was reinforced by the mothers
attention after the child flushed the jewelry
Mother held child’s hand and prompted her to take the jewelry and drop it
in the jar
o Served as a sensory reinforcer to replace sight of jewelry
disappearing down the toilet
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Document Summary

Functional assessment: variety of procedures for attempting to identify antecedents and consequences for problem behaviors and controlling these variables: questionnaire assessment: Administering a questionnaire with series of questions that people familiar with the client are asked: observational assessment. Observational assessor observes/described the antecedents and immediate consequences of the problem behavior in its natural settings. Forms hypotheses about antecedent stimuli, motivational variable"s, and consequences controlled the problem behavior. If treatment is successful, the descriptive analysis is validated: functional analysis. Systematic manipulation of environmental events to experimentally test their role as antecedents or as consequences in controlling and maintaining specific problem behaviors. Experimental functional assessment: therapist assesses the effects of potential controlling variables on the problem behavior. Susi with developmental disabilities that banged her head and slapped her face was referred to therapy. Attention condition: approaching client and voice concern following instances of self-abuse. Demand condition: therapist presents educational tasks at a rate of one every 30 seconds.

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