PSYB45H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 23: Functional Analysis, Tantrum, Attention Seeking

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11 Aug 2016
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Chapter 23 – Functional Assessment of Problem Behaviour
Functional Assessment Procedures
Variety approaches to identify the antecedents and consequences for problem behaviours
Help in designing effective treatment programs
Functional Analysis of Problem Behaviour
Functional analysis: systematic manipulation of environmental events to test their role as antecedents or
consequences in controlling or maintaining specific problem behaviours
Aka experimental functional assessment: directly assess the effects of potential controlling variables on
problem behaviour
Difficult to find positive reinforcers powerful to overcome extremely severe problem behaviours
4 conditions to evaluate antecedents:
oAttention condition: see if behaviour was being maintained by attention
oDemand condition: behaviour is maintained when being told to do something/demanding something
oAlone condition: bad behaviour is maintained by himself
Typically behaviour is occurred because of internal sensory reinforcement  reinforcement
produced b/c of sensations
oControl condition: doesn’t really do anything, other than interacting with the client
Highest occurrence of undesirable behaviour in either condition is the cause of the behaviour
The “gold standard” b/c highest effectiveness in identifying compared to other types of assessments
Implications of Functional Analysis:
oTreatment should be based on function of the behaviour (the underlying causes/motivation), not the
form of behaviour (e.g. stopping the hang slapping only; hurting himself)
oUndesirable behaviour may be similar/identical, but the function of it can be completely different
oE.g. one can hit himself b/c of self-stimulation, while another hit himself b/c of attention seeking
Limitation:
oTime consuming to conduct functional analysis
Countering limitation  only 1-2 repetiion of a condition and decrease session length (e.g. 5
minutes) can give meaningful results
Use alone condition as screening phase (easy to eliminate or conclude)
oCannot be applied for dangerous behaviours
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Usually dangerous behaviours are preceded by behaviours not so dangerous (a warning sign)
oMany behaviour problems occur at low frequency. Require more time before sufficient data can be
obtained to draw a conclusion
Waiting for the moment when bad behaviour occurs and initiating functional analysis
If occurs infrequently, then FA can be infrequent too!
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