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Functional Behavior Assessment & Treatment

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) & Treatment 

A functional behavior assessment (FBA) is an assessment designed to obtain information about the purpose (functions) a behavior serves for a person.

The assessment assists in the development of a hypothesis about the relations between environmental events and behaviors.

There are three types of FBA's:

1) functional analyses,

2) descriptive analyses, and

3) indirect methods.

Functional analyses (see Experimental Functional Analysis & Treatment under Clinical Programs) involve the manipulation of suspected maintaining variables using experimental methodology to demonstrate control over responding.

Descriptive analyses involve direct observation of behavior, typically under naturalistic conditions, in the absence of manipulation (e.g., Antecedent-behavior-consequence [ABC] recording).

Indirect methods involve gathering information about behavioral function in the absence of direct observation (e.g., Functional Analysis Interview [O'Neill, Horner, Albin, Storey, & Sprague, 1990], Functional Analysis Screening Tool [FAST; The Florida Center on Self-Injury, 1996]).

The second and third approaches are approximations to the first because they do not delineate functional relationships.

However, in the absence of an experimental functional analysis, descriptive and indirect methods can provide some information about maintaining variables.

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