A functional assessment of behavior–often referred to as a functional behavioral assessment, or FBA–is an assessment of the relationship between a person’s target behaviors and his/her environment. Different levels of an FBA include indirect sources of information (e.g., interviews, questionnaires, rating scales, etc.), descriptive sources of information (e.g., direct observations, data collection of antecedents, behaviors and consequences, or “ABC” data), and experimental sources of information, which are often referred to as functional analyses. When conducting functional analyses, antecedents and consequences are manipulated in a controlled manner in an attempt to isolate their effects on target behavior(s).
Functional analyses can be designed to include a variety of different conditions; the Catalyst FA tools have been designed with preset defaults to include the following conditions, which are most widely used and supported by the most empirical evidence.
Functional analyses must be individualized for specific users. The following defaults are intended as examples only, and should be altered, where necessary.
Descriptions of Conditions
The purpose of this condition is to determine whether the behavior is maintained by escape from or avoidance of instructional or other demands (i.e., social negative reinforcement). The practitioner should provide a task (e.g., academic, habilitative) that has been demonstrated as at least moderately difficult for the individual. When the problem behavior occurs, give the individual a 20- to 30-s break before resuming instruction. Always praise task compliance. Consider carefully the nature of the demands presented in this condition. The task demands should be similar to those delivered in the “natural" environment in terms of the type of task, rate of presentation of tasks, and level of task difficulty. This information is often obtained during informant and descriptive assessment.
Access to tangible items
Creating a New Functional Analysis
In order to create a new functional analysis, click on the Assessments Tab, and the Functional Analysis sub tab.
At the bottom of the screen, click Setup New Functional Analysis.
A popup window will appear to guide you through the set up.
Type the name of your specific functional analysis. This will appear as the title on your graphs, and should thus include some identifying information, even if just initials. You may also want to include other identifiers, such as a number or date (e.g., D.F. April-2014), in case you so more than one FA for the same individual.
Select the number of sessions you want to include for EACH separate condition. You will be able to manually order or randomize the order of these sessions.
Select the duration, in minutes, for each session.
Should scorers terminate session early, they will be required to enter a reason and data will NOT be saved.
Select the behavior(s) to include in this assessment.
For the purposes of accuracy, users should generally NOT include more than one behavior.
Select the conditions to include in the assessment. You will be able to manually order or randomize the order of these conditions.
Once you have completed entering your FA information, click the Save button.
You will then be able to manage the session order. Catalyst automatically randomizes the order of the sessions. If you would like to change the order of the sessions you can do so by using the up and down arrows.
If at any time you would like to go back to a randomized order, simply click the randomize order button. When you are finished ordering sessions, click close.
Your newly created functional analysis will be available for viewing in the list of Functional Analysis Assessments.
You can add sessions, archive the assessment, or view notes written during the assessment by clicking on the Actions menu.
In order to learn more about collecting functional analysis data on your mobile device, please visit Functional Analysis Data Collection.