Functional behavior assessment (FBA) is a process for identifying (a) observable problem behaviors, (b) the contexts or routines where the problem behaviors are most likely, (c) the specific antecedent events within a context or routine that reliably predict occurrence of problem behaviors, and (d) the consequences that appear to maintain the problem behavior.
A functional behavior assessment should result in the following.
Operational definition(s) of problem behavior(s):
- Identification of the contexts (locations, activities, routines, times of day, people) where the problem behavior(s) is most likely and least likely
- Identification of the specific antecedent events (setting events and discriminative stimuli) most likely to predict (occasion) the identified problem behavior(s)
- Identification of the consequence(s) that maintain (reinforce) the problem behavior
Functional behavior assessment is a process for identifying problem behaviors and the events that prompt and maintain problem behaviors.
The reason for conducting an FBA is to gather information that will help make behavior intervention plans more effective and efficient.
Regardless of the process for gathering information, the FBA should result in one or more summary statements that define
- the context/routines where problem behavior is most and least likely,
- observational descriptions of problem behavior,
- specific events that predict occurrence of problem behavior, and
- consequences that reinforce (maintain) problem behavior.
A behavior intervention plan (BIP) defines how an educational setting will be changed to improve the behavioral success of one or more students.
- The BIP describes how the environment will be changed to prevent occurrences of problem behavior.
- The BIP describes the teaching that will occur to give the student alternative ways of behaving.
- The BIP describes the consequences that will be provided to (a) encourage positive behavior, (b) limit inadvertent reward of problem behavior, and (c), where appropriate, discourage the problem.