Comparing functional assessment methodologies
Herzinger, Caitlin Vanessa
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Problem behaviors are a commonly associated feature of people diagnosed with autism. Functional assessment has become the norm for evaluating these behaviors. There has been much research concerning functional assessment over the past twenty years, but several important research considerations have yet to be explained. One is the comparison of different types of functional assessment (e.g., experimental functional analysis and behavioral functional assessment). Controversy exists regarding the types of functional assessments and their validity. The current study aims to compare the different methodologies of functional assessment and their effectiveness in ascribing function to a target behavior and in the treatment selection that follows such an assessment. Quantitative synthesis data were used to answer questions regarding behavioral function, assessment type, and treatment effectiveness. Results indicate that assessment type can impact treatment effectiveness and that there is a relationship between type of behavior and ascribed behavioral function.