Assessment and treatment of maladaptive behaviors within the developmental disability literature
Herzinger, Caitlin Vanessa
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Several meta-analyses relating to the assessment and treatment of severe maladaptive behaviors within the developmental disability research were reviewed. Following a synthesis of the meta-analyses results, three common themes were found and discussed: (a) behavioral treatment constitutes the large majority of published treatment outcomes, (b) treatments employing different functional assessments produced different outcomes, and (c) few characteristics of individuals were identified as mediating or moderating factors in treatment effectiveness. This current quantitative review of developmental disability research aims to make comparisons of different functional behavioral assessment methodologies, both across and within diagnostic categories. Quantitative synthesis data were used to answer questions regarding behavioral function, assessment type, differences based upon diagnostic category, and treatment effectiveness. Results indicate that assessment methodology does not impact treatment effectiveness, but both identified functions and treatment effectiveness are impacted by diagnosis. Implications for clinicians as well as future research directions are also discussed.