PS 410 Unit 7 Purdue University Functional Behavioral Paper


Assignment Details

As a practicing independent Behavior Analyst, you have received an email from a staff member representing a provider of education and/or human services requesting your services. Specifically, this staff member has asked you to meet with other staff and/or administrators to develop a behavior intervention plan for a third-grade student at a local elementary school. This student is demonstrating significant problem behaviors in the form of disruptive behaviors in his classroom and in other settings within the school (lunch, recess, specials, etc.). Disruptive behaviors have been termed “aggressive” and “non-compliant” by school staff.

Please detail responses to the following:

Specify the referral problem. Be creative and describe the type of provider that has requested your services, the client, and provide operational definitions for the problem behaviors indicated in the scenario.

In a script or narrative format, provide information to the members of the “planning” meeting including the following:

  • Describe the specific purposes of a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and discuss why conducting the FBA prior to the development of a behavior intervention plan is important.
  • Describe, in specific detail, how antecedent stimuli and conditions could be potentially important for the assessment of the target behaviors in the scenario. Please include discussion of the influence of Discriminative Stimuli and Motivating Operations in triggering the target behaviors.
  • Describe, in specific detail, how Consequence stimuli and conditions could be potentially important for the assessment of the target behaviors. Be sure to indicate the influences of Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, and Automatic Reinforcement in maintaining the target behaviors.
  • Describe three (3) Indirect Functional Assessment procedures that you may be implementing during the process of the Functional Behavioral Assessment. Be sure to specify how they will be used and the purpose of each tool.
  • Describe three (3) Direct Descriptive Assessment procedures you may be implementing during the process of the Functional Behavioral Assessment. Be sure to specify how they will be used and the purpose of each tool.
  • Describe, in specific detail, at least two (2) ethical obligations and/or concerns that would be necessary to address within the current case scenario. (You may use either, or both, APA and BACB guidelines as reference).

Tips for developing your responses:

The staff that you are presenting to think that, as a Behavior Analyst, you will be able to develop a behavior plan on the spot during this meeting that is both easy to administer and effective at modifying the behavior of the client in question. The staff clearly knows nothing about behavioral assessment processes. It is your job to assist them in understanding the process of Functional Behavioral Assessment and its necessity before any interventions can be developed and implemented.

Be sure to discuss antecedent stimuli and consequence stimuli based on the function (purpose) that the target (problem) behavior serves and not the choice of intervention. The goal is to identify variables that are related to the occurrence of the problem behavior, not to develop an intervention.

Be mindful of making solid choices of the procedures you will be highlighting based on the scenario presented as well as rationales for your choices.

Indirect Assessment Tools / Procedures:

  • The Functional Behavioral Assessment Screening Form
  • The Behavioral Stream Interview
  • The Antecedent Variables Assessment Form
  • The Individual Variables Assessment Form
  • The Consequence Variables Assessment Form

Directive Descriptive Tools / Procedures:

  • Task Difficulty Antecedent Analysis Form
  • The Conditional Probability Record
  • The Functional Behavioral Assessment Form
  • Interval Recording Procedures
  • Task Analysis Recording Procedure


  • Assignment should be a minimum of 3-5 pages not including the title and reference pages.
  • If you feel you must find outside resources for assistance, please utilize academically legitimate resources. (DO NOT use websites and Wiki’s that are not peer-reviewed)
  • DO NOT focus on the use of diagnoses or labels.
  • Be specific and detailed; do not just list items and facts.
  • You may take creative license and add to the scenario by fleshing out the student’s history or presenting problems if you choose.
  • Please type your narrative essay using 12-point, Times New Roman font and double-spacing.
  • Provide APA Style, in-text citations for your sources.
  • Use Standard English writing requirements.

Reading and Resources

Read Chapter 9 in Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessments: A Practitioner’s Guide: “Experimental Functional Behavior Assessment”

Chapter 9 presents information on the process of testing the hypotheses identified during indirect and direct assessment methods through the use of Brief Functional Analysis.


Steege, Mark W., Jamie Pratt, Garry Wickerd, Richard Guare, T. Watson. (2019). Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessments, Third Edition..

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