Is functional behavioral assessment functional?

by Nathalie Sterk

Institution: University of Oslo
Year: 1000
Keywords: VDP::260
Record ID: 1280396
Full text PDF: https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/18238


Abstract Traditional methods of discipline, like punishment, suspension, and expulsion have in the past seemed beneficial, on a short-term basis, against problem behavior in schools. Four schools in Norway have recently implemented Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) as part of a pilot project, to test the School-Wide Positive Behavioral Support (SW-PBS). A completed FBA procedure reveals the setting events, the antecedents and the consequences around the problem behavior, which provides a total picture of why, when, where and with whom the problem behavior occurs. Interviews and observations describe the function of the problem behavior executed by the child. The purpose of this evaluation study was to examine the utilitarian value of FBA, and to depict the sheer practicality of accomplishing such an assessment for the general education teachers. Each of the four schools had its own representative Behavior Support Team (BST), a total of 23 people. Questionnaires focused on how they perceived the practicality of the FBA tools, and on their experiences utilizing them. Additionally, two from each school were interviewed, in addition to one School Counselor (SC). The general picture from the interviews depicts a strong favor of a continuous use of FBA. The participants, however, see the need for an external expert to administer the process of FBAs, as they find time and resources to be lacking for a thorough accomplishment of the assessment. Results from the questionnaires indicated agreement that FBA is functional, relevant, and a user-friendly method, but at the same time, difficult to follow accurately, and too time-consuming.