Title

A Survey of Functional Behavior Assessment Methods Used by Behavior Analysts in Practice

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

Department

Psychology

ISSN

0021-8855

Volume

48

Issue

4

DOI

10.1002/jaba.256

First Page

817

Last Page

829

Publication Date

December 2015

Abstract

To gather information about the functional behavior assessment (FBA) methods behavior analysts use in practice, we sent a web-based survey to 12,431 behavior analysts certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Ultimately, 724 surveys were returned, with the results suggesting that most respondents regularly use FBA methods, especially descriptive assessments. Moreover, the data suggest that the majority of students are being formally taught about the various FBA methods and that educators are emphasizing the range of FBA methods in their teaching. However, less than half of the respondents reported using functional analyses in practice, although many considered descriptive assessments and functional analyses to be the most useful FBA methods. Most respondents reported using informant and descriptive assessments more frequently than functional analyses, and a majority of respondents indicated that they “never” or “almost never” used functional analyses to identify the function of behavior.

Comments

We thank the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) for assistance with distributing this survey. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and not the BACB.