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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Carolynn Kohn

First Committee Member

Kenneth Beauchamp

Second Committee Member

Cris Clay


Pica is a potentially life-threatening behavior problem displayed by many individuals with developmental disabilities that can result in serious medical complications. The purpose of this study was to compare findings from a functional analysis (FA), which is the state of the art method of behavioral assessment, with two indirect assessment measures: the Motivational Assessment Scale (MAS) and the Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). For three participants, results from the indirect measures paralleled those of the FA in identifying the function of pica. The indirect measures were more cost and time efficient. Use of these indirect methods of assessment not only identified the functional relations that served to maintain pica, but also served as a simpler, less time consuming and accurate alternative to an FA. When an FA is time or cost prohibitive, use of the MAS and QABF may be helpful in suggesting the function of pica.





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