Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 311–325

Extensions of multielement functional analyses using reversal-type designs


  • Timothy R. Vollmer
    • Department of PsychologyLouisiana State University
  • Brian A. Iwata
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Florida
  • Beth A. Duncan
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Florida
  • Dorothea C. Lerman
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Florida

DOI: 10.1007/BF01046388

Cite this article as:
Vollmer, T.R., Iwata, B.A., Duncan, B.A. et al. J Dev Phys Disabil (1993) 5: 311. doi:10.1007/BF01046388


Functional analyses of self-injurious behavior (SIB) using multielement designs do not always produce clear-cut results, thereby reducing the likelihood that treatment programs are based on an understanding of behavioral function. Lack of response differentiation in multielement assessments may be due to several factors; one is interaction effects due to rapid condition changes. This study demonstrates the utility of more traditional reversal-type designs, in which assessment conditions are presented sequentially, when the results of multielement functional analyses are unclear. Results are discussed in terms of (1) the relative benefits of various forms of assessment designs, and (2) implications for future research.

Key words

multielement designsreversal designsfunctional analysisself-injurious behavior

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993