Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 419–428 | Cite as

Functional Characteristics of Disruptive Behavior in Developmentally Disabled Children with and without Autism

  • R. Matthew Reese
  • David M. Richman
  • John M. Belmont
  • Paige Morse

Expanding on Reese et al. [2003], functional behavioral assessment interviews [O’Neill et al., 1997] concerning disruptive behavior were conducted with parents of 23 children with autism (6 females, 17 males, chronological ages [CA] 24–60 months) and 23 controls without autism pair-matched for CA, developmental age and sex. All children exhibited frequent disruptive behavior. The interviews suggested that matched control children’s disruptive behavior typically functioned to gain attention or items, or to escape demands in general. This was also true for girls with autism. For boys with autism, disruptive behavior more often functioned to (a) escape demands that interfere with repetitive behavior, (b) retain access to an item used in repetitive routines, or (c) avoid idiosyncratically aversive sensory stimuli (e.g., ordinary household noises). These results emphasize the importance of considering behavioral characteristics that are associated with sex and specific disorders or syndromes when conducting functional behavioral assessments.


autism behavioral phenotypes functional analysis functional behavioral assessment interview developmental disabilities early childhood assessment disruptive behavior 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Matthew Reese
    • 1
    • 3
  • David M. Richman
    • 1
  • John M. Belmont
    • 1
  • Paige Morse
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Kansas Medical Center Kansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family LifeUniversity of KansasLawrence USA
  3. 3.Developmental Disabilities CenterUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA

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