Comparing Functional Behavior Assessment-Based Interventions and Non-functional Behavior Assessment-Based Interventions: A Systematic Review of Outcomes and Methodological Quality of Studies

  • Yunji JeongEmail author
  • Susan R. Copeland
Original Paper


This review compared the effectiveness of functional behavior assessment-based interventions (FBAI) versus non-functional behavior assessment-based interventions (NFBAI) through an examination of 24 single-case design (SCD) studies that directly compared the effects of these intervention approaches. This review also systematically examined the quality of these studies. All of the reviewed studies reported relative effectiveness of FBAI over NFBAI in reducing problem behaviors, showing a higher percentage of behavior reduction in FBAI than NFBAI conditions. None of the reviewed studies met all of the What Works Clearinghouse Design Standards for SCD (Kratochwill et al. in Single-case designs technical documentation, 2010). We discussed methods of comparing the effects of FBAI versus NFBAI and made methodological suggestions for future research in this area.


Functional behavior assessment Function-based Quality of research 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


Articles marked with a * were the studies included in the review

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special EducationUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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