Variations in Functional Analysis Methodology: A Systematic Review

  • Sinead Lydon
  • Olive Healy
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
  • Russell Lang
Review Article

Abstract

Functional analysis procedures have been revolutionary in the field of applied behavior analysis. Their ability to identify the contingencies maintaining problem behavior has allowed clinicians to develop function-based treatments and minimised the use of aversive procedures to reduce problem behavior. However, limitations including their time consuming nature, the expertise they require, their unsuitability for certain settings and types of behavior, and their reinforcement of the problem behavior, often preclude their use in applied settings. Several alternative types of functional analysis have been developed to compensate for these limitations. This review includes studies that investigated the use of brief functional analysis, latency functional analysis, precursor functional analysis, functional analysis with protective equipment, and trial-based functional analysis. Studies that met the inclusion criteria were evaluated with respect to various aspects including sample and setting characteristics, target behaviors, additional assessments, outcomes of the analyses, and efficacy of function-based treatments applied.

Keywords

Brief functional analysis Latency functional analysis Precursor functional analysis Functional analysis with protective equipment Trial-based functional analysis Traditional functional analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sinead Lydon
    • 1
  • Olive Healy
    • 1
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
    • 2
  • Russell Lang
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.GalwayIreland
  2. 2.The Meadows Center for the Prevention of Educational RiskUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Texas State University-San Marcos, Clinic for Autism Research Evaluation and SupportSan MarcosUSA

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