Rationale for Using Functional Behavioral Assessments to Develop Positive Behavior Interventions
Functional Assessment is a Team Effort
A Method for Conducting a Functional Behavioral Assessment
  1. Describe and Verify the Seriousness of the Problem
  2. Refine the Definition of the Problem Behavior
  3. Collect Information on Possible Functions of the Problem Behavior
Direct and Indirect Measures of Student Behavior
  1. Analyze Information Using Triangulation and/or Problem Pathway Chart
  2. Generate Hypothesis Statement Regarding Likely Function of Problem Behavior
  3. Test Hypothesis Statement Regarding the Function of Problem Behavior
Summary of Steps to Conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment
The Behavioral Intervention Plan
Additional Information on Functional Assessment
Appendix A: Scatterplots
Appendix B: ABC Charts
Appendix C: Functional Assessment Interview Forms
Appendix D: Sample Teacher and Student Interviews
Appendix E: Problem Behavior Questionnaire
Appendix F:  Data Triangulation Chart
Appendix G: Behavior Pathway Charts
Other Available Resources

Prepared By The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice

Robert A. Gable, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Old Dominion University
Mary Magee Quinn, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice
Robert B. Rutherford, Jr., Ph.D., Research Fellow, Arizona State University
Kenneth W. Howell, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Western Washington University
Catherine C. Hoffman, A.B., Research Associate, Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice

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It is the mission of the Center to support and to promote a reoriented national preparedness to foster the development and adjustment of children with or at risk of developing serious emotional disturbance. To achieve that goal, the Center is dedicated to a policy of collaboration at Federal, state, and local levels that contributes to and facilitates the production, exchange, and use of knowledge about effective practices. We have strategically organized the Center to identify promising programs and practice, promote the exchange of useful and useable information, and facilitate collaboration among stakeholders and across service system disciplines.

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Note:This document was reviewed for consistency with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (P.L. 105-17) by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs.

This document was produced under grant number H237T60005. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education or any other Federal agency and should not be regarded as such. The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice: Improving Services for Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Problems is funded under a cooperative agreement with the Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, with additional support from the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Please address all correspondence to:

Mary Magee Quinn
Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice
1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20007