College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Teacher Use of Descriptive Analysis Data to Implement Interventions to Decrease Students' Problem Behaviors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 1993

Keywords

Functional Analysis, Classroom Settings, Self-Injury, Aggression, Behavioral Consultation

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

ISSN

0021-8855

Volume

26

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

We conducted two field studies using a behavioral consultation approach to reduce children's problem behaviors in public school settings. The first study consisted of a descriptive analysis in which the students and their teachers were observed during naturally occurring classroom activities. The results of the descriptive analysis provided hypotheses regarding the operant function of the students' problem behaviors. The hypotheses were tested in the second experiment directly through a modified experimental analysis and indirectly through an evaluation of the treatment effects. The interventions were designed to disrupt the inappropriate response-reinforcer relation by discontinuing contingent reinforcement (i.e., extinction), providing the reinforcer contingent on appropriate play behaviors, and teaching the students verbal skills functionally equivalent to the inappropriate response. The classroom teachers were trained to implement the interventions and conduct the experimental analyses during classroom activities in which the problem behaviors occurred most frequently. The interventions were effective in decreasing the students' problem behaviors while concurrently increasing their appropriate verbal skills.

DOI

10.1901/jaba.1993.26-227