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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Behavior therapists must often design treatments for individual patients who present with a wide array of behavior disorders. Behavioral assessment is a learning-based, empirically focused, and systematic evaluation approach. The functional analysis, which is an important outcome of a behavioral assessment, is a set of decisional strategies that are used to systematically gather, integrate, and summarize information about the form and function of a client’s behavior problems. The functional analysis is a critically important outcome of assessment because it informs treatment design. The objectives of this chapter are to: (a) present a review of the conceptual foundations of behavioral assessment and the functional analysis; (b) outline steps required to generate a functional analysis; (c) explain simple decisional and statistical procedures that can be used to assist with the assessment and functional analysis and (d) describe how functional analyses can be used to design interventions using graphic causal models.

Keywords: behavioral assessment, functional analysis, case formulation, clinical decision making, behavior therapy

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