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ERIC Number: EJ853197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8855
Relative Contributions of Three Descriptive Methods: Implications for Behavioral Assessment
Pence, Sacha T.; Roscoe, Eileen M.; Bourret, Jason C.; Ahearn, William H.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, v42 n2 p425-446 Sum 2009
This study compared the outcomes of three descriptive analysis methods--the ABC method, the conditional probability method, and the conditional and background probability method--to each other and to the results obtained from functional analyses. Six individuals who had been diagnosed with developmental delays and exhibited problem behavior participated. Functional analyses indicated that participants' problem behavior was maintained by social positive reinforcement (n = 2), social negative reinforcement (n = 2), or automatic reinforcement (n = 2). Results showed that for all but 1 participant, descriptive analysis outcomes were similar across methods. In addition, for all but 1 participant, the descriptive analysis outcome differed substantially from the functional analysis outcome. This supports the general finding that descriptive analysis is a poor means of determining functional relations. (Contains 1 table and 7 figures.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Department of Applied Behavioral Science. Kansas University, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045-2133. Tel: 785-841-4425; Fax: 785-841-4425; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A