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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Paraprofessionals' Use of Direct Behavior Rating for Collecting Functional Behavior Assessment Data: Agreement and Acceptability
by South, Brian N., Psy.D., Alfred University, 2017, 132; 10687657
Abstract (Summary)

This paper reviews existing literature on Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and the benefits and challenges associated with conducting the cornerstone of behavioral observation, Systematic Direct Observation (SDO), in schools. It also presents literature on Direct Behavior Rating (DBR) and its application to conducting an FBA. The purpose of this study was to evaluate paraprofessionals’ ability to generate believable data using DBR to assess functional relationships relative to SDO and to examine their perceptions regarding DBR’s acceptability. In the study, paraprofessionals (n = 7) observed the behavior of 16 students in their classroom setting and then completed DBR ratings of disruptive behavior and four potential consequences (adult attention, peer attention, escape/avoidance, access to tangibles). Concurrently, an expert observer collected SDO data using a combination of a 15-second partial interval recording system and frequency count. Estimates of the true occurrence of disruptive behavior and the percentage of disruptive behavior met with each consequence were calculated based upon the SDO data. Differences in agreement between the DBR and SDO data were examined to obtain an understanding of the degree of association between the two observation methods. The results of this study indicated strong levels of agreement between the DBR and SDO data for overall disruptive behavior. However, despite a visual analysis of the data that suggested similar conclusions would be reached regarding the function of the disruptive behavior, weaker levels of agreement were found regarding the similarity of the data for each of the consequence targets. Results did indicate paraprofessionals perceived DBR to be an acceptable tool for collecting data related to functional contingencies. Guidelines for implementing DBR when conducting an FBA, limitations of the study, and suggested directions for future research are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fugate, Mark
Commitee: Evangelista, Nancy, Furlong, Nancy
School: Alfred University
Department: Counseling and School Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Acceptability, Agreement, Data collection, Direct behavior rating, Functional behavior assessment
Publication Number: 10687657
ISBN: 978-0-355-83314-0
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