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Research

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Functional assessment-based interventions for children at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders

Abstract

Functional assessments were conducted to identify the variables maintaining disruptive behavior in eight, typically developing fifth-grade students enrolled in general education classrooms. Participants whose behavior was found to be functionally related to either task-avoidance or attention-seeking were randomly assigned to a treatment strategy that was primarily either antecedent- or consequentbased. An ABAB single-case design was employed to analyze the effects of treatment strategies. The current study also conducted a comparison of treatment strategies that were primarily antecedent- or consequent-based. Results showed that antecedent-based treatment strategies (i.e., self-monitoring and task-modification) were more effective than consequent-based treatment strategies (i.e., differential reinforcement) for increasing academic engagement and reducing disruptive behavior. Implications regarding the use of functional assessment with typically developing students at-risk for emotional and behavioral problems enrolled in general education classrooms and the effects of antecedent- and consequent-based treatment strategies as a function of behavior are discussed.

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