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May 23, 2017


Comprehensive FBA


A comprehensive Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is used for students that are identified as exhibiting problem behavior(s) that are prolonged, intense,  and that adversely affects the student’s performance.


A FBA is a systematic approach to collecting data that supports a theoretically and empirically sound understanding of why behavior occurs. A FBA also identifies the relationship between a skill deficit or performance problem and the environmental variables that contribute to its occurrence.


Once these contributing factors are identified, these relationships become the focus of interventions. The FBA is used to develop a Behavior Support Plan (BSP) or Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). These terms are synonymous. A BSP is a comprehensive plan that details the function-based interventions and supports that will be provided to the student.


Steps for Conducting a Comprehensive FBA:


•Conduct in-depth interviews with teachers, parents, and the student (if   



•Use the interview to identify Setting Events, Antecedents, Consequences, and

  Function of the student's behavior


•Formulate an initial summary statement about the setting events, antecedents,  

  consequences and function of the student's behavior


•Conduct direct observations of the student's behavior in multiple settings and at 

  different times of the day


•Formulate your final summary statements by integrating the information from

  both the in-depth interviews and the direct observation data


The final summary statement should contain an accurate picture of the what events (distant and immediate) trigger the manifestation of the behavior and how the consequences or the response to the inappropriate behavior helps to maintain its occurrence. It should also include a hypothesis about about why the student engages in the inappropriate behavior.


The final summary statement will then be used as to construct a the BSP.  Every problem identified in the final summary statement should be addressed in the BSP with plan of action. This includes addressing setting events, antecedents, maintaining consequences and the function or reason for the student's behavior.


IDEA legislation required that FBAs are conducted for students whose behavior impedes their learning. A basic, preliminary FBA may be conducted for any student exhibiting problem behaviors that restrict his/her ability to access the general education curriculum. The comprehensive FBA is commonly included as a tier 3 support within the PBIS model for students who need the most intensive emotional, social, and behavioral supports.



McIntosh, K., & Av-Gay, H. (2007). Implications of current research on the use of

         functional behavior assessment and behavior support planning in school   

         systems. International Journal of Behavioral and Consultation Therapy, 3(1)  



Miltenberger, R.G. (2012). Behavior modification:  Principles and procedures (5th

            ed.). Pacific Grove, CA:  Thomson/Wadsworth.


Regan, K. S. (2009). Improving the way we think about students with emotional    

        and/or behavioral disorders. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 41
(5), 60-65.


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