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Functional Analysis

  1. William T. O'Donohue1,
  2. Tamara Penix Loverich2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0372

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

O'Donohue, W. T. and Loverich, T. P. 2010. Functional Analysis. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Nevada, Reno

  2. 2

    Eastern Michigan University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Functional analysis is a strategy for the assessment and treatment of mental health problems (or preferably “behavioral problems”) with origins in radical behaviorism, and particularly behavior therapy. It is generally viewed as an assessment and treatment strategy within the larger realm of behavioral assessment and behavior therapy. More specifically, functional analysis is a set of procedures that attempts to identify important environmental variables that develop and maintain behavior. The clinical goal of functional analysis is to effectively identify targets of intervention that are alterable, in order that appropriate treatments may be rapidly implemented and evaluated.