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Keywords:

  • brief functional analysis;
  • conduct disorders;
  • outpatient clinic

Two studies were conducted with children who displayed behavior problems to evaluate the effects of task preference, task demands, and adult attention on child behavior. In Study 1, we conducted brief functional analyses in an outpatient clinic to identify variables that facilitated appropriate behavior. For 8 of 10 children, distinct patterns of performance occurred; 3 children displayed improved behavior with changes in task demands, 1 child displayed improved behavior with a preferred task, and 4 children displayed improved behavior with changes in adult attention. In most cases, the children's parents carried out the assessments with adequate procedural integrity. In Study 2, we applied similar assessment methods to a classroom setting over an extended period of time. We identified independent variables controlling appropriate, on-task, and academic behavior for 2 children on two tasks, with slightly different treatment procedures across tasks for both children. In addition, the results of brief functional analyses for both children corresponded to the extended classroom assessments.