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Keywords:

  • aberrant behavior;
  • functional analysis;
  • multiple topographies;
  • response class;
  • brief functional analysis

We conducted a functional analysis of distinct topographies of aberrant behavior displayed by 4 clients. We first analyzed the behaviors in an aggregate fashion and then separated the behaviors to formulate hypotheses about the maintaining variables for each behavior. The procedures were used in a two-phase experiment. During Phase 1, two extended functional analyses were completed, one in an inpatient unit and one in a special education classroom. During Phase 2, two brief functional analyses were completed in an outpatient clinic. Results indicated that hypotheses of separate functions for distinct behaviors can be generated using both extended and brief functional analyses when the results are graphed in the aggregate and are separated by response topography. The results also suggest that these methods can improve the accuracy of data interpretation and treatment selection.