PROGRESSING FROM IDENTIFICATION AND FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF PRECURSOR BEHAVIOR TO TREATMENT OF SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR

Authors

  • Joseph D. Dracobly,

    1. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
    2. University of Kansas
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  • Richard G. Smith

    Corresponding author
    1. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Richard G. Smith, Department of Behavior Analysis, University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle, Box 310919, Denton, Texas 76203 (e-mail: rick.smith@unt.edu).
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  • This research was conducted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Science degree at the University of North Texas by Joseph D. Dracobly.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Richard G. Smith, Department of Behavior Analysis, University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle, Box 310919, Denton, Texas 76203 (e-mail: rick.smith@unt.edu).

Abstract

This multiple-study experiment evaluated the utility of assessing and treating severe self-injurious behavior (SIB) based on the outcomes of a functional analysis of precursor behavior. In Study 1, a precursor to SIB was identified using descriptive assessment and conditional probability analyses. In Study 2, a functional analysis of precursor behavior was conducted. Finally, Study 3 evaluated the effects of a treatment in which precursor behavior produced the maintaining variable identified in the precursor functional analysis. Studies 1 and 3 were conducted in two settings in the participant's natural environment, where data collection was ongoing throughout the course of the study. Results showed that it was possible to identify a precursor to infrequent but severe SIB, that a functional analysis of precursor behavior suggested a clear operant function, and that treatment based on the results of the precursor functional analysis reduced SIB in the natural environment.

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