smiling boy

Functional Behavior Assessment

Systematic way for looking at problem behavior in the context in which it happens.

A functional behavior assessment includes looking at:

  • setting events
  • antecedents
  • problem behaviors, and
  • maintaining consequences

Setting Events

Setting Events are things that when a trigger is present increases the chances that the problem behavior will occur.


  • Settings
  • Lack of sleep
  • Medications
  • Illness
  • Change in routines/people


The antecedent is what happens right before the problem behavior; it is what "triggers" the behavior.

Challenging Behaviors

  • Measurable
  • Observable
  • Work on one challenging behavior at a time

Maintaining Consequences

  • Maintaining consequences are what occur directly AFTER the problem behavior that increase or maintain that behavior.

Record the Process

Setting Events Antecedent Behavior Consequence Function of the Behavior
Dad gets home from work, mom is tired, she's been home with child all day--no adult interaction Dad greets Mom and talks with her Child interrupts parents and tantrums Mom and Dad both yell at him Acknowledge/Attention

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