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review the primary posts of your classmates and respond specifically and substantially (no less than 100 words) to at least two other students.

Student one

April Baxley

Compare Structural Analysis and Consequence Analysis as outlined in Chapter 9 of your e-book. Be sure to include specific descriptions of the processes related to each in your response (simply listing terms will NOT be enough for a solid grade). You will need to specify the steps necessary for conducting Functional Analysis in an applied setting and review some of the conditions such assessments are completed in. Strengths and weaknesses of this approach should be discussed as well.

Functional behavioral assessments (FBA’s) are very useful in figuring out the hypothesis of the function of a target behavior. However, there are times when a stronger approach is necessary and this is when a functional analysis(FA) should be performed to prove the relationship between the function and the target behavior (Steege & Watson, 2009). For an FA to be successful the target behavior needs to be operationally defined, the data recording procedure needs to be determined, the must be systematic manipulation of antecedents or consequences, direct recording of the target behavior, and graphs for analysis. There are many approaches to completing an FA, and the design of the FA should reflect the situation and resource, but most commonly are structural analysis and consequence analysis.

The structural analysis involves manipulation of the antecedent conditions and then recording the occurrence of the target behavior (Steege & Watson, 2009). This helps to figure out if the behavior is the result of a specific motivating operation (MO’s). The behavior settings might include a variety of task demands (easy, medium, hard), types of instruction verbal and nonverbal, and free time for example. It helps to prove what antecedents or MO’s are triggering the target behavior. Consequence analysis manipulated the consequences that reinforce the target behavior to determine if the target behavior is maintained by automatic stimulation, positive reinforcement(tangibles), social attention, or negative reinforcement.

Both types of FA help to give insight into what is causing the behavior or keeping the behavior. However, the antecedents and consequences keep behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). There are times when a behavior can be changed and replaced with an adaptive target behavior by simply manipulating the antecedents but most often the consequences need to be altered too. There are times when an FA might be impractical or even unnecessary. An FA should only be conducted if the FBA failed to supply a clear hypothesis to support the function of the target behavior or if it is possible that there are multiple functions for the target behavior. It is however sometimes important to test the hypothesis of the FBA and when this case occurs an FA should be conducted.


Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Pearson Education.

Steege, M. W., & Watson, T. S. (2009). Conducting school-based functional behavioral assessments: A practitioner’s guide (2 ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Publications Inc. Retrieved from[;vnd.vst.idref=fm1]

Student 2

Jordan Thompson

Professor and class:

Functional analysis is the process of gathering data in order to determine the relationship between variables; functional analysis can determine if functional relations (cause-effect relations) are present between variables (Steege & Watson, 2009). Steege & Watson (2009) state that “the purpose of functional behavioral analysis is to prove that the hypothesized relationships are in fact causal and not simply “correlational” (chp. 9). Functional analysis procedures are used to confirm hypotheses about behavioral functions; also, the functional analysis is the only method of FBA that can confirm hypotheses regarding functional relationships among the interfering behavior and environmental events (Steege & Watson, 2009).

According to Steege & Watson (2009), the functional analysis generally involves assessment conditions including a control condition which is expected to present low rates of interfering behavior and a test condition with a motivation operation (MO) and a reinforcing consequence.

Furthermore, Steege & Watson (2009) state that a thorough functional analysis should include:

  • the identification and description of the target behavior (interfering behavior)
  • choosing a procedure for data recording
  • systematic manipulation of antecedents and/or consequences (can be done through use of structural or consequence analyses)
  • graphing and analysis of data for determining functional relations between variables

Some of the conditions in which the assessments are done in includes social attention, escape, tangible, alone, and control. Based on the repeated testing of the conditions, it can be determined in what conditions the interfering behavior are more likely to occur in (Steege & Watson, 2009).

There are two general approaches to functional analysis which include structural analysis and consequence analysis (Steege & Watson, 2009). Structural Analysis is the arrangement and manipulation of antecedent conditions and then observing and recording behavior occurrences in the context (Steege & Watson, 2009). Structural analysis is useful in testing hypotheses regarding variables that trigger the occurrence of interfering behaviors (Steege & Watson, 2009).

Consequence Analysis is the arrangement of situations, providing specific consequences contingent on a specific interfering behavior occurrence (Steege & Watson, 2009). Consequence analysis is useful for testing hypotheses regarding the variables that maintain the interfering behavior (Steege & Watson, 2009). Each of these methods of analysis should be repeated over a period of time that allows for a trend to occur in order to confirm a hypothesis.

Functional analysis can be a very effective procedure. The primary strength is that functional analyses are able to identify function of behaviors. The weaknesses to the functional analysis would be that the process can be time consuming and difficult without the appropriate training and knowledge to understand the results of the analysis.


Jordan Thompson


Steege, M., & Watson, T. (2009) Conducting school-based functional behavioral assessments, 2nd Edition. New York: The Guilford Press.

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