By Dr. Sarah Fefer

This Assessment section includes literature associated with formative or summative information gathering tools that may be used to develop an understanding of patterns affecting behavior, inform intervention, or evaluate practices and outcomes.  Included in this section you will find full texts or links to articles, chapters, and books. 

Please note that effective functional and ecological assessment involves creatively, comprehensively, and accurately answering questions that allow us to better understand people’s behavioral characteristics, circumstances, and contexts in which support will be provided.  Any assessment tools, including those for tracking progress, should be selected to match what information needs to be captured and the circumstances in which data collection will occur.

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Preference Assessments

Choice and Preference Assessment Research with People with Severe to Profound Developmental Disabilities: A Review of Literature - Cannella, O'Reilly, & Lancioni (2004).  Summary of literature on choice and preference assessments (free).

Preference Assessment Procedures for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities - Hagopian, Rush, & Long (2004).  Discussion article reviewing the literature on types of reinforcer assessments (free).

Training Staff to Conduct a Paired Stimulus Preference Assessment - Lavie & Sturmey (2002).  Evaluation of a staff training program for identifying reinforcers (free).

Evaluation of a Brief Multiple-Stimulus Preference Assessment in a Naturalistic Context- Carr, Nicolson, & Higbee (2000).  Evaluation of curriculum-based reinforcers for children in early intervention program (free).

Contextual Fit

Reducing challenging behaviour of adults with intellectual disabilities in supported accommodation: A cluster randomized controlled trial of setting-wide positive behavior support - McGill, P, et al. (2018).  In Research in Developmental Disabilities (free).

Behavior Support Interventions Implemented by Families of Young Children: Examination of Contextual Fit - McLaughlin, T.W., Denney, M.K., Snyder, P.A., & Welsh, J.L. (2012).  In the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions (free).

Toward an Ecological Unit of Analysis in Behavioral Assessment and Intervention With Families of Children With Developmental Disabilities - Binnendyk, Fossett, Cheremshynski, Lohrmann, Elkinson, & Miller.  From the Handbook of Positive Behavior Support pp 73-106 (for purchase)

Outcomes from a Community‐based Positive Behavioural Support team for Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities - Bowring, D.L, Totsika, V., Hastings, R. & Toogood, S. (2019).  Study on contextual fit in community based settings In the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities (for purchase).

Contextual fit and problem behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders Blakeley-Smith, Audrey. State University of New York at Stony Brook, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2005 (for purchase).

Structural Analyses of Behavior

Functional and Structural Approaches to Behavioral Assessment of Problem Behavior - Wacker, Berg, Harding, & Cooper-Brown (2011)Chapter from Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis (Fisher, Piazza, & Roane, pp. 165-181) describing approaches to behavioral assessment (for purchase).

A Contextual Assessment Inventory for Problem Behavior: Initial Development - McAtee, Carr, Shulte, & Dunlap (2004)Study evaluating an assessment to capture variables affecting behavior published in Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions (for purchase).

Use of a Structured Descriptive Assessment Methodology to Identify Variables Affecting Problem Behavior - Anderson & Long (2002)Research study in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis evaluating antecedent manipulations to identify functions (free).

Further Analysis of Idiosyncratic Antecedent Influences During the Assessment and Treatment of Problem Behavior - Van Camp et al. (2000).  Single subject investigation to identify and validate antecedent influences on behavior (free).

Establishing Operations: Implications for the Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention of Problem Behavior - McGill (1999).  Paper applying Michael's EO concept to expand the analysis of behavior (free).

Fidelity Assessments

Assessing Parents' Treatment Fidelity: A Survey of Practitioners in Home Settings - Fallon, M.L., Cathcart, C.S., & Hagermoser Sanetti, M. L. (2020)  In the journal of Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.

Evaluating the treatment Fidelity of Parents Who Conduct In-Home Functional Communication Training with Coaching Via Telehealth - Suess, A.N., Romani, P.W., Wacker, D.P., Dyson, S.M., Kuhle, J.L., Lee, J.F., Lindren, S.D., Dopelman, T.G., Pelzel, K.E. & Waldron, D.B. (2014) In the Journal of Behavioral Education (for purchase).

Evaluating positive behavior support plan implementation in the home environment of young children with challenging behavior - Michelle Duda (2005).  A graduate thesis (free).

Indirect Effects of Fidelity to the Family Check-up on Changes in Parenting and Early Childhood Problem Behaviors - Smith, Dishion, Shaw & Wilson (2013). From Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(6), 962–974 (for purchase).

Functional Behavior Assessment

Conducting Functional Behavior Analyses of Problem Behavior Via Telehealth - Wacker, D.P., Lee, J.F., Dalmau, Y.C., Kopelman, T.G., Lindgren, S.D., Kuhle, J., Pelzel, K.E. & Waldron, D.B. (2013). In the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (free).

Using International Videoconferencing to Proivde Staff Training On Functional Behavioral Assessment - Alnemary, Wallace, Symon, & Barry (2015).  From the journal of Behavior Interventions (free).

Functional Assessment of Challenging Behavior - Matson & Williams (2014).  Discussion article in Current Developmental Disorders Reports reviewing ABA methods for conducting functional behavioral assessments to address problem behavior (free).

Functional Assessment for Challenging Behavior - Matson (2012).  Edited book by Springer describing various assessment methods (for purchase).

Clinical Application of Functional Analysis Methodology Iwata & Dozier (2008).  Discussion article in Behavior Analysis in Practice describing practical applications of functional analysis for clinical work (free). 

Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior: A Review Hanley, Iwata, & McCord (2003).  Literature review in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis summarizing functional analysis studies (free).

The Functional Assessment of Challenging Behavior: A Comparison of Informant-Based, Experimental, and Descriptive Methods - Toogood & Timlin (1996).  Comparison of different functional behavioral assessment methods and results by British Institute of Learning Disabilities (free).

Brief Functional Assessment Techniques to Evaluate Aberrant Behavior in an Outpatient Setting: A Summary of 79 Cases -- Derby et al. (1992).  Evaluation of an abbreviated functional assessment procedure to address the behavior of 79 individuals with developmental disabilities (free).

A Method to Integrate Descriptive and Experimental Field Studies at the Level of Data and Empirical Concepts Bijou, Peterson & Ault (1968).  Seminal article in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis outlining foundations of observational methods for quality descriptive assessments (free).

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