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Behavioral Assessment

  • By: D. Joe Olmi & Elizabeth Lyons
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Behavioral assessment is defined as an assessment process that seeks to understand behavior and critical environmental variables that increase or decrease the likelihood of its occurrence. In contrast to traditional assessment procedures, behavioral assessment relies on low-inference, idiographic (comparisons to that individual's previous level of behavior) procedures, and has as its primary objectives the development and evaluation of appropriate treatments and interventions to ameliorate presenting problems.

In addition to the above characteristics (i.e., idiographic, low-inference, and treatment-driven), there are other defining characteristics of behavioral assessment. One is the assessment of situational–environmental variables influencing behavior, including information about events that occur right before the problem behavior (antecedents) and events that occur right after the problem behavior (consequences). Another characteristic of behavioral assessment is the use of multiple ...

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