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Functional assessment is an approach to the assessment of problem behaviors that focuses on identifying environmental events thought to maintain those behaviors. The primary goal with this type of assessment is to identify environmental events that immediately precede (antecedents) and immediately follow (consequences) problem behavior.

Functional analysis is a type of functional assessment procedure that involves the use of the experimental method and is most often used by applied behavior analysts. The experimental procedure makes it distinct from the other two methods of functional assessment—indirect and observational—in that it affords the analyst the ability to specify causal relations between environmental events and problem behaviors. Often, hypotheses regarding environment-behavior relations are first generated with other functional assessment methods and then confirmed through a functional analysis. In ...

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