Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Tyra Sellers

Abstract

This study consisted of three parts. We first used a video observation method and statistical analysis to identify benign behaviors that occurred before the problem behavior. These benign behaviors are known as precursor behaviors. We then used a precursor functional analysis to identify the function of the precursor behaviors. Lastly, we developed and implemented an intervention based on the results of the precursor functional analysis. The interventions effectively reduced problem behavior for the participants in the study. The participants engaged in minimal instances of problem behavior throughout the study. The results of this study may be useful to teachers and caregivers of children who engage in severe problem behavior that would be unsafe to reinforce in an assessment. Results may also help when working with children whose caregivers are concerned with their children engaging in excessive problem behavior. Further research is needed to look at modifying the precursor analysis. Future research should also look at the social validity of the precursor assessment.

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