Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling

Committee Chair(s)

Audrey Hoffmann


Audrey Hoffmann


Kristen Rolf


Thomas Higbee


Determining the function of maladaptive behavior aides in the creation of effective intervention measures to change that behavior. Three assessments that are used to determine behavioral function include the trial based functional analysis (TBFA), structured descriptive analysis (SDA), and antecedent-behavior-consequence (ABC) recording. In the present study, we compared the time it took to conduct each of these assessments as well as the similarity between the functions identified by each assessment. Additionally, we compared procedural acceptability and implementer preference between the SDA and TBFA by collecting survey results from a staff participant who implemented the two measures with the support of the research team. We conducted our study in a public school with one female staff participant and one male student participant in a half-day kindergarten classroom. The results indicate identical functions being identified by ABC recording and the TBFA, and similar but not exact functions being identified between the SDA and TBFA. The SDA took longer to implement compared to the TBFA. The staff participant indicated preference for the SDA over the TBFA and rated the procedures of the SDA as more acceptable. This research provides preliminary support for the use of the SDA in determining behavior function.