The significance of providing behavioral management strategies and interventions among young children who have disruptive and challenging behaviors has been a societal phenomenon and a national concern in the recent years (Powell, Fixsen, & Dunlap, 2007). Many young children in school display challenging and disruptive behaviors in school. Some of the widespread challenging behaviors are lack of concentration and organization skills, attention problems, off task behaviors, disruption in classroom, aggressiveness, impulsive behavior and lack of social skills (McConnell, 2001). If these inappropriate behaviors were not properly assessed and treated, young children’s negative behavior will persist and impact the child’s physical, emotional and spiritual development as well as their social relationships making them isolated (Arnold et al., 1999).
Overtime, because of this growing national concern, On June 4, 1997, amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) became law (P.L. 105-17). These amendments introduced several new concepts which are specifically important to children’s education particularly those whose behaviors violate school codes of conduct or are outside the concept of socially acceptable behavioral norms: (a) positive behavioral support (PBS) and (b) functional behavioral assessment (FBA) ( “Public law”, 1999) . Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) seeks to specifically identify why and how the children is exhibiting problem behaviors and then develop a technique to encourage acceptable alternatives of that behavior. When FBA’s are conducted, educators will use observations, face to face interviews and record review to understand the relationship between the environment and the target behavior (O'Neill et al., 1997). This understanding can assist in the development of a behavioral intervention plan (BIP), which is used to reduce the occurrence of the challenging behavior within the school setting (Gresham et al., 2001).
FBA is not a new concept with decades of history traced from applied behavior analysis (ABA) and the application of the principles of reinforcement and stimulus control (Alberto & Troutman, 2009; Barnhill, 2005). However, it represents an important effort to improve the quality of behavioral interventions and planning. As schools organize to meet this requirement and their capacity to meet the behavioral needs of all students, especially students with disabilities, attention must be given to the definitions, features, and uses of Functional Behavioral Assessment. The purpose of this paper is to explore and investigate the effectiveness of Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) in addressing children with disruptive behaviors in the school setting.
Statement of the Problem
Educators and Researchers are realizing how understanding the function of problem behavior can help in developing effective behavioral strategies and interventions. However, in spite of this, there are...