Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Second Advisor

Ringdahl, Joel


AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF Sarai Cruz, for the Master's of Science degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy, presented on June 21, 2013, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: CONDUCTING A TRIAL-BASED FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS WITH ADULTS IN A DAY PROGRAM SETTING MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Joel Ringdahl Functional analysis is an assessment that is used to identify the functional contingences in a variety of settings. The present study describes a trial-based functional analysis conducted in a day program setting, with two adult participants with intellectual disabilities that engaged in inappropriate touching. This study extended similar procedural methodology as outlined by Sigafoos and Saggers (1995) of conducting 1-min components (test and control) and 20 trials under three test conditions (demand, tangible, and attention). Results indicated a clear pattern of responding for both participants. For the male participant, the result suggest the problem behavior was maintained by multiple sources of reinforcement. For the female participants, the results suggest the problem behavior was maintained by access to attention. These results propose that a trial-based functional analysis is a viable options to determine maintaining contingences when conducted in a day program setting. Future research should be conducted to further establish trial-based functional analysis in applied natural settings to increase its use outside of contrived, clinical environments. Key words: Trial-based functional analysis, intellectual disabilities, day program




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