Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Shawler, Lesley


Hanley et al. (2014) conducted the practical functional assessment (PFA) which was effective, efficient, and produced meaningful results. The PFA can be potentially done in one visit, and the functional analysis (FA) can identify the function of the challenging behaviors in 15 minutes. Only relevant hypothesized functions are assessed, meaning the number of series to be implemented is less compared to the traditional FA (Iwata et al. 1982/94). The PFA includes an open-ended interview with the parents, direct observation, and the interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA). The PFA process has since been replicated, but only one study has included a parent conducting the SFA with clinician assistance. Parental involvement is significant to the success of developing socially relevant assessments and treatments. In ideal cases, parents are trained to implement the procedures with their children. Thus, parents must be trained on a well-established procedure such as BST to try to reduce the number of errors committed and shape high levels of procedural fidelity (PF) (Leon et al. 2018). Behavioral Skills Training (BST) has shown how caregivers with little to no experience in ABA procedures can be trained to produce desired results with high PF levels (Miles et al. 2009). The purpose of the present study was to teach three parents of children who exhibited challenging behaviors, ranging from tantrums to self-injurious behavior, how to implement the different components of a synthesized FA using BST. Results showed that two parents learned the FA procedures in a few visits and maintained high PF levels when implementing the procedures with their children. One parent needed booster training for one of the two contexts. Finally, the specific errors that caregivers most likely made were analyzed, and ultimately, informed treatment development. Keywords: PFA, parents, procedural fidelity, synthesized reinforcers




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