Trends and practices in functional behavior assessments completed by school psychologists


Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) utilize direct and indirect methods to collect data on student behavior to generate a functional hypothesis and drive intervention development. School psychologists are trained to conduct FBAs and use them regularly in schools. However, no evidence exists describing the specific practices used by school psychologists when they conduct FBAs. In this study, 199 respondents completed a web‐based survey developed using expert review and cognitive pretesting. Most respondents reported their gender as female (87%), were between 30 and 39 years old (50%), and practiced at the Specialist level (57%). Respondents reported receiving training in FBA across multiple sources and utilizing multi‐method data collection methods when conducting FBAs. A large amount of variability was observed in the specific instruments used by school psychologists, with a substantial proportion using forms that were not standardized or pre‐constructed. Implications for current practitioners, trainers, and researchers are described.

Psychology in the Schools