The Effects of Functional Communication Training on the Appropriate Behavior of a Student with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders


Kristine Jolivette
Georgia State University

Janine P. Stichter
University of Missouri - Columbia

David E. Houchins
Christina Kennedy
Georgia State University



Functional analysis is used to generate and test hypotheses, specific to an individual’s appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, by directly manipulating antecedent and consequent events within natural or analog environments. In the case that a function(s) was not determined or the behavior has multiple motivations during the functional analysis, interventions that can address multiple functions may be implemented. One intervention which is flexible to address multiple functions maintaining target behaviors is functional communication training (FCT). The purpose of this study was to assess whether FCT, when implemented to address the traditional functional communicative responses of attention, escape, and tangible, would affect the appropriate behavior of a student with emotional and behavioral disorders during regularly scheduled independent academic activities. During assessment, the functional analysis results suggested that attention was the primary functional variable; however, both tangible and escape functional variables also were effecting the target behavior. The results of the FCT intervention suggest that FCT positively affected his appropriate behavior and influenced the rate of unprompted appropriate communications.

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