On the validity of interpreting functional analyses of inappropriate mealtime behavior using structured criteria

Lisa A. Guerrero, Christopher W. Engler, Bethany A. Hansen, Cathleen C. Piazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Visual inspection is the traditional method behavior analysts use to interpret functional-analysis results. Limitations of visual inspection include lack of standardized rules, subjectivity, and inconsistent interrater reliability (Fisch, 1998). To address these limitations, researchers have developed, evaluated, and refined structured criteria to aid interpretation of functional analyses of destructive behavior (Hagopian et al., 1997; Roane et al., 2013; Saini et al., 2018). The current study applied the structured criteria Saini et al. (2018) described to functional analyses of inappropriate mealtime behavior. We assessed its predictive validity and evaluated its efficiency relative to 3 post hoc visual inspection procedures. Validity metrics were lower than those in Saini et al. however, ongoing visual inspection increased the efficiency of functional analyses by more than 30%. We discuss these findings relative to the procedural differences between functional analyses of destructive behavior and inappropriate mealtime behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1293
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)
  • functional analysis
  • inappropriate mealtime behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy

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