Recent Advances in the Functional Assessment and Treatment of Destructive Behavior

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January 18, 2018 | 01:00 PM – 04:00 PM EST


Functional analysis (FA) is an individualized assessment designed to evaluate a person’s destructive behavior in relation to environmental events that may affect the future probability of that behavior.  It is designed to identify (a) the environmental contexts in which destructive behavior is likely and unlikely to occur; (b) the consequences that reinforce destructive behavior; and (c) specific interventions that will effectively reduce destructive behavior.  In this workshop, I will show how FA methods have (a) increased our understanding of how environmental antecedents and consequences affect destructive behavior; (b) facilitated the development of novel and effective treatments, and (c) produced simpler and more efficient interventions.  Next, I will show how descriptive data can be used to develop alternative functional analyses for idiosyncratic functions of destructive behavior displayed by individuals with autism.  Finally, I also will focus on: (a) recent research on establishing-operation manipulations that can be used to prevent extinction bursts when treatment is initiated; (b) stimulus-control procedures that can be used to promote the rapid transfer of treatment effects to novel therapists, contexts, and caregivers; and (c) the use of behavioral momentum theory to prevent resurgence of problem when caregivers do not implement treatment procedures with high procedural integrity.


Participants will demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of functional analysis and treatment of destructive behavior by:

  • Distinguishing between topographical and functional approaches to categorizing aberrant behavior
  • Identifying the strengths and limitations of indirect assessments, and direct assessments, brief functional analyses, synthesized analyses, trial-based functional analyses, and formal functional analyses
  • Listing the primary antecedent and consequent events that often reinforce aberrant behavior
  • Answering questions about how to conduct analogue functional-analysis conditions to test the effects of antecedent and consequent stimuli
  • Developing hypotheses regarding idiosyncratic functions of destructive behavior based on data from descriptive assessments
  • Using probes to refine hypotheses regarding idiosyncratic functions
  • Designing individualized functional analyses to test idiosyncratic functions
  • Identify potentially effective behavioral interventions based on the results of a formal functional analysis
  • Preventing extinction bursts by controlling the establishing operation for problem behavior
  • Using stimulus-control procedures to facilitate treatment transfer
  • Preventing treatment resurgence using behavioral momentum theory
  • Delineated effective methods for controlling the establishing operation for destructive behavior during treatment initiation
  • Describing effective procedures for conducting reinforcer-schedule thinning
  • Developing procedures to transfer the treatment to home and school
  • Delineating effective procedures for preventing treatment relapse in the forms of operant resurgence or operant renewal


I have a scheduling conflict. Can I still sign up? 
Yes! Simply register for the event as usual. Following the event, all registered email addresses will be sent an email with a link to the video recording and CEU quiz. Watch the video recording and take the quiz included in this follow-up email to earn CEUs. The video recording may be re-watched multiple times.

I registered and it's time for the event. Now what?
In the 10-15 minutes before the event, the upper right-hand corner of this page will say "It's Time To Join". Enter your email and the unique meeting password from the workshop receipt email you received when you signed up. The video player will open and begin streaming the event. Use the Live Chat on the right of the player to chat with other participants during the presentation. Use the Ask the Presenter a Question box below the player to submit a question for the presenter to answer. 

What type of continuing education is this?
DataFinch Virtual Academy is an Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Provider per the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®.) This event is classified as Type II continuing education. For more information, please visit

How do I earn my CEUs after the event? 
Immediately upon the conclusion of the event, a yellow "Quiz" button will appear in the upper right-hand corner of your browser, linking to your individual quiz URL. Registrants who did not attend live should access their individualized quiz link in the follow-up email sent after the event. Once the quiz has been completed with a percentage correct of 80% or higher, your CEU certificate will be automatically generated. Download and save a copy of the CEU certificate to your computer, and don't forget to submit the details of your attendance in the BACB Gateway.

Presenter Bio: Wayne Fisher, PhD, BCBA-D

Wayne Fisher is the H.B. Munroe professor of behavioral research in the Munroe-Meyer Institute and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is also the director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, a board certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level (BCBA-D), and a licensed psychologist. He was previously a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and served as executive director of the Neurobehavioral Programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Marcus Behavior Center at the Marcus Institute, where he built clinical-research programs in autism and developmental disabilities with national reputations for excellence. Fisher’s methodologically sophisticated research has focused on several intersecting lines, including preference, choice, and the assessment and treatment of autism and severe behavior disorders, that have been notable for the creative use of concurrent schedules of reinforcement, which have become more commonplace in clinical research primarily as a result of his influence. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed research studies in over 30 different behavioral and/or medical journals, including: the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis; Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities; Psychological Reports; American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; Pediatrics; the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; the Journal of Pediatrics, and The Lancet. Fisher is a past editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, a past president of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, a fellow in the Association for Behavior Analysis, and recipient of the Bush Leadership Award, the APA (Division 25) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Behavioral Research, the UNMC Distinguished Scientist Award, and the University of Nebraska system-wide Award for Outstanding Research and Creativity Activity.

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Location Information

This workshop will be held at the DataFinch Technologies headquarters(located at 53 Perimeter Center E, Suite 350, Atlanta, GA 30346) and streamed live online. Attend the workshop in person or from the comforts of your personal computer. On - site space is limited.

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