Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Psychology



Committee Chair

Makenzie Bayles


Behavior analysts conduct functional analyses to identify the environmental contingencies maintaining challenging behavior, which allows them to develop a function-based treatment plan. Behavioral staff must be fully trained on functional analysis methodology before conducting the analysis. A common way to train staff to conduct a functional analysis is through behavioral skills training (BST), but BST is time consuming and includes numerous materials. Teach-back, a widely used training method in healthcare settings, requires less time and no materials. Currently, there is little research on the effectiveness of the teach-back method for teaching behavioral techniques, and there is no research on the teach-back method for teaching functional analysis methodology. To address this, we used a multiple baseline design to compare the effects of two training methods (written instructions and teach-back) on the percentage of functional analysis steps completed correctly across three different functional analysis conditions (play, attention, and escape). We included seven participants with a limited background in behavior analysis. One participant accurately conducted all three functional analysis conditions with the use of written instructions alone. One participant conducted the play and attention sessions using written instructions alone, but needed one teach-back session to learn the escape condition. Two participants conducted the play session correctly using only written instructions, while one session of teach-back was needed for these participants to learn the attention and escape conditions. Three participants did not acquire the skills needed to conduct any functional analysis conditions with written instructions but were able to display the skills after one or two sessions of teach-back. These results indicate that individuals with limited behavioral knowledge can be quickly taught functional analysis methodology using written instructions and teach-back.



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