Hand with pen over application form
Growth graph with financial chart and graph, success business concept

Functional Behavioral Assessment

This service is primarily for new clients, and the starting point for most of our applied behavior analysis (ABA) programs.  In a functional behavioral assessment (FBA), we determine the function (i.e. the cause) of problem behavior, measure the client’s skill level and develop recommendations for an individualized program.  An FBA is a powerful tool, which ABA practitioners use to design behavior intervention plans for challenging behaviors that are unresponsive to classroom management or other standard interventions. 

If behavior problems are severe, we may perform a functional analysis assessment (FAA).  This is an in-depth type of FBA involving the experimental analysis of behavior.  The use of FAAs for assessment and treatment has been hailed as one of the most significant advancements in behavior analysis in 30 years, and is the modern standard for both clinical research and practice. 

In fact, research suggests that a majority of practitioners believe functional analysis to be “the most informative assessment tool for selecting behavioral treatment.” (Roscoe, et al., 2015.)  And functional assessment is often viewed as an essential precursor to systematic behavioral intervention.  (Dunlap, et al., 2001.)  CBS is one of the few behavior analysis agencies in California offering FAAs.   

Please note that all CBS services are by appointment only.  Feel free to contact us to learn more, or to schedule an assessment!


The FBA includes a series of steps.

  1. Define:  We first define the problem (“target”) behavior.
  2. Assess:  We conduct direct observation, review past data and records (if any); and then collect, compare and analyze information related to the target behavior.
  3. Hypothesize:  The next step is to determine the function of the target behavior, either through direct intervention or experimental analysis.
  4. Plan:  Last, we create a detailed implementation plan to change the target behavior.

Get In Touch With An Expert Today!

Interested in learning more about FBAs?


Roscoe, E., Phillips, K., Kelly, M., Farber, R., & Dube, W. (2015).  A statewide survey assessing practitioners’ use and perceived utility of functional assessment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 48, 830-844. doi/jaba.10.1002.

Dunlap, G. & Kincaid, D. (2001).  The widening world of functional assessment: comments on four manuals and beyond.  Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34, 365-377.  doi:10.1901/jaba.2001.34-365.