Clinicians regularly use both indirect and direct assessments to identify preferred stimuli to include in control conditions and positive reinforcement test conditions in a functional analysis (FA). However, clinicians often rely on indirect assessment alone (e.g., caregiver report) to identify aversive stimuli to include in negative reinforcement test conditions. In this study, we evaluate a paired-stimulus demand analysis and validate assessment results via FA. Results indicate that, for all 4 participants, the demands selected least often evoked higher rates of destructive behavior than more frequently selected demands. We identified an escape function for all 4 participants in the escape–least selected (LS) condition (true positive finding) and for only 1 participant in the escape–most selected (MS) condition (false negative finding for 3 of 4 participants). These results support the utility of empirically deriving stimuli for inclusion in the negative reinforcement test condition of an FA to decrease the likelihood of false negative findings.
- demand assessment
- escape-maintained problem behavior
- functional analysis
- negative reinforcement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science