May Institute Clinicians Co-author Study on Functional Analysis and Treating Aggressive Behavior


“Brief (Test-Control) Functional Analysis and Treatment Evaluation of Aggressive Behavior Evoked by Divided Attention,” an article co-authored by May Institute clinicians James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D, Senior Vice President of Applied Research, Clinical Training, and Peer Review, and Gary M. Pace, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Senior Vice President of Neurorehabilitation Services, was recently published in Behavioral Interventions in the Wiley Online Library.

The article was also co-authored by Craig Strohmeier of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Md.

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Authors’ Abstract
“We measured the effects of divided attention on the aggressive behavior of a 20-year-old man within a test- control functional analysis (FA; Iwata, B. A., Duncan, B. A., Zarcone, J. R., Lerman, D. C., & Shore, B. A. (1994). A sequential, test-control methodology for conducting functional analyses of self-injurious behavior. Behavior Modification, 18, 289–306). The FA confirmed that divided attention was associated with high-frequency aggression and aggression-contingent attention from a familiar and preferred staff person. A subsequent treatment evaluation confirmed that aggression decreased when the man was able to request attention from the staff person under the divided attention condition. We discuss the clinical utility of a divided attention and test-control methodology when conducting a FA of serious problem behavior within applied settings Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.”