Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessments

Third Edition
A Practitioner's Guide

Mark W. Steege, Jamie L. Pratt, Garry Wickerd, Richard Guare, and T. Steuart Watson
Foreword by Frank M. Gresham

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
A Paperback Original
February 26, 2019
ISBN 9781462538737
Price: $42.00
299 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
January 17, 2019
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $42.00
299 Pages
print + e-book
A Paperback Original + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $84.00 $46.20
299 Pages

Widely recognized as a gold-standard resource, this authoritative book has been revised and expanded with 50% new material. It provides a complete introduction to functional behavioral assessment (FBA), complete with procedures, forms, and tools that have been piloted and refined in both general and special education settings. Numerous vivid examples illustrate how to use the authors' behavior-analytic problem-solving model (BAPS) to synthesize assessment results and guide the design of individually tailored interventions. Practitioners and students enjoy the engaging, conversational tone. In a convenient large-size format, the book includes 17 reproducible checklists and forms. Purchasers get access to a companion Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials.

New to This Edition

This title is part of The Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools Series, edited by Sandra M. Chafouleas.

“A comprehensive handbook for school-based practitioners with updated formatting for thorough function-based evaluations and interventions….It encompasses the classic components of FBA while providing a format for practitioners to incorporate the increasingly significant impact of internalizing emotions, trauma, and skill deficits on behavior. In doing so, it expands upon the traditional components of the FBA and increases its relevance and utility….A user-friendly reference guide that provides the opportunity for practicing school psychologists to brush up on their knowledge of FBA and behavioral theory, increase the specificity and utility of their FBAs, and conduct FBAs that are better suited to the increasingly complex needs of our students.”

NASP Communiqué

“With this third edition, Steege and associates have once again brought the state of the art (really science) of FBA to a wide range of readers, with new tools and great examples. This is a perfect text for psychology courses in applied behavior analysis as well as education courses in positive behavior support.”

—Wayne Sailor, PhD, Department of Special Education and Co-Director, SWIFT (Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation) Education Center, University of Kansas

“The third edition of this well-respected book not only clearly describes the steps and strategies of FBA—a hallmark of previous editions—but also expands the conversation to include nuanced topics rarely covered in other FBA resources. These topics include the influence of students’ thoughts, emotions, medical issues, and executive skills on school behavior. Through the use of real-life examples involving a variety of students and behavioral challenges, Steege and colleagues effectively convey the compassionate, individualized nature of FBA and the practical idea that the approach is only as good as the interventions and outcomes that result from it.”

—John J. Murphy, PhD, Department of Psychology and Counseling, University of Central Arkansas

“The book offers a very good balance of 'how to' and 'why to.' It is strong in evidence-based research support, and conveys complex theory and praxis in a conversational voice. The ready-to-use, downloadable forms offer outstanding value. The updates in the third edition are important, given the ever-changing populations of students that we see in the practice of school psychology. In a field that prioritizes best practices, I appreciate that the book addresses circumstances where behavioral assessment is completed 'as best as possible' given the multitude of factors in play. This is one of those books I encourage my students to have on their shelves for its timeless tips, tools, and information.”

—Kelly Dean Schwartz, PhD, RPsych, School and Applied Child Psychology Program, University of Calgary, Canada

“This book is organized in a very understandable way. The third edition is even more user-friendly than the second edition; I think my students will find the content easier to grasp and apply. The book is not too prescriptive—it makes clear that every child's individual strengths and needs must be considered. It contains wonderful resources, such as downloadable forms and templates, with filled-out examples to ensure understanding. As a school psychologist for 12 years, one of my favorite parts of the book is the authors' anecdotes and personal stories—they are familiar, illuminating, and entertaining. This book is very applicable for those who conduct FBAs in schools or train other professionals. It really works on both levels.”

—Elizabeth Willis, MS, EdS, NCSP, Lecturer, Educational Specialist in School Psychology Program, Eastern Washington University

“The third edition contains much new material, particularly around executive skill delays and the behavior-analytic problem-solving model. This book is particularly useful for graduate students in school psychology and/or applied behavior analysis programs who have future goals of becoming school-based practitioners. The templates and examples of FBAs contained within the text alone are invaluable resources for both graduate students and early-career professionals.”

—Robyn B. Bratica, PhD, Department of School Psychology, William James College

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Functional Behavioral Assessment sample

2. Professional Standards and Ethical Considerations

3. Conceptual Foundations of Functional Behavioral Assessment

4. Behavior Analysis of Medical Conditions, Emotions, and Thoughts

5. Executive Skills

6. Behavior-Analytic Problem-Solving Model

7. Indirect Functional Behavioral Assessment

8. Descriptive Functional Behavioral Assessment

9. Experimental Functional Behavioral Assessment

10. Preference Assessment and Experimental Analysis of Reinforcer Effectiveness

11. Function-Based Interventions

12. Treatment Analysis

13. Functional Behavioral Assessment Report Templates and Examples

14. Applied Learning Experiences

15. It’s the Final Chapter

Appendix. Functional Behavioral Assessment Rating Scale (FuBARS)

About the Authors

Mark W. Steege, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D, is Professor of Educational and School Psychology at the University of Southern Maine. He has written numerous research articles, book chapters, and books on functional behavioral assessment and response to intervention. His primary research interests are the application of applied behavior analysis in the assessment and treatment of interfering behaviors with persons with developmental disabilities. Dr. Steege has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, School Psychology Review, and Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools.

Jamie L. Pratt, PsyD, BCBA-D, is Assistant Professor and Chair of Educational and School Psychology at the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Pratt has coauthored several articles and book chapters on behavioral assessment and intervention, and has provided assessment, intervention, and consultation services for school-age children with developmental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Her primary research interests are in extending behavior analytic assessment and intervention methods to improve outcomes for children.

Garry Wickerd, PhD, NCSP, BCBA, is Assistant Professor of Educational and School Psychology at the University of Southern Maine. He has coauthored several behavioral research publications and serves on the editorial board of School Psychology Forum. Dr. Wickerd's primary research interests are behavioral measurement and assessment validity.

Richard Guare, PhD, is Director of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Dr. Guare's research and publications focus on the understanding and treatment of learning and attention difficulties. He is a neuropsychologist and board-certified behavior analyst who frequently consults to schools and agencies. He is coauthor of bestselling books for general readers, including Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, Smart but Scattered—and Stalled (with a focus on emerging adults), and The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success (with a focus on adults). Dr. Guare is also coauthor of The Work-Smart Academic Planner, Revised Edition, and books for professionals including Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, Third Edition.

T. Steuart Watson, PhD, retired in 2011 from Miami University, where he was Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. He is a recipient of the Lightner Witmer Award from Division 16 (School Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Watson is a former coeditor of the Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools, and he has written numerous articles, books, and book chapters on behavioral interventions, functional assessment, and the application of behavioral principles in school settings. His research has focused on evaluating the effects of external reinforcers on motivation, direct behavioral consultation, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of behavioral interventions, promoting treatment integrity, functional assessment methodologies, and investigating the effects of olfactory stimuli on learning.


School psychologists, behavior analysts, behavioral consultants, and special educators working with 5- to 17-year olds (grades K–12); researchers and graduate students in these areas.

Course Use

May serve as a text in graduate-level courses on behavioral assessment, functional behavioral assessment, and school consultation.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

Second Edition, © 2009
ISBN: 9781606230275

First Edition, © 2003
ISBN: 9781572308541
New to this edition: