Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Mark W. Steege PhD

Second Advisor

Rachel Brown PhD

Third Advisor

Frank W. Ellis PhD


Functional behavioral assessment, emotional and behavioral disorders, functional communication training, noncontingent reinforcement, PsyD


The benefits of extending the traditional functional behavioral assessment (FBA) process to include brief experimental comparisons between potential interventions were explored. After FBA interview and functional analysis (FA) data converged to suggest that the problem behaviors displayed by 2 youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) were maintained by escape from task demands, the youth participated in brief intervention analyses to evaluate the relative effectiveness of functional communication training (FCT) and noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) interventions with varied choice dimensions. Results of the brief intervention analyses, which were highly idiosyncratic, were used to guide the selection of a treatment for implementation in the final phase of the study. One participant received an opportunity to select among the most effective variations of the FCT and NCR interventions, whereas an intervention employing differential positive reinforcement for task completion was implemented with the other participant. Implications for the assessment and treatment of youth with EBD were considered.