Effectiveness and Social Validity of FBAs for Youth At-Risk or With High Incidence Disabilities: A Meta-Analysis

  •  John W. Maag    


This meta-analysis examined the effectiveness and social validity of 44 functional behavioral assessment (FBA) studies using single case research designs (SCRDs) conducted with youth displaying challenging behaviors or had high incidence disabilities. Three effect sizes were calculated: standard mean difference (SMD), Tau-U, and improvement rate difference (IRD). Fisher’s conservative dual criterion (CDC), which is a statistical aid to visual analysis, was also applied. Social validity was assessed by using indicators described by Kazdin (2010). Effect sizes were in ranges indicating moderate to large effects. Approximately 71% of AB contrasts reflected CDC systematic change. However, only 44% of studies assessed social validity. There were no significant differences in effectiveness of interventions whether or not a functional analysis was conducted nor whether the controlling function was escape or attention. Results are discussed in terms of FBA implementation issues related to social validity and the necessity for conducting a functional analysis for these youth.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0526
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0534
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

Journal Metrics

(The data was calculated based on Google Scholar Citations)

1. Google-based Impact Factor (2021): 1.11
2. h-index (December 2021): 29
3. i10-index (December 2021): 87
4. h5-index (December 2021): N/A
5. h5-median (December 2021): N/A