Description of Participant
The participant in this Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is “Patty,” a twenty-one year old student at a university in central Pennsylvania. The participant is one of the observer’s roommates. Patty has a rigorous schedule, juggling a complicated home-life, a part-time retail job and a full course load of classes. She is complimented for her hard work and integrity at work and receives above average grades in her college classes. Patty has also been dealing with her anxiety disorder on top of all of her daily duties.
The observer asked Patty if she would like to be in a study in which a chosen behavior would be monitored in both a baseline phase and an ...view middle of the document...
Any free time consists of relaxing with a snack on the couch and watching television. This use of free time has been a factor leading to Patty gaining an unhealthy fifteen pounds.
Anxiety has prevented Patty from feeling comfortable enough to add healthy lifestyle choices to her agenda. She fears adding another requirement to her already booked schedule could possibly be too much to handle. She occasionally has panic attacks and worries that adding more requirements for herself to fulfill will only make the attacks more frequent.
Description of Replacement Behavior
The examiner suggested a “healthy lifestyle plan” to Patty, in which she would have four individual target behaviors and more of a chance for success. Patty liked the idea and decided on four individual healthy lifestyle changes she could put into place. Each of the four behaviors counts as 25% of a total 100%. The behaviors are as follows; one hour of zumba, stretch for ten minutes, drink four bottles of water and do four sets of twenty-five crunches every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week. The replacement behavior will fill the small void of Patty’s free time with constructive behaviors instead of the present destructive ones. The replacement behavior is an improvement over the target behavior because it is beneficial to the participant’s health.
The replacement behavior goal is possible to attain because zumba is held in the university’s gym, which is only a five-minute walk from the subject’s apartment. Doing ten minutes of stretching and completing four sets of twenty-five crunches are both activities that can be accomplished within the subjects home. Thus, Patty can perform the healthy behaviors at a time that is good for her during the day. By replacing what Patty usually drinks with water she can also manageably reach the target behavior of drinking four water bottles per day.
Description of Positive Reinforcer
Patty first decided that her reinforcer would be to buy herself something little, like a shirt or a pair of earrings, for every week in which she earned 100% for every targeted day. She believed that she would feel motivated to earn 100% for each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday if she were to promise herself a gift. As the weeks went on in the baseline phase, Patty was using her hard earned money for groceries, rent, appliances and gas. She realized that buying herself an incentive for each successful week when she arrived at the intervention phase was not in her budget. The examiner again discussed possible reinforcers with Patty and she decided that if she completed 100% of her goals for each Monday Wednesday and Thursday for every week of the intervention plan she would get her belly button pierced when the study was over.
Patty figured that if she did all of the requirements she was bound to loose some weight and therefore feel comfortable having her naval pierced. It would also serve as a good maintenance device because...