Functional Behavior Assessment for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

University of Southern Maine


Project Title: Functional Behavior Assessment for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Principal Investigator:  
Jamie L. Pratt Psy.D., BCBA-D
Assistant Professor of Educational and School Psychology
University of Southern Maine
Phone: 207-228-8324

Introduction: This survey research study is being conducted to gather information about school-based functional behavior assessment (FBA) practices used for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Please read this form. Your participation is voluntary.
Why is this study being done?
This study seeks to answer the following questions:
How common are school-based FBA referrals for students with EBD?
·What procedures are typically used when conducting school-based FBAs for students with EBD?
·Do school-based evaluators use different FBA procedures for students with EBD than for students with          developmental disabilities (DD)?
·What are school-based evaluators’ perceptions about the usefulness of and barriers to conducting FBAs for students with EBD?

Who will be in this study?
Behavior analysts, school psychologists, and special education teachers who have conducted at least one school-based FBA in the past year will be invited to participate. We anticipate that at least 150 professionals in each field will participate. You have been invited as a participant because you are a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, a member of a state association for school psychologists, and/or a member of the Council for Exceptional Children.
What will I be asked to do?
If you volunteer to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete an online survey. The survey includes rating scale items to gather information about the types of school-based FBA referrals you receive, the FBA procedures you use for students with EBD and DD, and your perceptions about the validity and usefulness of FBA for students with EBD. You also will have the option to respond to an open-ended question about the challenges you experience conducting FBAs for students with EBD. It is estimated that the survey will take 15 minutes to complete, but individual completion times may vary. The survey will remain open until May 31, 2019.  

What are the possible risks of taking part in this study?
There are no reasonably foreseeable risks associated with participation in this study.
What are the possible benefits of taking part in this study?
There are no direct benefits to you for participating in this study. The primary benefit of participation is contributing to the field’s understanding of current FBA practices for students with EBD. Results of this study also may inform future research on best practices in FBA for students with EBD.

What will it cost me?
There are no costs for participation in this study.

How will my privacy be protected?
This online survey is designed to be anonymous. Your name, email address, and IP address will not be collected or stored. Please do not include any information in this survey that may individually identify you or anyone else.

SNAP Survey Software will be used to collect, store, and analyze survey data. These data will be stored and secured on a password-protected University-based server. Only the primary investigator and approved members of the research team will have access to the data.
Results of this study may be presented at professional conferences and published in a peer-reviewed journal.

What are my rights as a research participant?    
Your participation is voluntary. If you choose not to participate, it will not affect your current or future relations with the University of Southern Maine.

You may skip or decline to answer any question, for any reason.

You are free to discontinue the survey at any time, for any reason.

If you choose to withdraw or not to participate, there will be no penalty. You will not lose any benefits that you are otherwise entitled to receive.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects at the University of Southern Maine has reviewed the use of human subjects in this research. The IRB is responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of people involved in research.

What other options do I have?  
If you do not want to participate in this study, you may choose not to continue.
Whom may I contact with questions?
The researchers conducting this study are: Jamie L. Pratt Psy.D., BCBA-D, Jacqueline Lyman B.S., and Benjamin Hutchins M.A. For questions or more information concerning this research, you may contact Jamie L. Pratt at or (207) 228-8324.  

If you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a research subject, you may call the USM Research Compliance Administrator at (207) 228-8434 and/or email

Will I receive a copy of this consent form?
You may print/keep a copy of this consent form.

I understand the above description of the research and the risks and benefits associated with my participation as a research subject. I understand that by proceeding with this survey I agree to take part in this research and do so voluntarily.
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