Journal of Behavioral Education

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 19–34 | Cite as

Using Structural Analysis in Natural Settings: A Responsive Functional Assessment Strategy



Since the reauthorization of IDEA (1997), the use of functional assessments to examine factors that are related to students’ challenging behaviors has gained increasing attention in the literature. Over the past five years, several groups of investigators have conducted systematic analyses of the current status of the use of functional assessment in relation to students with or at risk for emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD). Their findings outline a number of critical, applied research issues for the field to consider. The purpose of this paper is to respond to a number of these issues by highlighting the relevance of structural analysis in addition to and in some cases in lieu of more traditional functional assessments. A brief review of current trends in the functional assessment research is presented as well as a rational for the use of structural analysis to examine the occurrence of appropriate behavior for students with EBD. Finally, illustrations of studies conducting structural analyses in classrooms settings are provided.

Key Words

structural analysis functional assessment emotional behavioral disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Missouri-ColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.University of FloridaUSA
  3. 3.303 Townsend, Department of Special EducationUniversity of MissouriColumbia

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