Idiosyncratic variables affecting functional analysis outcomes: A review (2001-2010)

UMMS Affiliation

Shriver Center; Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center; Shriver Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Applied Behavior Analysis | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Psychiatry and Psychology


Although typical functional analyses often produce clear outcomes, some studies have reported ambiguous results that cannot be interpreted. Such undifferentiated outcomes may occur if test conditions do not include relevant antecedent or consequent events. Clinicians then may try to modify the functional analysis conditions to include those events. Hanley, Iwata, and McCord (2003) reviewed the functional analysis literature through the year 2000 and described idiosyncratic variables included in modified functional analyses. The objective of the present review was to present a quantitative analysis of idiosyncratic antecedents and consequences in modified functional analyses during the past decade (2001 to 2010). We discuss the range of stimulus parameters tested and the assessment strategies used for informing the modified analysis conditions.


functional analysis, problem behavior, idiosyncratic variables, undifferentiated outcomes

DOI of Published Version



Schlichenmeyer, K., Roscoe, E., Rooker, G. W., Wheeler, E. E., & Dube, W. V. (2013). Idiosyncratic variables affecting functional analysis outcomes: A review (2001-2010). Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 46(1), 339-348. PMCID: PMC3801429. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis