A comparison of functional behaviour assessment rating scales in a sample of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders
Maire, Lisa K.
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This study sought to compare the results of the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS; Durand & Crimmins, 1988), Questions About Behavior Function Scale (QABF; Matson & Vollmer, 1996) and Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST; Iwata & Deleon, 1996), when completed by parent informants in a sample of children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who display challenging behaviour. Results indicated that there was low agreement between the functional hypotheses derived from each of three measures. In addition, correlations between functionally analogous scales were substantially lower than expected, while correlations between non-analogous subscales were stronger than anticipated. As indicated by this study, clinicians choosing to use FBA questionnaires to assess behavioural function, may not obtain accurate functional hypotheses, potentially resulting in ineffective intervention plans. The current study underscores the caution that must be taken when asking parents to complete these questionnaires to determine the function(s) of challenging behaviour for children/youth with ASD.