Clinical Applications of Behavioral Assessment

Stephen N. Haynes, Dawn T. Yoshioka, Karen Kloezeman and Iruma Bello

in Oxford Handbook of Personality Assessment

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780195366877
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Clinical Applications of Behavioral Assessment

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This article presents a case study of a family with marital, substance-use, mood, external-stressors, and parent–child difficulties to illustrate the principles and methods of pretreatment behavioral assessment. Several guiding principles are discussed: an emphasis on identifying functional relations relevant to behavior problems and treatment goals, especially those that help us explain behavior problems; a multimodal focus during assessment, attending to overt behavior, thoughts, emotions, and physiology; the importance of the conditional and contextual nature of behavior; an emphasis on temporally contiguous and environmental events, thoughts, and emotions in triggering and maintaining behavior problems; the dynamic nature of behavior problems and causal variables; an emphasis on specificity and precision of measurement; and individual differences in the elements, correlates, and causes of behavior problems. A diverse set of methods is congruent with the principles of behavioral assessment and includes behavioral interviews and questionnaires, observation in natural and analog environments, and self- and instrument-aided monitoring of behavior and events in natural and analog environments.

Keywords: behavioral assessment; functional relations; behavior problems; overt behavior; physiology; emotions; thoughts; family

Article.  14910 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing ; Clinical Psychology

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