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Behavioral Assessment with Children


Behavioral assessment, as opposed to traditional assessment, emphasizes the antecedents and consequences of behavior. The primary goal of behavioral assessment is to operationalize behavioral excesses and deficits, such that the situations or events that precipitate the event and the responses to the event are reframed as causes and reinforcers of problem behaviors. The information obtained via behavioral assessment can be used to create interventions that aim to alter those problem behaviors through the use of the environment. Although behavioral assessment was initially concerned with strictly observable behaviors, the domain has expanded to include beliefs, attitudes, and emotional states. Interest in behavioral assessment with children specifically has increased dramatically since Ollendick and Hersen (1984) published the first text devoted to this topic. The use of behavioral assessment with children poses new challenges to clinicians