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Frequently Asked Questions about the FBA Profiler
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What is the FBA Profiler?
The FBA Profiler is a very broad-spectrum behavior rating scale intended to help identify areas of significant behavioral difficulty as well as underlying emotional motivations for behavior and potential mental health concerns. By design it is one of the most comprehensive behavior and mental health rating scales available.
How does the FBA Profiler compare to other instruments such as the BASC-II, Conners', or Achenbach CBCL?
The 'target behavior' section of the FBA Profiler provides a norm-referenced rating of behavior similar to that obtained by other behavior rating scales. A recent validation study found that internalized and externalized behavior ratings from the FBA Profiler correlate very highly with those of both the BASC-II and Achenbach CBCL (with typical correlations of appropriately .90). While other instruments also provide limited screening of certain mental health conditions, the FBA Profiler provides a much more extensive screening across 9 mental health categories, based directly on current DSM criteria. Unlike other behavior ratings scales, the FBA Profiler also evaluates patterns of responses indicative of certain underlying emotional motivations (or functions) for behavior. This can be especially helpful in developing an objective functional behavioral assessment based upon input from several different observers.
What's the difference between the online FBA Profiler and the Professional FBA Profiler?
The online FBA Profiler allows parents, teachers, or individuals to quickly and easily screen for potential emotional/behavioral concerns and obtain direction for intervention at no cost. The Professional FBA Profiler software allows educational and/or mental health professionals a means of directly comparing data from multiple observers across various settings. The computer-generated report provides both a graphic display of all rating data and extensive written interpretation which includes suggested functional interventions.
Who should complete the FBA Profiler?
The FBA Profiler can be completed by any parental figure or school staff who has had ongoing opportunity to observe the student's behavior. Students/individuals can also rate themselves assuming they have the maturity, mental capacity, and willingness to do so honestly and objectively.
What does it mean when the FBA Profiler doesn't identify any significant target behaviors but does identify some relatively significant functions of behavior?
The 'function of behavior' category of the FBA Profiler provides a criterion-referenced rating of relative personality 'tendencies' or motivations. Such motivations don't always result in significant behavioral difficulty, especially if there may already be appropriate support or intervention available to the student.
What is the difference between 'internalized' and 'externalized' behaviors?
Internalized behaviors tend to be passive responses to stress or discomfort often characterized by withdrawal or avoidance. Externalized behaviors represent more active or 'acting out' behavioral responses.
I see that the 'target behaviors' are norm-referenced but the 'functions of behavior' and 'mental health screening' sections are criterion-referenced. Why is this and what does it mean?
Norm-referenced scores compare an individual's rating with that of the 'norm group' (in this case, other individuals of the same age and gender). It is very important for target (or problem) behaviors to be norm-referenced in order to determine if observed behaviors are significantly discrepant from the norm group.
Ratings within the function of behavior category are based upon an empirically derived criterion and represent relative motivational preferences. Given the nature of functional motivations it would not be practical or meaningful to apply a norm reference.
Ratings within the mental health screening area are also criterion-referenced because they are directly related to criteria derived from the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). As such, the mental health screening provided by the FBA Profiler very accurately predicts diagnostic opinions which might be obtained through formal mental health evaluation.
What does it mean when target behavior scores are either 'at risk' or 'clinically significant'?
For target behaviors, the further above average (i.e. when the behavior is observed more often than normal) a score falls, the more significant the behavioral concern. Scores between 1 and 2 standard deviations above the mean are considered 'at risk' (occurring among less than 16% of the general population) with scores 2 or more standard deviations above the mean considered 'clinically significant' (occurring among less than 2% of the general population).
What does the validity scale on the target behavior chart measure?
The validity scale was an added feature for version 2.9 of the FBA Profiler. It identifies inconsistent, excessively negative or excessively positive patterns of response (which are the terms that will be displayed on the chart).
What does it mean when function of behavior scores are either 'at risk' or 'clinically significant'?
The function of behavior category utilizes an empirically based criterion related to patterns of responses which have been found to correlate with various functional behavioral motivations. Ratings of 'at risk' or 'clinically significant' simply refer to relative preferences demonstrated across functions.
What does it mean when mental health screening scores are either 'at risk' or 'clinically significant'?
Within the mental health screening area, ratings found to fall at the 'clinically significant' level are those for which a particular rater has endorsed a sufficient number of items from that particular category of DSM criteria to meet eligibility for such a diagnosis. At risk ratings suggest that the number of endorsed symptoms fell just short of DSM criteria.
I am occasionally getting at risk or clinically significant scores in the areas of thought disorder and/or autism spectrum disorder when I'm certain those diagnoses don't apply. Why is this and how should those scores be interpreted?
The areas of thought disorder and ASD are particularly vulnerable to false-positive identification due to the nature of those particular criteria. When uncertain about the likely validity of at risk or clinically significant ratings in those categories you may wish to simply note the possibility of false-positive identification. For situations in which you are quite certain that it is a false-positive rating, you may simply eliminate the particular area entirely from charts and reports by utilizing the 'Suppress ASD' or 'Suppress Thought Disorder' checkboxes on the 'Report Options' screen of the software.
When I entered the teacher ratings I included each teacher's name but the charts and report simply show 'teacher 1', 'teacher 2', etc. How can I include their actual names in the report?
On the teacher entry screen, right next to the field into which you entered the teacher's name is a checkbox which must be checked in order for the teacher's name to be displayed on the charts and within the report.
I have entered several parent and teacher ratings which causes the charts and report to be a bit cluttered and confusing. Is there a way to simplify the interpretation?
Near the top of the 'Report Options' screen are buttons for excluding/including various ratings or combining/separating teacher and/or parent ratings. If a particular rating is considered invalid and may be causing confusion, that rating can simply be excluded from the results. Combining ratings enables you to view the overall significance of concerns across raters.
I would just like to enter a brief overview of the FBA Profiler report into an assessment summary report. How can I do this?
At the top of the 'Report Options' screen is a button labeled 'Brief Summary' which provides the option you seek.
I have already entered the teacher ratings but now I have a parent rating to enter. Is there a way to enter the new information into the existing record or do I need to start a new record?
From the opening screen of the software, select the student's name and then click the 'Edit this record' button to the right. You can then enter any additional rating data which will be included and compared with the data already entered.
I am installing the latest version of the FBA Profiler professional software, how can I import my old records into the new version?
The new version of the software is always installed separately from the old so that you have access to both old and new records and scoring software. Beginning with version 2.6 of the FBA Pro software, a script is included (under the script menu) which will allow you to import records from pervious versions. For versions earlier than 2.5 this options should be used with great caution as the norms would be different as well certain rating items and scoring options.
My FBA Profiler registration is about to expire, how do I renew?
Simply complete the online order form under the 'Orders' tab at the top of this page. If your school or organization uses purchase orders, simply complete the online non-credit card order form and you will receive an automated email confirmation which should provide you with all of the necessary information. Your new registration code will be sent to you via email. If your software is out of date you should probably download and install the latest version before ordering the new registration (of course you can also request a new installation CD with your order).