Structural analysis is a process of organizing and manipulating antecedent conditions as well as documenting the occurrence of interfering behaviors within a specified context. A structural analysis aims at examining hypotheses regarding variables that instigate interfering behaviors. Therefore, identifiable outcomes are not produced conditionally. On the other hand, a consequence analysis entails organizing scenarios and outlining the precise consequences that ensue from specified behavior. The aim of such an analysis is to test a hypothesis regarding variables that uphold an interfering behavior. One of the similarities between the two processes is that both are arranged procedures. Additionally, both methods include empirical and systematic processes. The implementation of both processes requires the recording of data in controlled surroundings. These processes involve personnel who are responsible for managing the experiments and documenting behaviors.
When conducting a functional analysis, some of the steps taken include the detection and depiction of interfering behaviors, determination of data filming methods, methodical handling of precursors and consequences, the direct logging of the interfering conduct, and ultimately the graphing and evaluation to establish functional associations. Such assessments are completed under two main conditions. The first stipulation is that the process must be done under regulated conditions that have minimal chances of bringing out the interfering behavior. The second stipulation is that the test condition should encompass a motivating operation and a bolstering after-effect. The evaluation conditions are coordinated role-play setups that allow for the distinct evaluation of functional analysis. The test conditions are then organized alternately and reiterated to identify the conditions that promote frequent interfering behaviors.
The main strength of conducting a functional analysis is that it enables the confirmation of a supposition about the function of behavior. The second advantage is that it enables a therapist to ascertain hypotheses regarding functional associations between interfering behavior and environmental proceedings. Therefore, it is regarded as the gold standard for the accuracy of postulated operative relationships. Thirdly, the observation of behavior is more dependable than conventional self-report techniques because keeping an eye on the subject objectively (in their usual surroundings) enables the observation of the precursor and the outcome of the interfering behavior. The fourth benefit is that the technique is suitable when developing interventions for young children as well as those with delayed development. Such children cannot respond to self-report inquiries regarding the reasons for their interfering behaviors. The main limitation of functional analysis is that it is a time-consuming process that may be unnecessary in certain scenarios, which leads to the use of a brief functional analysis of behavior. Additionally, no harmonized techniques are used to determine functions.