When And Where To Measure Target Behaviors?

home, community, day center

Persons who spend the most time with individuals exhibiting target behaviors typically collect the data. This usually includes caregivers, nurses, aides, or family members. Behavior analysts will collect data and measure behaviors during weekly sessions.

It is important to record the target behavior immediately after it occurs. Most behavior analysts will develop recording systems that do not disrupt normal routines, because we know that caregivers are busy throughout the day. Recording may simply involve circling a “Yes” or “No” if the target behavior occurred within the last 30 min. Or, caregivers may ask to tally the frequency of the target behavior throughout the day. Recording and measurement systems will be individualized to each patient’s needs and availability of the caregiver.

Behavior analysts only ask caregivers to record target behaviors during the time at which the behavior is most likely to occur. For example, if aggression mainly occurs at night, behavior analysts will ask caregivers to record that target behavior only during evening and night time routines (e.g., dinner, grooming, going to bed). If crying mainly occurs during community outings, the behavior analyst will ask caregivers to record crying then.