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ABC - Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence



This simple formula helps a professional write a Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) and is usually part of the form your state or district will provide to write your FBA and BIP. The antecedent is an event that occurs immediately prior to the behavior. The behavior needs to be described in a specific operational sense. The consequence is the reinforcing outcome of the event. This is often misunderstood (even by my predecessor at this site) as what you do.

Example 1

  • Antecedent: Johnny is given a vocational bin and asked to assemble the parts.
  • Behavior: Johnny sweeps the bin with all the parts onto the floor.
  • Consequence: Johnny is taken to time out and the classroom aide picks up the pieces. Johnny has avoided the task, so the function of the behavior is avoidance.

Example 2

  • Antecedent: The teacher asks a student to come to the board to move a magnetic marker.
  • Behavior: Angelina bangs her head on the tray of her wheelchair.
  • Consequence: The teacher goes to Angelina and attempts to redirect and soothe her with a preferred item (a Pretty Pony doll.) The function of the behavior is attention since it takes the teacher's attention away from the other child.

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