Maryland Positive Behavior Support Training

Gathering Information From the FBA

Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence (ABC) Observation Chart

What happens before a behavior

What the person says or does

What happens right after a behavior

Roommate was talking to a friend at the kitchen table

Andy began making loud noises

Roommate stopped talking to friend and told Andy to stop

Andy was alone in the living room while staff and others are talking

Andy threw a can of soup across the kitchen

Everyone immediately tells Andy that throwing cans can hurt people

Andy's roommate and friend are playing video game together

Andy stands in front of the monitor in the living room blocking view

Andy's roommate tries to push Andy out of the way

Adapted From: Freeman, R.,  Matthews, K., Griggs, P. & Quick, S. (2013). Functional behavioral assessment [Online]. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas.

    Andy was interviewed by one of his favorite staff to help complete the FBA. Andy said he didn’t always know what to do when he wanted to reach out to other people. During an initial interview Andy’s roommate shared that Andy is often “disruptive” mostly in the afternoon after work. To learn more about the challenges occurring, the staff started using an ABC chart to record observations.

    The ABC chart is used in FBA to learn more about the consequences that are maintaining a behavior. Observing the consequences that follow a challenging behavior helps the team understand the function that is maintaining it.

    You can see an example from ABC data in the visual on this page.

    • A = Antecedent - What happens right before an event
    • B= Behavior - The challenging behavior that has been defined
    • C= Consequences - Events or responses that immediately follow a challenging behavior


    Try writing an operational definition of Andy's behavior:

    • Write an operational definition of Andy’s behavior now that you have some brief examples
    • List the times where challenging behaviors are more likely and less likely from both the scatter plot and the ABC chart.