Functional behavioral assessment is a process for collecting information and problem-solving that can be used to determine why problem behaviors occur and address problem behavior among children and adolescents. Functional behavioral assessments are used to develop a positive behavioral intervention plan. It relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the function or purpose of behavior and to help adults working with youth tailor interventions to most effectively target the problem behavior.

The functional behavioral assessment process uses different ways to collect data. This will likely include interviews, observations across settings, and a review of records and reports.  The data collected will inform a hypothesis about why problem behaviors occur.