Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Stratton-Gadke, Kasee K.

Committee Member

Ripple, Hailey E.

Committee Member

Smith, Hallie M.

Committee Member

Bates-Brantley, Kayla

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Educational Psychology (School Psychology Concentration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


A critical first step in addressing problem behavior is to identify the function of the problem, or reason for engaging in the problem behavior, using systematic assessment procedures known as a functional analysis (FA). The literature consistently demonstrates the effectiveness of FAs, and variations of FAs (e.g., trial-based functional analysis [TBFA]) for assessing a variety of topographies of problem behaviors across populations, age groups, and settings; however, the use of TBFAs for assessing the function of inappropriate mealtime behavior (IMB) has been documented in the literature only once. The purpose of the current study was to contribute to the research examining the efficacy of using TBFAs to identify functions of IMB. Results from the current study are mixed. TBFAs lead to the identification of functions of IMB for 1 out of 3 participants. When comparing TBFA results to traditional FA results, partial correspondence was observed for one participant, and no correspondence was observed for the other two participants. Future research should continue to evaluate the efficacy of TBFAs for IMB as well as evaluate the validity of TBFAs for IMB when results yield evidence of functional relationships.