ABA designs, also known as reversal designs, are among a family of single-case experimental designs most often used by behavioral scientists and educators to evaluate the effectiveness of clinical or educational interventions. This entry first describes ABA designs and provides an example, then discusses phase changes in ABA designs, how ABA designs are used to identify treatment effects, and the limitations of ABA designs.
In a typical ABA design, a relevant dependent variable, such as frequency of tantrums, self-injurious behaviors, or correct academic responses, is measured continuously over some period of time for a single participant. Observation and measurement of this behavior initially occurs under a baseline condition (A in the ABA sequence), in which no independent variable, or treatment, is presented. During this baseline condition, ...
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