Behavioral Case Study

CDEC 1319 case study – page 3

Department of Education

Child Development Program

3214 Austin Street, Houston, TX 77004

713-718-6303 phone 713-718-6235 fax

CDEC 1319 Child Guidance Behavioral Case Study

Required Assignment – This assignment (child guidance case study) is required for completion of this course. If this assignment is not completed with 70% of possible points, you will not receive a passing grade in this class.

You will observe and write about the behavior of one child. 3 – 8 years old. You will observe this child on three different days. This assignment must be typed.

The case study assignment for this class is meant to help the student practice accurately observing children’s behavior, stating the goal for behavior changes and planning an implementation procedure to change the behavior. The case study must be written and presented to college standards for neatness, grammar and writing. The title page should include the student’s name, course number and instructor’s name. The case study development must follow the following outline:

The first half of the case study will include:

1. Introduction of the Child

Mention the child’s name (may be fictitious name). Give a short physical description of the child. Include the child’s age in this section. Give a short “history” of the child, including family make-up, family environments or other factual information you consider important about the child. Do not give any opinions or suppositions in your paragraph.

2. State the Behavior

Give a short description of the problem behavior. For example: The child regularly hits (bites, wastes materials, takes toys, wets his pants, etc.) It should be factual; do not give any opinions or suppositions. One or two sentences is enough.

3. Observe the Behavior

Before you attempt to deal with the problem behavior gather as much factual information about the behavior as possible. Answer these questions in bullet format.

  • When does the inappropriate behavior occur most often?
  • What happens to the child just before the inappropriate behavior occurs?
  • With whom does the inappropriate behavior occur?
  • What does the child do when she/he act inappropriately?
  • What happened after the child acts inappropriately?

4. Explore the Consequences

What can happen if a problem behavior is not altered? Use your knowledge, from reading the textbook, to write two or three sentences.

5. Consider the Alternatives

Could outside influences be fueling this behavior? Problem behavior does not always stem from the child. Look at the environment, the other children and the adults in the child’s life. What else could be a factor in the observed behavior? Write a paragraph about these influences.

6. State the Goal

The goal for the child whose behavior you want to change is stated in this section. For some children, it would be helpful to eliminate the behavior, for some to lower the frequency, or to change the expectations of the child, caregiver or parent. Your goal should be written in objective format such as: Donny will eliminate his nail biting within thirty days.

The second half of the case study will present a step by step method for changing the specific behavior.

7. Definition

Give a concise definition of the behavior to be changed. Find the definition in your textbook or in a dictionary.

8. Baseline

Take a baseline of the frequency of behavior with which to compare later changes. Do this over at least a three-day period. These will be hand-written anecdotal observation notes. If you are submitting these three anecdotal observations as separate documents, then write, “See attachments.” In this section of your study.

9. Program

Design a program for changing the behavior. It could be several consecutive steps or simultaneous procedures. For example, you might ignore the behavior, offer a reward for opposite behavior, institute a brief “time out”, or encourage the child to help in determining the consequences. Put this in a numbered step-by-step format.

10. Maintenance

Once a goal is reached, it is important to maintain it. Give at least two suggestions to help keep the

appropriate behavior and avoid a setback. Put this in bullets (sentence format) or a paragraph.

11. Graph Behavior

Keep a graph of the daily behavior. Often the behavior is heightened at first and then diminishes. You may use a bar graph, or a line graph. This can be hand-drawn. There should be three entries on your graph to coincide with the baseline data that you collected.

Revision – 10/2021

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