Social Interaction Setting Events: Experimental Analysis of Contextual Variables


Severe behavioral problems and social interaction deficits are the two areas of functioning most responsible for the failure of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) to adjust adequately and achieve success in inclusive settings. Over the past 10 years, the development and refinement of a technology of functional analysis has allowed educators and researchers to address problem behavior more effectively by matching the function of the response to an intervention. Recently investigators have begun to turn their attention to the assessment and manipulation of setting events that can elicit appropriate responses. This article describes an experimental hypothesis-testing model of structural analysis designed to identify critical contextual variables associated with successful social interaction. Suggestions for use in general education settings are provided, with an emphasis on matching inclusive social environments to individual student antecedent variables. Strengths and weaknesses of various forms of functional analysis are discussed in conjunction with the need to develop reliable, valid, and acceptable assessments that can be used in natural environments.


Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education

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Behavioral Disorders