Essay Sample on Target Behaviour Identification

Paper Type:  Critical thinking
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  578 Words
Date:  2022-07-11


Identifying and achieving success in changing the target behaviors in teenagers is a way in which parents can help shape their children's behaviors for the best. Some actions by children can affect their social life, especially the way they relate to their family members. Since the case studies in this paper deal with the behaviors of Julia, which include being intolerant with her younger brother and disrespectful to her parents, a more specific target behavior needs to be identified. After the identification of the specific target behavior, it is important that a treatment goal is applied to help change the target behavior.

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Target behavior is any chosen behavior for change, the method used to identify it must be appropriate. The use of a checklist is an appropriate way of identifying a target behavior for Julia. The checklist would be most appropriate as it presents various defined target behaviors from which one can easily identify what befits the characters and actions of Julia (Cooper, 2018). In Julia's case, checklist and rating scales should be used together with interviews to help narrow down from a broad definition of her behavior to the specific target behavior. The reason for using checklist together with an interview in the identification of Julia's target behavior for change is because significant other is important in understanding the behavioral characters manifested by Julia at home. Besides, the characters manifested by Julia can be defined from a broad category before narrowing down to the target behavior.

In the past six months, Julia has increasingly manifested aggressive behaviors including yelling at her parents when asked to do house chores, hits her younger when they engage in a fight, throw things at her family members and break objects at home. Based on this behavior description, it seems the aggressive behaviors by Julia only manifest at home and when she is either talked to or confronted by a family member or family members. The definition may suggest that Julia has a problem associating with her family members but does everything as required in school.

The treatment goal is to reduce the possibilities of beating her younger brother, yelling at her parents, failing to do house chores when instructed, throwing things at her family members and breaking objects within the home. In seeking to change Julia's behavior, three steps need to be observed; identification of the target behavior, prioritization of the target behavior, then the definition of the target behavior. Prioritization is important to help understand the need to handle some behaviors that influence others fast. That way, correcting one behavior characteristics in the individual automatically leads to the correction of other undesirable behavior characteristics (Cooper, 2018).


Monitoring progress is a way in which one can observe if the chosen criteria are leading to the desired outcome. A desirable outcome can be established if the use of the child behavior checklist helps in identifying the target behavior based on the descriptions by the interviewed individuals (Cooper, 2018). Since the behaviors manifested by Julia has social ramifications, such as affecting the way she relates with people at home, it is important to address it by considering the opinions of other such as the significant others. Some of the important ethical considerations to be used in this process include avoiding the use of questions that would direct the interviewees on the answers to give and discussing the answers given by one interviewee with other interviewees.


Cooper, J. (2018). Applied Behavior Analysis. [S.L.]: Pearson.

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