Definition: The setting(s) and their events in which a specific behavior(s) occurs.
Why it matters: Understanding when and where a behavior occurs is important in determining it’s function as well as for improving behavior change programming.
Example of use: Careful observation of antecedent events allow a school psychologist to determine that a student makes funny remarks in Math class in order to escape the class (the teacher quickly sends him out) but in Social Studies class the same behaviors result in attention from the teacher without escape from classwork.
Gresham, F. M., Watson, T. S., & Skinner, C. H. (2001). Functional Behavioral Assessment: Principles, Procedures, and Future Directions. School Psychology Review, 30(2), 156.
Smith, R. G., & Iwata, B. A. (1997). Antecedent influences on behavior disorders. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 30(2), 343-375. doi:10.1901/jaba.1997.30-343