Indirect Assessment Tools: Interval Recording
There is a series of procedures that allow collecting data through direct observation. According to specialists, the most commonly used types are frequency, duration, and interval recording. Thus, for instance, if an observer intends to measure aggressiveness, a frequency-related recording might be employed. In this case, it is critical to define particular behavior patterns that need to be registered – verbal aggression towards other children, for example. As long as targeted behavior is identified, it is necessary to count how many times this behavior occurs during the selected period. The behavior frequency will be calculated by dividing the number of occurrences by the length of the chosen interval.
In case a child is frequently anxious, a specialist might employ another method – interval recording. It is critical that this procedure is used for the frequently occurred behavior patterns; otherwise, the results will be not accurate. To measure the intervals of a particular behavior, it is essential to divide the chosen period into equal intervals and check the presence of the targeted behavior in these intervals.
Finally, if a specialist needs to measure hyperactivity, a duration procedure can be employed. In this case, it is necessary to calculate all the time of the behavior occurrence – from its onset to the end. This type of measuring is considered to be more accurate than, for example, interval recording. In all the cases described above, a precise definition of the targeted behavior is critical for obtaining precise data. One of the most efficient indirect assessment methods is a complex assessment of adaptive behavior, academic and social skills. The main benefit of this method resides in the fact that it can address such critical variables as communication, avoidance of academic tasks, social skills deficit, etc. As long as a specialist indicates the core motive of the behavioral problem, it will be easier to eliminate it.