Antecedent or antecedents in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis is defined as anything that happens right before the behavior occurs. Often recognizing the antecedent is very hard. Examples of antecedents can be as simple as being told no to a favorite activity or item. Other times it may be a certain person enters the room. Other times it may not be as obvious at all. It could be as small as there is cheese on the spaghetti and they did not want cheese on the spaghetti.
Determining the antecedent is important to determine the function that the behavior servers and it also helps lead behavior analysts to the treatment that may be used.
The antecedent is often determined by interviewing the parent or caregiver and through direct observation. Often there is more than one antecedent that leads to the particular target behavior. Work with your behavior analyst and provide as much information as possible to determine the antecedent.
Knowing the antecedent can help lead to treatments and manipulations to prevent future behaviors from occurring.