Positive Behavior Interventions
Volume 7, Number 4, Fall 2005
TABLE OF CONTENTS AND ABSTRACTS
Robert L. Koegel and Robert H. Horner
Schoolwide screening and positive behavior supports: identifying and supporting students at risk for school failure.
Bridget Walker, Douglas Cheney, Scott Stage and Craig Blum.
Abstract: As schoolwide positive behavior supports (PBS) become more commonplace in public schools, efficiently and effectively identifying and supporting students who are at risk for school failure has become increasingly important. This descriptive study examines the functioning of 72 students identified as at risk in 3 elementary schools with established PBS systems, using schoolwide screening, rating scale instruments, and office discipline referrals. The students were identified through the use of the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (Walker & Severson, 1992) administered in the fall. School teams matched the identified students to existing supports and tracked their functioning twice monthly. Teachers completed the Social Skills Rating System (Gresham & Elliot, 1990) on each of the students in the following spring. The number of office discipline referrals for each student was monitored, as was the number of students referred to school-based support teams--such as a Student Study Team, a Functional Behavior Assessment Team--and the number of students who qualified for special education that year. Results suggest that students at risk for school failure are best identified by monitoring office discipline referrals and the use of a systematic schoolwide screening process.
An examination of the relation between functional behavior assessment and selected intervention strategies with school-based teams.
Terrance M. Scott, Julianna McIntyre, Carl Liaupsin, C. Michael Nelson, Maureen Conroy and Linda Donica Payne.
Abstract: Although functional behavior assessment (FBA) is widely advocated as best practice in developing effective behavior intervention plans for students with challenging behaviors, there is no compelling evidence supporting the ability of school-based personnel to use the outcomes of FBA to develop effective interventions. In this study, selected staff members from four elementary schools were trained in how to use the outcomes of an FBA to develop function-based intervention plans. They then formed school-based intervention teams and served as facilitators for a total of 31 cases. The same cases also were distributed to three national FBA experts who selected interventions based on the identified function for each case. The number and type of selected intervention strategies were recorded and analyzed across cases. Comparisons between team and expert intervention strategy selection revealed that school-based personnel in this study were more likely to select punitive and exclusionary strategies, regardless of function. Thus, in real-world school settings, the link between FBA and intervention is far more complex than has been recognized or discussed in the literature. Discussion focuses on possible explanations for the finding that school-based teams tend to gravitate toward more negative and exclusionary strategies, even when mediated by a trained FBA facilitator.
Instructional adaptation in the management of escape-maintained behavior in a classroom.
Dennis W. Moore, Angelika Anderson and Koshila Kumar.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an instructional adaptation (reduction of task duration) on off-task behavior in a general education classroom. The intervention was chosen following a functional behavioral assessment, which suggested that much of the off-task behavior was escape-maintained, and a curriculum-based assessment, which showed an appropriate curriculum/performance match. An alternating-treatments design was used to assess the impact of the intervention. Results revealed that the reduction of task duration was effective in decreasing the level of escape-maintained off-task behavior during independent work in mathematics. Attention-maintained off-task behavior was not affected. Implications of these findings for both assessment and intervention planning are discussed.
Function-based intervention planning: comparing the effectiveness of FBA function-based and non-function-based intervention plans.
Kimberly Ingram, Teri Lewis-Palmer and George Sugai.
Abstract: Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) has been suggested for facilitating the development and effectiveness of behavior intervention plans. In this study, the researchers examined whether behavior intervention plans based on FBA information (function-based) were more effective than behavior intervention plans not based on FBA information (non-function-based) in affecting rates of problem behaviors displayed by two middle school students. Single-subject ABCBC designs were used to demonstrate a functional relationship between student responding and function-based and non-function-based behavior intervention plans. Results indicated that the use of FBA-based intervention plans was associated with greater improvements in lowering the number of problem behaviors. Implications and limitations for practitioners and researchers are discussed.
The functional effect of teacher positive and neutral affect on task performance of students with significant disabilities.
Sungho Park, George H.S. Singer and Mary Gibson.
Abstract: The study uses an alternating treatment design to evaluate the functional effect of teacher's affect on students' task performance. Tradition in special education holds that teachers should engage students using positive and enthusiastic affect for task presentations and praise. To test this assumption, we compared two affective conditions. Three teachers working with a total of 4 elementary-age students with severe disabilities presented discrete trial tasks in neighborhood public school settings. The teachers alternated their affect between a positive affective condition characterized by smiling, enthusiasm, and rising and falling voice inflection and a neutral affect condition characterized by a flat voice tone and inexpressive facial features. Three of the four students responded more accurately to instructional tasks when teachers presented task demands and praise using positive affect. A fourth student, however, performed worse under the positive affect condition. This student had a long history of problem behavior in instructional settings. Implications for assessment practices are discussed.
First S.T.E.P.: a model for the early identification of children with autism spectrum disorders.(First Screening, Training, Education, Project).
Lynn Kern Koegel, Robert L. Koegel, Nicolette Nefdt, Rosy Fredeen, Eileen F. Klein and Yvonne E.M. Bruinsma. (Forum Article)