Establishing and evaluating the substantive adequacy of positive behavioral support plans

Clayton R. Cook, S. Dean Crews, Diana Browning Wright, G. Roy Mayer, Bruce Gale, Bonnie Kraemer, Frank M. Gresham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) renewed the commitment to provide positive behavioral support (PBS) for students that engage in persistent problem behavior. Behavior intervention plans (also known as PBS plans) serve as legal documents that help guide the implementation of intervention strategies to encourage more positive forms of behavior. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the substantive adequacy of PBS plans developed for special education students. This was accomplished by documenting the content of plans developed by two different groups of educators using a rating instrument based on the key concepts of PBS planning. Results revealed that the majority of plans developed by teams without identified training and expertise in PBS were rated as substantively inadequate, lacking critical information related to effective behavioral support planning. The implications of the results for everyday practice in the schools and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-206
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Behavior support plans
  • Functional assessment
  • IDEA
  • Positive behavioral support


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