Mental Health Promotion in Schools

Volume: 1

Positive Approaches to Behavior Management: Friend or Beast of Burden for Professional Educators?

Author(s): Kim Sheffield and Raymond Raymond

Pp: 149-164 (16)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805466411201010149

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


An opportunity to affect entire student populations in the effort to promote mental health but that resists being universally applied is the use of positive behavior management approaches. In many schools, behavior management based on variables that tend to negatively impact school engagement and functioning still predominates in some locations. Such behavior management approaches are based on interventions emphasizing factors such as punishment for rule violations rather than teaching and reinforcing rule adherence. The continued use of negative approaches to behavior management is puzzling, since substantial data supports numerous positive behavior management methodologies and techniques. One approach thus described is functional behavior assessment and functionbased intervention planning. Though sometimes criticized as too difficult or impractical for the typical classroom teacher, we propose that, given certain caveats, educators can employ the techniques effectively and with positive results. This review summarizes a sample of the literature on function-based interventions utilized by teachers to reduce disruptive behaviors of students. This review was included in 20 articles published between 2001 and 2009 across 9 peer-reviewed journals. Studies included in the review met the following criteria: teachers implemented the interventions utilized as well as participated in the intervention development process; students displayed disruptive behavior that interfered with their own or others academic success; and each intervention was function-based, meaning it was created from data collected and analyzed from a functional behavioral assessment. The reviewed studies support the contention that teachers can implement function-based interventions and participate in the process of creating the interventions utilized to reduce disruptive behavior of students.

Keywords: Evidence based, functional analysis, functional behavior assessment (FBA), functional behavior intervention (FBI), positive behavior supports.

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