Literature Review Chapter: Relationship Between Positive Behavior Support Programs and High School Student Achievement

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A Literature Review Examining the Relationship between

Positive Behavioral Support and Student Achievement

Positive Behavior Facilitation (Kaffar, 2010) and A Blueprint for Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support: Implementation of Three Components (Edmonson, Wickham, Griggs, Sailor, & Freeman, 2002)

Positive Behavior Support: Evolution of an Applied Science (Carr, 2002)

Academic Achievement and the Implementation of Positive Behavior Support (Danielson, 2002).

Areas of Research Reviewed

Positive Behavior Support to Remedy Problem Behaviors

Positive Behavior Support's Creation of an Environment Conducive for Student/Academic Achievement.

Positive Behavior Support: How to Design and Implement on an Individual Basis

Positive Behavior Support: Utility of Implementation of PBS on a School-wide Basis

Positive Behavior Support to Remedy Problem Behaviors

A. "No, I Won't!" Understanding and Responding to Student Defiance (Smith, 207)

B. Positive Behavior Support in Urban Schools: Can We Prevent the Escalation of Antisocial Behavior? (Mccurdy, Mannella, & Eldridge, 2003)

C. Positive Behavior Support: A Proactive Strategy for Minimizing Behavior Problems in Urban Multicultural Youth (Utley, Kozleski, Smith, & Draper, 2002)

D. Use of Strategic Self-Monitoring to Enhance Academic Engagement, Productivity and Accuracy of Students with and without Exceptionalities (Rock, 2005)

Positive Behavior Support's Expansion into Other Domains to Improve Achievement

A. Preventing Trouble and Bullying: Making Schools Safer Places Using Positive Behavior Supports (Oswald, 2005); Toward a Positive Perspective on Violence Prevention in Schools: Building Connections (Smith and Sandu, 2004)

B. Culturally Responsive Classrooms for Culturally Diverse Students with and at Risk for Disabilities (Cartledge & Kourea, 2008)

C. Adolescent Trust in Teachers: Implications for Behavior in the High School Classroom (Gregory & Ripski, 2008)

D. Intellectual Disability: Understanding its Development, Causes, Classification Evaluation

and Treatment (Harris, 2006)

Positive Behavior Support: Design and Implementation

A. Individualized Supports for Students with Problem Behaviors: Designing Positive

Behavior Plans (Bambara & Kern, 2005)


Building District-Level Capacity for Positive Behavior Support (George & Kincaid,


B. Developing Effective Behavior Intervention Plans: Suggestions for School Personnel

(Killu, 2008)

C. Collaboration with Families in the Functional Behavior Assessment of and Intervention

for Severe Behavior Problems (Peterson, Derby, Berg, & Horner, 2002)

Positive Behavior Support: Utility of Implementation on School-wide Basis

A. A Promising Approach for Expanding and Sustaining School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (Sugai & Horner, 2006)

B. Issues of Personal Dignity and Social Validity in Schoolwide Systems of Positive Behavior Support (Scott, 2007)

C. Schoolwide Application of Positive Behavior Support in an Urban High School: A Case Study (Bohanon, Fenning, Carney, Minnis-Kim, Anderson-Harris, & Moroz, 2006)

D. How Do Different Types of High School Students Respond to Schoolwide Positive

Behavior Support Systems? Characteristics and Responsiveness of Teacher-Identified

Students (Lane, Wehby, Robertston, & Rogers 2007)


A. Does Positive Behavior Support make a difference? (Lane, 2007)

B. The Child Outcomes of a Behavior Model (Nelson, Hurley, Synhorst, Epstein, Stage, & Buckley, 2009)

C. Systems Change with School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports (Mass-Galloway, Panyan, Smith, & Wessendorf, 2008) and A Case for Adding Social Standards to Curriculum

Literature Review

Positive Behavioral Support (oftentimes referred to as "Positive Behavior Support" as well as "PBS") is defined as an empirically validated, function-based approach which began as a means to manage individuals whom exhibited problem behaviors (Carr, 2002). Over time, PBS evolved and began to not only work toward eradicating challenging behaviors, but toward replacing them with positive social skills and behaviors. In the academic context, positive behavioral support may be used to garner systematic change or it may be used more discretely to bring about positive changes and functioning on the part of an individual student (Carr, 1999).

A cursory review of the state of today's schools in the United States reveals that discipline problems and, in particular, defiance plagues students and teachers; and, as a result a significant amount of class time is devoted not toward academic learning, but toward behavior management of one or two individuals (Smith, 2007). Given that the United States is in a crisis with regard to academic performance, our teachers and our students can ill afford to spend time focusing upon the behavioral issues of one or two students at the expense of an entire lesson and the education of the students in the class whom genuinely want to learn. Furthermore, with the advent of zero tolerance policies, the stakes for misbehavior on the part of the troubled student are much higher than they were in the past (Smith & Sandhu, 2004). Coupled with the fact that once students have been expelled, their chances for a successful life are greatly diminished (Turnbull, Edmnondson Griggs, 2007), it is our duty as a society to find a way in which to help these students change their self-defeating patterns and replace them with functional ones.

PBS has proven effective in replacing negative patterns of behavior with positive ones in disturbed students. Perhaps, even more remarkable is the fact that in the past two decades since PBS came to the forefront of the psychology and pedagogy fields, PBS has proven to provide a plethora of other benefits to educators and students alike (Scott, 2001). Indeed, PBS assists not only the emotionally disturbed youth (Nelson, 2000), but the multicultural youth, the urban youth (Utley, Kozleski, Smith & Draper, 2002), the autistic youth (Koegel, Symon & Koegel, 2002), the bullied youth and his/her bullier (Oswald, Safran, & Johanson, 2005), the impoverished youth (Turnbull & Turnbull, 2002), and schools as a whole (Lane, Wehby, Robertson, & Rogers, 2007) to move beyond self-defeating patterns and find functional ways to move toward functional achievement in school as well as in his/her quality of life overall (Minke & Anderson, 2005). In fact, data gathered over the past fifteen years since PBS's conception reveals that the usage of PBS decreases the need for more intrusive or aversive interventions such as punishment, suspension, and/or expulsion and, moreover, can lead to both systemic as well as individualized change in each and every one of the foregoing sub-groups.

As this paper will address, PBS can focus upon addressing the needs of an individual student or the needs of an entire school. In each case, PBS works toward changing environmental variables such as the physical setting, task demands, curriculum, instructional pace and individualized reinforcement in an effort to help the individual or even an entire student body to obtain, foster, and refine the skills necessary to attain success (Kaffar & Hoover, 2008). As a result, PBS has proven to be rather successful with a wider range of students, in a wider range of contexts, with a wider range of behaviors than was initially anticipated upon the advent of Positive Behavior Support.

In addition to addressing a wider range of students, contexts, and behaviors, PBS addresses more than just improvement in test scores. In fact, PBS truly provides for students to be set up to achieve in a more holistic sense as it focuses upon social functioning in ways which will lend itself to not only academic achievement but achievement in personal growth. Thus, similar to how PBS is not limited to merely improving reading or math scores, this paper will focus upon achievement in a more inclusive manner, one that includes traditional academic achievement as measured by test scores and grades as well as achievement in social skills such that that student may someday achieve in a world which requires more than just a high SAT score in order to succeed in today's global market. Indeed, this is the approach which practitioners believe we should be taking in order to eventually improve overall school success and achievement (Carr,, 2002). In "A Promising Approach for Expanding and Sustaining School-Wide Positive Behavior Support," a study of the implementation and outcome of PBS in the academic setting, Sugai notes the benefits of PBS as follows:

To improve school success for every student, issues that are not typically considered as part of behavioral education must be addressed by general and special educators. Researchers and practitioners must examine issues related to classroom discipline, cultural diversity, and culturally responsive teaching to develop successful approaches for teaching prosocial skills and reducing antisocial behavior (Sugai, 2000).

Positive Behavior Support to Remedy Problem Behaviors

At the outset of the application and development of PBS, PBS was thought of as a means by which educators could intervene in the lives of troubled and emotionally disturbed youth in order to give them the social skills that he/she needs to develop to succeed in school. Specifically, it was initially used to address student defiance as well as the escalation of anti-social behavior (Smith, 207; Mccurdy, Mannella, & Eldridge, 2003). In fact, research reveals that the vast majority of discipline referrals are due to defiance (Gregory, 2005; Kohl, 1994). Defiance in the classroom has the potential for distracting other learners to actually bringing instruction to a halt; accordingly, it is critical for educators to be prepared to understand it and respond effectively to students who exhibit it. As the years have progressed, it appears that the types of students in which this process applies has moved beyond those… [END OF PREVIEW]

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