Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #399
Innovative Applications of System-wide Positive Behavior Support
Monday, May 25, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 121 BC
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Michelle Ennis Soreth (Rowan University)
Discussant: James Connell (Temple University)
Abstract: Changing systems to align with Positive Behavior Support practices continues to evolve beyond elementary and middle schools. Evidence supporting these innovative applications will assist organizations making modifications to increase the contextual fit of their system-wide plan. This symposium is geared toward practitioners responsible for creating environments that support sustained use of evidence-based practices addressing the needs of their client or student population. Furthermore, innovative approaches to narrowing the focus of programming efforts and building consensus to facilitate change will be presented. Models for implementing program-wide change in a residential treatment facility, high school and middle school are presented highlighting the structural features required to meet each organization’s needs in achieving high integrity for implementation. Direct observations of staff behavior reveal increases in the use of selected strategies. Survey data depict changes in the perception of administrative support by teaching faculty. Measures of the impact on youth and adolescents reveal positive outcomes.
Programming adaptations to increase the contextual fit for SWPBS practices in a high school
KAREN M. ZELTMAN (ABC Consultants), Philip L. Concors (ABC Consultants)
Abstract: High school applications of school-wide PBS have recently emerged with data indicating successful outcomes. Outcomes from a high school with a diverse population of students will be reported. The unique structure of the high school resulted in specific adaptations to the traditional SWPBS model including narrowing the focus of programming in the first year and the establishment of multiple leadership teams in the building. Areas targeted for programming included Intensive professional development for Safety Officers, addressing hallway behavior, establishing a database for tracking office referrals and secondary-level behavioral support. This presentation will focus on the decision-making process for selection of programming components and the unique characteristics of navigating multiple leadership teams throughout implementation. Data presentations will include measures of the integrity of implementation efforts, behavioral outcomes, and staff satisfaction.
Improving student outcomes by building consensus for discipline procedures between administration and staff
LISA MARIE ANGELLO (Rider University), Karen Woods (ABC Consultants, LLC)
Abstract: Successful implementation of school-wide PBS practices requires strong administrative support, wide-scale buy-in from building staff, comprehensive programming, and a plan that provides a good contextual fit with the school culture. Overcoming barriers to implementation is often overlooked in the literature despite the fact that current literature is replete with evidence supporting the effectiveness of SWPBS. Typical strategies for instituting procedural changes to discipline would dictate that the leadership team design the procedures and plan for dissemination to building staff through professional development at faculty meetings, printed material and ongoing technical support. Failure of the typical strategies resulted in an innovation for building consensus between administrators and staff. Building staff were asked to complete a survey to ascertain their perception of administrative support with regard to disciplinary practices. These data were reported to Administrators. In addition, Administrators were shadowed and provided with performance feedback for the appropriateness of the strategies they selected to address disciplinary incidents. Outcomes of this approach resulted in greater consensus between building staff and administrators with regard to disciplinary practices, the use of alternative responses to disciplinary incidents by administrators, and improved behavioral outcomes for students.
Program-wide Positive Behavior Support: Scaling Up in Residential Treatment
BARRY L. MCCURDY (Devereux Institute of Clinical Training and Resear), Jennifer Jeffrey (Devereux Center for Effective Schools)
Abstract: The success associated with establishing school-wide positive behavior support models to improve social behavior in public schools has prompted demonstrations within other youth-serving institutions. In North Carolina, for example, all five of the state juvenile detention centers implemented a program-wide positive behavior support (PWPBS) approach in 2005. Initial outcomes showed reductions in rule violations, fighting and disruptive behavior (Martin, 2007). In view of the progress made in juvenile justice, surprisingly little work has been done in implementing PWPBS models in residential treatment centers. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the development of a PWPBS approach in a residential treatment center. In 2007, Devereux, a national behavioral healthcare organization serving youth with disruptive behavior disorders, committed to the development of a PWPBS approach in two of their treatment centers. Methods for developing and implementing a universal support system across multiple settings, including both school and residential programs, will be discussed. Data will include measures of program fidelity as well as initial outcomes. The presentation will highlight organizational elements established for system sustainability and recommendations for bringing a PWPBS approach to scale in other behavioral health facilities.



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