[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 22-Sep-2010
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Contact: Jim GIlden
media.inquiries@sagepub.com
SAGE Publications

Positive behavioral interventions programs found to improve student behavior and learning

Los Angeles, CA (September 22, 2010) Adopting the evidence-based procedures of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) helped 21 elementary schools reduce student suspensions, office discipline referrals and improve student academic achievement, according to a study published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. SWPBIS is a rapidly expanding approach to improving educational environments that is estimated to be used in more than 9,000 schools nation-wide

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence (Catherine P. Bradshaw, Mary M. Mitchell, and Philip J. Leaf) randomly assigned Maryland elementary schools to either receive training in SWPBIS (21 schools) or not (16 comparison schools) and followed the schools over a five-year period.

Improving our nation's schools is a perennial challenge, yet districts often fall prey to untested and faddish approaches. Researchers found that in both the SWPBIS schools and the comparison schools, other programs were being used in the schools at the same time, including character education programs, bullying prevention and drug prevention programs (for example, D.A.R.E.). However, it was only in schools that had formal SWPBIS programs that had significant improvements in student behavior and learning.

"This study demonstrates how important it is for schools to commit to sustained implementation of SWPBIS over multiple years," said lead author Catherine Bradshaw. "We are currently examining student-level factors to identify for whom and under what conditions SWPBIS has the greatest impact."

"I'm so impressed by this research because Bradshaw and her colleagues not only documented the effectiveness of SWPBIS, they also noted that 'context matters,'" said George Sugai, the Carole J. Neag Endowed Chair and Professor of Special Education at the University of Connecticut. "Kudos to this group for conducting quality research in socially important and real contexts."

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The article "Examining the effects of school wide positive behavioral interventions and supports on student outcomes" in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions (published by the Hammill Institute on Disabilities and SAGE) is available free for a limited time at http://pbi.sagepub.com/content/12/3/180.full.pdf+html.

Contact: V. Mark Durand, Co-Editor, JPBI (727) 873-4055; vdurand@mail.usf.edu

The Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions is the premier journal publishing research-based strategies for improving the lives of persons with severe behavior challenges. These approaches are used in homes, communities and in schools throughout the world. Regular features include empirical research; discussion, literature reviews, and conceptual papers; and programs, practices, and innovations. http://jpbi.sagepub.com

The Hammill Institute on Disabilities is a nonprofit corporation located in Austin, Texas. The mission of the Hammill Institute is to advance and improve the education and treatment of individuals with disabilities and other special needs by developing and disseminating educational and scientific journals; reference books, textbooks, and educational materials; and diagnostic tests and assessments.

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. A privately owned corporation, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. www.sagepublications.com.



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