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Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a system of behavior management strategies that are utilized to decrease problematic behavior by making changes in the individual’s skill set and environment. PBS also focuses on improving the quality of life of those with behavioral challenges and seeks to understand the reasons behind the concerning behaviors. According to the Association for Positive Behavior Support (APBS), the most effective positive behavior support involves a combination of valued outcomes, behavioral and biomedical science, validated procedures, and a variety of system changes.
What the Experts Say About PBS
Previously, behavior modification systems focused singularly on the problem behavior and an immediate solution, with no regard to any other implications that the behavior change may bring about. However, effective positive behavior support strategies strive to increase an individual’s overall success, including personal satisfaction, positive social interactions, and improved quality of life. Furthermore, positive behavior support has improved in effectiveness as research has been done regarding behavior and the environment in which it occurs. In addition to exploring the role of behavioral interventions, PBS specialists have connected the significance of studying both the behavior and psychiatric state of individuals. More evidence is continuously being found that links both physiological and environmental factors to an individual’s behavior. The most effective positive behavior support interventions are multi-faceted and include considerations of various factors that may affect behavior. The procedures utilized to improve behavioral struggles include varying levels of intervention, as well as proven and validated strategies.
Why Does Positive Behavior Support Matter?
The primary goal of positive behavior support is to frame behaviors and expectations in a positive manner. It promotes good-decision making skills and a positive view of directions and expectations, as it leans more towards telling students what they can do and rewarding positive behavior, rather than telling them what they cannot do and punishing them for negative behavior. In any situation where it is used, positive behavior support matters a great deal when it comes to encouraging positive student behavior and promoting social, emotional, and academic success. It is not only about setting clear expectations and following through on the stated and standard consequences when expectations are broken, but it is also about implementing effective plans when a problem does arise and working to bring about appropriate and acceptable behaviors from everyone involved.
The Role of Positive Behavior Support in Schools
Many schools have baseline expectations that they set for their students, such as “be kind,” “be respectful,” and “make responsible decisions.” Then within each classroom, each teacher typically has his or her own set of rules and expectations that are more specific, such as “keep your hands to yourself,” and “keep your eyes on your own paper.” When an entire school utilizes the exact same expectations and positive behavior support methods, students will understand that the behavioral standards are the same no matter where they are in the school or what teacher they are with. They will know exactly what to expect should they choose to misbehave, and teachers won’t have to worry about selecting consequences based on various students and their less-than-ideal behaviors. Consistency is key, particularly when it comes to children and your expectations of them, so implementing a school-wide or classroom-wide positive behavior support plan will help both you and your students understand what is expected of them and what will happen if those expectations are not met. This will result in better behavior, fewer instances of misbehavior, and an all-around better atmosphere that is more conducive to learning.
The Effects of Positive Behavior Support
Numerous studies have proven that effective implementation of Positive Behavior Support systems bring about substantial beneficial changes and a great deal of positive effects. The key, however, to achieving these favorable outcomes is consistently enforcing positive behavior support methods and ensuring that every adult involved in the execution of the methods is fully committed to it. When students sense or know that certain teachers are more relaxed about imposing consequences or that certain places or times may not require as strict adherence to the expectations, the systems will not work effectively and behavioral problems will arise.