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What is PBIS?

Positive Behavior Support, PBS, PBIS, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports—these are terms and abbreviations used so often in professional contexts and conversations—but what do these terms really mean? There are hundreds of ways to define what it's all about. Here are just a few to consider:

  • "A systematic approach to embed evidence-based practices and data-driven decision making to improve school climate and culture, including a range of systemic and individualized strategies to reinforce desired behaviors and diminish reoccurrence of problem behaviors in order to achieve improved academic and social outcomes and increase learning for all students, including those with the most complex and intensive behavioral needs." (HR 4247)
  • "A comprehensive set of strategies used to redesign the environment to support an individual in reducing problem behavior and increasing positive behaviors. Effective support involves modifying environments, teaching new skills, and controlling staff responses, and the natural consequences of behavior." (Horner, 2000)
  • "Application of behavior analysis and systems change perspectives within the context of person-centered values to the intensely social problems created by behaviors such as self-injury, aggression, property destruction, pica, defiance, and disruption." (Rehabilitation Research & Training Center on PBIS)
  • "A dynamic, problem-solving process involving goal identification, information gathering, hypothesis development, support plan design, implementation and monitoring" ("Research Synthesis on Effective Intervention Procedures" from The University of South Florida's Center for Evidence-Based Practice: Young Children With Challenging Behavior)

How is PBIS defined in your organization or school? How is this definition reflected in everyday practice and interactions with your service users or students? Feel free to leave your comments below.


More information and resources about Positive Behavioral Support.