What is Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)?

PBIS is an Implementation framework for maximizing the selection and use of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices along a multi-tiered continuum that supports the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral competence of all students.

 What do students and educators gain in PBIS schools?

  • All students develop and learn social, emotional, and behavioral competence, supporting their academic engagement.
  • All educators develop positive, predictable, and safe environments that promote strong interpersonal relationships with students through teaching, modeling, and encouragement.

What do students and educators experience when PBIS is implemented with fidelity?

  • Reductions in major disciplinary infractions, antisocial behavior, and substance abuse.
  • Reductions in aggressive behavior and improvements in emotional regulation.
  • Improvements in academic engagement and achievement.
  • Improvements in perceptions of organizational health and school safety.
  • Reductions in teacher and student reported bullying behavior and victimization.
  • Improvements in perceptions of school climate.
  • Reductions in teacher turnover.

How does PBIS contribute to the development of positive school climate, school safety, and student-educator relationships?

  • PBIS implementation involves explicitly prompting, modeling, practicing, and encouraging positive expected social skills across settings and individuals. When students are taught to effectively use relevant expected social skills for themselves and with others, school climates are described as more positive, learning environments are designated as safer, and student-educator relationships are referred to as more trusting and respectful.

Is School-wide PBIS evidence based?

  • We provide here (a) the citations defining the context content for PBIS, (b) the current status of evidence for each of the three tiers of the PBIS approach (Tier 1 Supports, Tier 2 Supports, Tier 3 Supports), and (c) summary of current and expected directions.



Tier One: Universal Interventions

In Tier One of the SWPBIS model, universal or primary approaches that are preventative in nature are put into place (Sugai & Homer, 2002). These approaches are used at high levels in the classrooms for maximum prevention effect, and include the development of school-wide expectations, a behavioral matrix, and reinforcement systems to reward desired social behavior. Outcomes, systems, data, and practices are continually evaluated when providing universal supports (Center on Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support).

Tier Two: Targeted Group Interventions

In Tier Two, targeted, group-based interventions are designed to serve students who have not responded to Tier One interventions. The 10-15% of students in Tier Two are considered at-risk for more severe behavioral problems and/or academic deficits (Lewis & Sugai, 1999; Sugai & Horner, 2002).

Tier Three: Individualized Intensive Interventions

In Tier Three, tertiary interventions are used with students unresponsive to Tier One and Tier Two interventions. Generally, about 5% of the school population needs these individualized intensive services, which often include a Functional Behavior Assessment and subsequent Behavior Intervention Plan (Lewis & Sugai, 1999).

Free web based PBIS resources

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