An evaluation of a secondary intervention for students whose problem behaviors are escape maintained
Boyd, Roy Justin, 1982-
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Boyd, Roy Justin, 1982-
Check-in-check-out (CICO) has been demonstrated to produce decreases in problematic behaviors and increases in academic engagement when used as a secondary intervention within a school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS) framework. In general, research has suggested that CICO is most effective for children whose problem behaviors are sensitive to adult attention without modifications. However, research is lacking on secondary interventions intended for students whose problem behaviors are hypothesized to be maintained by escape or avoidance of academic tasks. Drawing from research on the utility of function-based interventions and the teaching of functional replacement behaviors to decrease problem behaviors and increase appropriate skills, a secondary intervention, Breaks are Better (BrB), was designed that builds off core features of CICO but also includes function-based components for addressing problem behavior maintained by task avoidance. Modifications included 1) defining specific expectations that were incompatible with problematic behavior during academic routines and 2) providing students with functional replacement behaviors that allowed them to recruit both brief breaks and help. Effectiveness of BrB was examined using an ABAB design across three participants whose off-task behaviors were hypothesized to be maintained, in part, by task avoidance or escape. The current study examined the following primary research questions: 1) is there a functional relation between the implementation of BrB and reduced rates of off-task behavior, and 2) is there a functional relation between the implementation of BrB and increases in the use of alternative replacement behaviors (help and break)? A functional relation was documented between the implementation of the BrB intervention and reductions in off-task behavior for two out of three participants (Gregg and Alex). However, for Diego, off-task behavior was somewhat variable during the final intervention phase. Results from the collection of contextual fit and social validity data indicated that students, teachers, and parents viewed BrB as effective, worth the required effort, and contextually appropriate for use in this school.