Function-Based Behavior Support Planning Competencies: A National Survey of School Psychologists
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This study surveyed a national sample of school psychologists (N = 105) regarding their training and skills in function-based behavior support planning. Specifically, this study aimed to determine (a) the function-based behavior support planning competencies practicing school psychologists possess and (b) factors that are related to their level of competency (e.g., prior training). School psychologists were asked to identify strategies as function-based, neutral, or contra-indicated when provided with a brief vignette. School psychologists also reported on demographic characteristics and pre-service and post-graduate training in behavior support planning. Currently, very little is known about the function-based behavior support planning competencies school psychologists possess. This study is among the first to directly assess the ability to link the function of behavior to relevant support strategies. Results of the study indicate that an alarming proportion of school psychologists did not meet the criterion for proficiency on this measure. Interestingly, the current study did not find statistically meaningful differences of performance based on characteristics of prior training. Implications for improving function-based behavior support planning competencies of school psychologists and strategies for improving student supports are discussed.