<<<<< List of DDS supported research articles are found by clicking the article picture to the left
Sample of articles to be found:
Biglan, A., Flay, B.R., Embry, D.D., Sandler, I.N. (2012). The critical role of nurturing environments for promoting human well-being. American Psychologist, 67(4), 257-271.
- Biglan et al. call for public health movements to increase the prevalence of nurturing environments. It speaks less about the Intellectually Disabled but more globally about human biological, emotional, and ecological growth and the environments that foster it. It speaks to the need to minimize (biologically and pro-socially) toxic environments while fostering environments that reinforce pro-social behaviors. Attentive interest is held as a preference to extrinsic reinforcers The article also stresses monitoring and limiting of opportunities to explore and practice problem behaviors. It promotes mindful psychological flexibility (which, they posit, promotes nurturing environments). It calls for a paradigm shift from a focus on problems to the prevalence of nurturing environments as the fundamental condition for increasing pro-social human behavior and growth.
Singh, N.N., Lancioni, G.E., Winton, A.S.W., Curtis, W.J., Wahler, R.G., Sabaawi, M., Singh, J., & McLeavey, K. (2006). Mindful staff increase learning and reduce aggression in adults with developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 27, 545-558. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2005.07.002
- This study has relevance across PBS tiers, but may have its largest impact on universal strategies that help to create healthy living/ working environments (Tier 1). This group used a multiple baseline design across 3 group homes for individuals with severe and profound mental retardation. They varied staffing ratios while first introducing staff to behavior training, then later introducing a 5-day mindfulness training to staff. They collected data on the following data: staff intervention for aggression, Learning objectives performed independently, use of emergency physical restraints, socially integrated activities, physically integrated activities, staff satisfaction with their work, and social validation of staff behavior.
Dunlap, G. & Carr, E.G. (2007). Positive behavior support and developmental disabilities: A summary and analysis of research. In S. L. Odom, R. H. Horner, M. E. Snell, & J. Blacher (Ed.). Handbook of developmental disabilities (469-482). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.- This chapter cites much reference material that is based upon single case studies, quasi-experiments, and studies that look at individual interventions that would be implemented on the Targeted and Individual tiers of PBS. Though it does touch upon the evolution and history of PBS (mentioning that though PBS is widely known now in school settings, it has its origins in the field of developmental disabilities), the authors do not touch upon the programmatic and systems-change emphasis of PBS. In briefly reviewing PBS’s history, Dunlap and Carr stress the influence of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). They posit that PBS differs from ABA in its emphasis on the functional understanding of problematic behavior as opposed to the more simplified approach of implementation strategies designed to extinguish problematic behavior and conditionally reinforce more socially acceptable alternatives. PBS, rather, stresses the function of the problematic behavior within the individual’s environment and looks therefore to offer alternative means, more adaptive methods, for the person to communicate those same needs. Equally important, though, is altering the environment or setting in which the problem is occurring. Though the authors do not attempt to answer the question, they raise the conflict between Behavior Support Plans having to address the routines of programs/environments as well as the person-centered values of the individual. Many interventions or “tools” that could be used on the Targeted and Individual tiers are discussed including teaching delayed gratification, relaxation training, social skills, teaching self-monitoring of problem behavior (even in individuals with “significant intellectual disabilities”), introduction of increased choices, and enriched environments (non-contingent reinforcement. Several other tools for antecedent and contextual manipulation include interventions that increase rapport between the individual and staff. Overall, this chapter stresses the importance of context and ecology and the two-pronged approach of teaching replacement behaviors and development of alternative skills.
Van Acker, R., Boreson, L., Gable, R.A., & Potterton, T. (2005). Are we on the right course? Lessons learned about current FBA/BIP practices in schools. Journal of Behavioral Education, 14 (1), p. 35-56. doi: 10.1007/s10864-005-0960-5
There is a legal mandate made by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) that a student’s ‘behavior intervention plan is to be based upon a functional assessment of the behavior and must consider the use of positive behavioral supports rather than punishment.’ The researchers in this article encouraged team members from school districts across Wisconsin to submit completed Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) for critical review. Over a three year period, the researchers offered training to teachers and related service personnel in FBAs with the purpose of examining the adequacy of the FBAs and BIPs that were produced by the IEP teams participating. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the technical adequacy of targeted training. The training included a 1 day training seminar and a 2 day follow-up seminar. The researchers evaluated key variables in the formation of an FBA and BIP: a) the makeup and training of the IEP team members, b) the identification of the target behaviors, c) the identification of the hypothesized function, d) data collection procedures, e) examination of context variables, f) verification of the hypothesized function, g) connection of the BIP to the FBA, h) use of Positive Behavioral Supports, and i) monitoring of the implementation and effectiveness of the BIP. The relevant findings of this study for the Commonwealth’s PBS initiative include that the most common critical flaw displayed by the FBAs/ BIPs evaluated was a failure to identify or define a target behavior. Additionally, 25% of FBAs failed to identify a proposed function. 61% failed to verify the function prior to developing a BIP. Lastly, teams that included at least one member with training in the FBA/BIP process did seem to display “improved performance with fewer critical flaws.” This research, as well as Loman & Horner’s (2006) study, suggests that careful and judicious training needs to take place surrounding FBAs and BIPs. The monitoring of FBAs and BIPs, utilizing evaluation of key elements that are based on best-practices within the field, should be integrated into an organization’s action plans.