Field Studies of RTI Effectiveness Behavior Support Model (BSM)
Fairbanks, S., Sugai, G., Guardino, D., & Lathrop, M. (2007). Response to Intervention: Examining classroom behavior support in second grade. Exceptional Children, 73, 288–310.
The Behavior Support Model (BSM) is a standard-protocol model focusing on classroom behavior support. Its purpose is to provide increasingly intensive interventions prior to referral for special education eligibility evaluation. Fairbanks, Sugai, Guardino, and Lathrop (2007) identified several phases of the BSM process:
- Identify and explicitly teach schoolwide expectations.
- Implement a system to acknowledge expectation-compliant behavior.
- Define and consistently apply consequences for inappropriate behavior.
- Develop specific skills for a group of individuals engaging in similar error patterns.
- Conduct functional behavior assessments (FBAs).
- Determine special education eligibility.
Within this model, general education teachers are responsible for implementing the universal (Tier 1) and strategic interventions (Tier 2) in the classroom. If these interventions prove unsuccessful, general education teachers, the school counselor, and other school personnel develop a “function-based individualized behavior support plan” for a more intensive intervention (Tier 3). A behavior support plan consists of a) student strengths, b) behavior of interest, c) setting events and antecedents, d) perceived maintaining consequence, e) alternative behaviors, and f) desired behaviors.
Training of school personnel was the responsibility of university researchers. The elementary school participating in the study was found to be effectively implementing positive behavior support strategies (based on results of a School-Wide Evaluation Tool assessment) prior to the study.
Purpose of Study
The authors conducted two studies to discover whether a relationship exists between Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions and problem behavior. Specifically, the purpose of the studies was to answer the following questions:
Study 1: Does a relationship exist between implementation of a Tier 2 check in- check out (CICO) intervention and a) percentage of intervals that participants were observed to be engaged in problem behavior, b) frequency of office referrals, and c) teacher perceptions of problem behavior intensity and frequency?
Study 2: Does a functional relationship exist between Tier 3 function-based behavior intervention plans and a) percentage of intervals that participants were observed to be engaged in problem behavior, b) frequency of office referrals, and c) teacher perceptions of problem behavior intensity and frequency?
Ten students between the ages of 7 and 8 years from one elementary school participated in the study. Study 1 examined CICO implementation and effectiveness. The CICO intervention is built on a daily cycle in which students a) check in with a designated adult in the morning to develop behavioral goals, b) carry a point card that is used to provide opportunities for adult feedback throughout the day, and c) review how well they met their goals with a designated adult at the end of the day. Students obtain parent signatures on the point card and turn it in the next day. Time-series data were collected on each of the 8 students across five phases: baseline and CICO 70%, CICO 75%, CICO 80%, and CICO 90% of points. These phases/percentages represent an increase in the percentage of points required to earn a classroom reward.
In Study 2, 4 students who did not achieve the desired results in response to the CICO intervention were given function-based behavior intervention plans. Time-series data were collected on each student across two phases: FBA-based plan and FBA-based plan—adjusted.
For both studies, the average number of office referrals per instructional day over 3 months prior to intervention served as the baseline. The “teacher perception” component was collected in the form of a Likert scale (5 = extremely intense or extremely frequent and 1 = not intense or not frequent) pre- and postintervention.
Study 1: With regard to the relationship between percentages of intervals engaged in problem behavior, 4 out of the 10 students were responsive to the CICO intervention. Six out of the 10 students were designated nonresponsive to the CICO intervention.
Study 2: Of the 6 students who did not achieve the desired results in response to the CICO intervention, 2 dropped out of the study because of parental concerns. The remaining 4 received an FBA-based plan and were doing as well as their peers. After “leveling out” compared to peers, the FBA-based plans were modified to increase self-management expectations. This reduced the percentage of intervals of problem behaviors to less than that of composite peers.
Study 1 and Study 2: Baseline office referrals occurred, on average, 0.85 times per day. After intervention, the number of referrals decreased to 0.41 per day. Before intervention, teachers rated problem behavior intensity and frequency across all students as a 4 or higher. After intervention, teachers rated problem behavior at 3 or lower.
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