Generalization and Sustainability in Positive Behavior Support

Planning for Sustainability

Sustainability written on scrabble tiles on a white background.

How do we make sure that positive behavior support plans are effective and sustainable over time?

The goal of a positive behavior support plan is to improve quality of life and prevent challenges from occurring during the routines and settings that are important to a person. This means that interventions in the positive behavior support plan may need to occur over a long period of time and with a high level of fidelity. Fidelity of implementation refers to the extent to which a practice like positive behavior support is used in the manner intended.

One way to think about sustainability is as a continuous process that involves:

  • Assessing the person-centered outcomes considered valuable
  • Making changes to the plan to ensure these valued outcomes occur
  • Implementing interventions

Data-based decision making is used to guide teams in continuously monitoring the positive behavior support plan over time.

Ongoing family and staff training and coaching helps ensure sustainable implementation as well.

The citation for this study:

McIntosh, K., Filter, K. J., Bennett, J. L., Ryan, C., & Sugai, G. (2010). Principles of sustainable prevention: Designing scale‐up of school‐wide positive behavior support to promote durable systems. Psychology in the Schools, 47(1), 5-21.

This article is available from the publisher. You can access the link to this article on the Module 4 Resource Page .