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 longer 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 and outlined in research.

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 in a way becomes part of a child or adults everyday routine

Data-based decision making is used to guide teams as they monitor a positive behavior support plan and make changes as a child or adult grows older 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 .