Paraprofessionals (i.e., paid school employees working under the supervision of licensed and certified personnel) are being given expanded roles and responsibilities in schools. Unfortunately, many paraprofessionals in the United States are not well trained and are asked to take on responsibilities they have not been prepared for. One of those responsibilities is managing student behavior. The purpose of this study was to evaluate paraprofessionals' self-reported behavior management practices. Using a survey, we collected information concerning paraprofessionals' feelings of confidence in managing problem behavior, techniques to manage problem behavior, feelings concerning their behavior management training, and their views on certain problem behaviors. A total of 191 paraprofessionals completed some or all of the survey. The participants reported high levels of confidence in managing problem behaviors as well as high training needs. Findings suggest that paraprofessionals encounter low-intensity behaviors (i.e., off-task, passive noncompliance, and disruptive) more frequently and high-intensity behaviors (i.e., verbal and physical aggression) less frequently. Low-intensity behaviors also tend to be less difficult to manage and less problematic in the classroom, whereas the high-intensity behaviors were rated more difficult to manage and more problematic. Paraprofessionals' preferred behavior management strategy for the majority of behaviors encountered was reported to be verbal reprimand. Additional research and training regarding effective behavior management practices for paraprofessionals is supported by the results of this study.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Goodman, Jordan Mark, "An Evidence-based Evaluation of Behavior Management Practices Among Paraprofessionals" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8534.
behavior modification, paraprofessional personnel, special education, training