Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) are used in public schools for students with disabilities, replacing target behaviors with socially appropriate behaviors using positive behavior support strategies. However, research suggests that BIPs are often poorly written or fail to be implemented as intended. One reason for the ineffectiveness of BIPs may be that the interventionist (e.g., classroom teacher or other staff member responsible for implementing the plan) and the context of his/her classroom is not considered when plans are written by specialists (e.g., school psychologist, special education teacher, etc.). The purpose of this study was to evaluate BIPs written and used for students in public schools in the intermountain west for their contextual fit, using a researcher-developed measure of contextual fit based on key concepts previously established in research and modeled after the Behavior Support Plan-Quality Evaluation, Second Edition (BSP-QE II). With the coding guide created by our research team, we coded previously collected BIPs for practicality, the skill level and competency required for the interventionist to implement, and the consideration of cultural values for both the interventionist and the student who would receive the intervention. In addition, a previous research study by a graduate student at the same university had previously coded BIPs from the four school districts in Utah for technical adequacy using the BSP-QE II and, using the results from that study, we ran a Pearson correlation to determine whether there was a statistically significant relationship between BIP quality and contextual fit. Ultimately, our study found that BIPs often failed to include all elements for contextual fit to reasonably be considered established, particularly in the cultural values of those who would implement or receive the plan. In addition, we found a moderate, positive relationship between BIP technical adequacy and contextual fit. Implications for practitioners and ideas for future research are also discussed, including: ensuring that BIPs are developed in teams that include the interventionist, creating BIP templates that are culturally and contextually appropriate, and the possibility of research that documents actual interventionist participation in BIP team meetings as a comparison to the results of our scoring guide of BIP contextual fit.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Behavior Intervention Plan, interventionist, contextual fit, technical adequacy



Included in

Education Commons