Student problem behavior continues to be a major issue in schools for both teachers and students. Teachers often feel they are not provided with enough resources to help them manage this problem behavior. Students who engage in problem behavior tend to struggle socially and academically. When classified with an emotional disturbance, students are especially at risk due to the severity of the problem behavior they exhibit (Brauner & Stephens, 2006). This study examined how function-based interventions can help both teachers and students better manage the effects of problem behavior. There are several factors believed to hinder the effectiveness of function-based interventions, including time available, training, parental involvement, and fidelity of implementation (Ingram et al., 2005). The study used the critical incident technique (CIT) qualitative methodology to identify helping and hindering factors in the implementation of behavior intervention programs (BIP). Participants of the study include BIP implementers, defined as any school personnel who directly participates in the implementation of an effective BIP with a student. Using the CIT qualitative methodology and semi-structured interviews, the research team determined which events are most prevalent in the hindering and helping of BIP implementation. Research concluded that ongoing collaboration with colleagues, in- and out-of-class support, consistent data tracking, reward systems, calming down strategies, and relationships were the most helpful factors reported by teachers. Unexpected events, severity of behaviors, inconsistent reward systems, differing opinions amongst team members, inconsistent communication, and insufficient training were factors that hindered BIP efficacy based on the results of this study. The findings suggest that the implementation of BIPs can be improved with greater consistency in consequences, clear communication among stakeholders, and building meaningful relationships of trust.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





behavior intervention plan, implementation, teachers, fidelity, critical incident technique



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Education Commons