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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step Three: Functional Behavioral Assessment

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Setting Events

Setting events are ecological events or conditions (e.g. lack of sleep, change in routine, noisy environment, crowds, allergies, illness, etc.) that increase the likelihood that challenging behavior may occur (O’Neill et al., 1997). Setting events may continue to affect children's behavior even when an effective plan has been working for some time.

For example, Quan is a child who has asthma and a history of problem behavior. He has been learning how to wait his turn for the computer. The process for accessing the computer in his classroom is to put your name on the chart (by moving a laminated name to chart with Velcro) and wait until the child who is on the computer is finished (prompted by a timer). Once the child leaves, the next child moves their name to the computer space on the chart, sets the timer for 10 minutes, and begins working. Quan had a little difficulty with this process when first introduced to the class, but more recently has been able to follow those steps. On Monday morning, Quan comes to class with dark circles under his eyes. His mother tells the teacher that he was up most of the night with his asthma. When he decided he wanted a turn at the computer, he went over to the child who was sitting there and pushed him off of his chair. The child left and Quan sat down to use the computer. The setting event of being tired and not feeling well increased the likelihood that Quan would have problem behavior in this routine.

A team may decide to collect data on setting events and see if they have a relationship to the problem behavior. Those data collection forms are individually developed and tailored to the specific circumstance of the child and the team’s feeling about what distal factors may influence a child’s problem behavior. For examples, see the sample forms below.

Setting Event Form (Carlos’ Chart)

Setting Event Form (Kyle’s Chart)

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