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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step 6: Monitoring Outcomes

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Maintenance refers to the continuation of conditions associated with the performance of a specific behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 1987). In simpler terms, maintenance refers to the continued use of a behavior over time, especially once an intervention has been conducted or discontinued because the child has demonstrated an ability to successfully perform the behavior. Among the more popular strategies used to promote maintenance are changing the frequency and/or ratio by which reinforcement is provided, systematically removing or fading prompts over time, and teaching self-management skills.


Generalization refers to the spread of the effects of reinforcement (or other operations, such as extinction or punishment) during one stimulus to other stimuli differing from the original along one or more dimensions (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 1987). In less technical terms, generalization refers to the child’s ability to transfer the use of replacement skills to new contexts, such as a new setting/location, a new person, or a new activity or routine. An example of generalization would be a child who originally learns to request help from his preschool teacher in the classroom and later requests help from the same teacher outside on the playground.

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