General PBS

This General PBS section includes literature that describes all or most of the features of positive behavior support.  In this section, you will find individual articles and research-based texts.  Click on the name of each resource below to be redirected to the full text or ordering information.

Keep in mind that the defining features of positive behavior support are collaborative teaming, assessment of contexts and functions affecting behavior. multi-element plans (i.e., proactive, educative, and reinforcement-based strategies), data-based decision making, and an emphasis on lifestyle and systems change.  Without all of these features, interventions cannot be identified as positive behavior support.


Positive Behavior Support for Individuals with Behavior Challenges – Hieneman (2015).  Brief article describing individualized PBS process with case illustration in Behavior Analysis in Practice (free).

Behavioral Support for Students with Severe Disabilities: Functional Assessment and Comprehensive Intervention – Horner & Carr (1997).  Article defining two core features of PBS (free).

Toward a Technology of “Nonaversive” Behavioral Support – Horner et al. (1990).  Seminal article defining the defining characteristics of PBS (free).

Positive Behavior Support: A Proposal for Updating and Refining the Definition – Kincaid et al. (2016).  Article outlining core features of PBS and suggesting an expanded definition to address new applications (for purchase).

Positive Behavior Support and Applied Behavior Analysis: A Familial Alliance – Dunlap, Carr, Horner, Zarcone, & Schwartz (2008).  Article explaining relationship between ABA and PBS, in response to controversy regarding approaches (for purchase).

Fifteen Years Later: Has Positive Programming Become the Expected Technology for Addressing Problem Behavior? A Commentary on Homer et. al., 1990 – Snell (2005).  Review of literature on PBS, identifying areas of progress and gaps in implementation (for purchase).


Individual Positive Behavior Supports: A Standards-Based Guide to Practices in School and Community Settings – Brown, Anderson, & De Pry, Eds (2015).  Edited book summarizing foundations, principles, and research in PBS across environments (for purchase).

Handbook of Positive Behavior Support – Sailor, Dunlap, Sugai, & Horner (2009).  Edited book with chapters on early childhood, family, and community PBS – as well as school-wide (for purchase).

Supporting Positive Practices and People with Challenging Behavior – TASH Connections (2006).  Special issue covering wide range of PBS topics, including policy, training, intervention, and caregiver support.

Families and Positive Behavior Support: Addressing Problem Behavior in Family Contexts – Lucyshyn, Dunlap, & Albin (2002).  Edited book summarizing research and application of PBS with families, including case studies and parent perspectives (for purchase).

Positive Behavior Support: Including People with Difficult Behavior in the Community – Koegel, Koegel, & Dunlap (1996).  First book defining PBS as an approach to support people’s challenging behavior in inclusive settings (for purchase).