Behavior Function: Staying Close to What We Know


Since the reauthorization of IDEA in 1997, attempts to implement function-based behavior supports have increased. We view these efforts as important enhancements toward improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance of educational programming for students with problem behaviors. However, we are becoming increasingly concerned by the potential for misapplication and over-extension of the function-based approach to behavior support programming. Thus, the purpose of this brief commentary is to describe considerations in the identification of behavior functions. This commentary describes potential misapplications in the identification of behavioral functions and offers readings for a more complete review of the issues and process.


PBIS Newsletter Article


  • Robert H. Horner
  • George Sugai

Prevention Level

  • Tertiary


  • Administrators
  • PBS Coaches
  • PBS Teams
  • Specialists
  • Teachers

System Impact

  • Individual Student


  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Elementary School
  • High School
  • Mental Health
  • Middle School