Addressing the Challenging Behavior of Young Children Through Systematic Function-Based Intervention

Brenna K. Wood, Jolenea B. Ferro, John Umbreit, Carl J. Liaupsin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A decision model was used to systematically construct function-based interventions for the disruptive behaviors of three young children (ages 3.75—4.75 years) receiving special education services in inclusive preschool settings. The study was conducted in three phases. In Part 1, descriptive functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) were conducted. Each FBA included structured interviews and direct observations that were used to identify the functions of target behaviors. In Part 2, function-based interventions were constructed for each participant. In Part 3, these interventions were implemented within ongoing activities in their preschool classrooms. The study covered nearly 9 weeks. Baseline and intervention were conducted for 17 sessions (nearly 6 weeks). Follow-up data were collected weekly for an additional 3 weeks. The interventions, when implemented correctly, produced dramatic improvements in the students’ behavior. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalTopics in Early Childhood Special Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • function-based intervention
  • functional behavioral assessment
  • inclusive settings
  • special education
  • young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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