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Positive Behavior Support and Developmental Disabilities

Positive behavior support (PBS) has become a well-known approach for decreasing challenging behavior that is often exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities. These challenging behaviors may include repetitive behaviors, noncompliance with demands, aggressing toward others, and engaging in severe self-injurious behavior. Individuals who engage in these behaviors may be affected socially, educationally, and vocationally. The features of PBS, the implementation of PBS at various levels, and the relevance of PBS are explained in this entry.

As a field, PBS was developed in the 1980s at a time when deinstitutionalization of individuals with disabilities, person-centeredness, and the “nonaversive” movement were occurring. As individuals with disabilities were moving out of institutions and into community settings, it was imperative to implement interventions for challenging behavior that were more positive ...

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