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School-wide positive behavioural intervention and support programme reduces behaviour problems in elementary school children

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Question: How effective is the ‘school-wide positive behavioural interventions and supports’ (SWPBIS) prevention strategy in reducing behaviour problems in school children?

Patients: 12 344 elementary school children in kindergarten, first or second grade at participating schools when the study started (52.9% students, 46.1% Caucasian, 45.1% African American; 49.4% received free school meals and 12.9% special education services). Schools were matched on selected baseline characteristics, for example, enrolment. Children entering the school during the programme were entered into the study, and children who left the school were not followed up.

Setting: 37 public elementary schools, USA; recruitment dates not stated.

Intervention: The SWPBIS programme or wait list control. The SWPBIS applies social learning, behavioural learning and organisational principles across all students in the school in a consistent manner. Clear expectations of behaviour are taught to students and staff. Staff implementing SWPBIS (5–6 staff members per school) attended a 2-day initial training session and a 2-day booster session each year. …

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  • Sources of funding: Grants from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Mental Health, Institute of Education Sciences; National Institutes of Health.


  • Competing interests None.

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