Saida, a 16-year-old girl in Bermuda, attended a special alternative high school program for students with serious behavior problems. She had been receiving special education for her behavioral problems since the age of 5. Saida regularly used profanity in response to teacher directives, particularly in social studies class. A functional behavioral assessment identified that profanity served a dual function for Saida; that is, it gained attention from staff and enabled her to avoid doing class assignments. An intervention decision model developed by Umbreit, Ferro, Liaupsin, and Lane (2007) was used to develop a function-based intervention. This intervention was first tested through brief reversal probes and then implemented extensively in social studies class. Implementation of the intervention dramatically reduced Saida's use of profanity and correspondingly increased her use of a replacement behavior (indicating "yes" or "no" verbally or by nodding). Social validity ratings by multiple staff members, Saida, and a classmate indicated high acceptability for the intervention. Implications for further studies of intervention design and research across culture are included.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology