What is PBIS?

Brief History

Originating in the 1970s, the U.S. Public Health Service conceptualized its model of prevention, involving primary, secondary, and tertiary approaches. Educators at the University of Oregon (Walker et. al., 1996)1 used that model as an organizing framework to illustrate how schools can deliver interventions more effectively and improve outcomes. They proposed that schools can play a central, coordinating role in collaboration with families and social service agencies in addressing the challenging problems presented by antisocial behaviors.

Read OSERS' Tribute to Hill Walker: "In Recognition of Hill Walker’s Contributions to Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)" https://sites.ed.gov/osers/tag/mtss/

1 Walker, H. M., Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., Bullis, M., Sprague, J. R., Bricker, D., & Kaufman, M. J. (1996). Integrated approaches to preventing antisocial behavior patterns among school-age children and youth. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 4, 194– 209. PDF

Read more about the history of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), including frequently asked questions, defining features, and misconceptions.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: History, Defining Features, and Misconceptions (June 2012) - read online at pbis.org

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Brief Introduction and Frequently Asked Questions (June 2018) - read online at pbis.org

Evidence Base and Outcomes for PBIS

The PBIS framework is supported by research spanning decades (Center on PBIS, 2020)1. Study after study confirms the positive impact these systems and practices have on improving student outcomes. The evaluation brief, "Is School-wide Positive Behavior Support an Evidence-based Practice?” (2020)2 and the article "Examining the Evidence Base for School-wide Positive Behavior Support” (2010)3 each lay out some of the research and provide additional resources to explore the topic further.

1 Center on PBIS (2020). References for the Evidence Base of PBIS. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. Retrieved from https://www.pbis.org/resource/references-for-the-evidence-base-of-pbis

2 Horner, Sugai, & Lewis (2020). Is School-wide Positive Behavior Support an Evidence-based Practice? Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. Retrieved from: https://www.pbis.org/resource/is-school-wide-positive-behavior-support-an-evidence-based-practice

3 Horner, Sugai, & Anderson (2010). Examining the Evidence Base for School-Wide Positive Behavior Support. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. Retrieved from: https://www.pbis.org/resource/examining-the-evidence-base-for-school-wide-positive-behavior-support