WWC review of this study

Using Assessment-Based Curricular Intervention to Improve the Classroom Behavior of a Student with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges.

Kern, Lee; And Others (1994). Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, v27 n1 p7-19. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ483444

  • Single Case Design
    , grade

Reviewed: December 2016

Meets WWC standards without reservations

To view more detailed information about the study findings from this review, please see Functional Behavioral Assessment-based Interventions Intervention Report (977 KB)

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Male: 100%


The study focused on one student but took place in three of his special education classrooms (spelling, English, and math). Each classroom had a teacher, aide, and about eight other students who were severely emotionally disturbed.

Study sample

The study focused on one student, Eddie, who was an 11-year-old male in fifth grade. He had high-average intelligence, performing at or above grade level in all subjects. He had problems with on-task behavior and frequently had disruptive behavior, including tantrums and occasional self-injury. His special education program served students described as severely emotionally disturbed.


Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) procedures included direct observations of Eddie throughout the school day, interviews with Eddie and his teachers, and standardized test results. Based on initial observations, the researchers hypothesized that Eddie’s problem behavior occurred when he was trying to escape academic tasks and expectations. Using the results from additional FBA observations conducted during academic sessions, researchers worked with teachers to select three curricular modifications. All of the teachers included shorter assignments and self-monitoring as the FBA-based intervention. In math, the intervention also included reducing the number of drills (they were replaced with problem-solving activities), and in English and spelling, the teachers allowed Eddie to complete some work in a mode other than handwriting.


The study used one multiple baseline design experiment across three subjects. The baseline condition consisted of normal classroom practice without self-monitoring. Students mostly completed independent work, although teachers would also sometimes lecture; a classroom-wide behavior management system was in place, and good behavior was rewarded with points that could be exchanged for prizes. Normal instruction included shortening required work for Eddie. His teachers believed that shortening work had reduced Eddie’s tantrums, but he still did not complete his work.

Support for implementation

Not reported.

Reviewed: September 2008

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

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