WWC review of this study

The effects of multi-component, assessment-based curricular modifications on the classroom behavior of children with emotional and behavioral disorders.

Dunlap, G., White, R., Vera, A., Wilson, D., & Panacek, L. (1996). Journal of Behavioral Education, 6(4), 481–500.

  • Single Case Design
    , grades

Reviewed: December 2016

Meets WWC standards with 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.

  • Female: 66%
    Male: 34%
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The study took place in classrooms serving students with an emotional and behavioral disorder (EBD) at a public elementary school in a large southeastern US city. Ann and Michael were in the same classroom, which was served by one teacher and one aide. Gizelle was in a different classroom that was also served by one teacher and one aide. The study was conducted during English classes for Michael and Gizelle and during handwriting sessions for Ann.

Study sample

Three students were part of the study sample. All three students had been labeled “severely emotionally disturbed” by officials in their school. Each student exhibited problem behaviors and lack of task engagement prior to the study. Michael and Ann were 7 years old, and Gizelle was 9 years old. Michael and Ann were in the same classroom, although Michael was considered second-grade status, while Ann was first-grade status. Gizelle was in the fourth grade.


Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) procedures included a review of records; interviews with teachers, students, and parents; and classroom observations. Based on the FBA, a multi-component, curricular intervention was designed for each student. The FBA-based intervention packages for all three students included elements of choice—Michael and Gizelle were allowed to choose from a menu of worksheets, and Ann was allowed to choose what words she would trace on a worksheet. Michael’s intervention also included dividing each longer assignment into two shorter assignments, and the font size of all printed materials was increased. For Gizelle, worksheets were modified by highlighting certain words to draw attention to them, adding pictures to clarify instructions, and adjusting worksheets to a lower reading level that was more consistent with her ability level; longer assignments were also divided into two shorter assignments. Ann’s intervention gave her the opportunity to select food items from a mock grocery store, after tracing food names on four different worksheets.


The study used a reversal-withdrawal design for all three students. The baseline/withdrawal condition consisted of normal classroom activities without modifications.

Support for implementation

Not reported.


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