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Overview of Function-Based Problem Solving (FBPS)


Even when prevention practices are in place, some students will need additional supports and interventions to be successful in the learning environment.  Function-based Problem Solving (FBPS) is a continuum of practices grounded in evidence-based principles for behavior intervention. Published research suggests that interventions developed as a result of function-based information gathering are more likely to have successful outcomes than those selected without reference to function.


FBPS is most effective when a team based process is used that engages everyone who works with the student.  The process is guided by a facilitator (e.g., school counselor, social worker, administrator, school psychologist) who  helps the student’s team work toward understanding the function of behavior and selecting the right interventions. 


 FBPS is characterized by five phases:  Gathering Information, Mapping-out the Pattern, Determining Function, Selecting Intervention and Monitoring Progress.  To support access to the necessary tools and resources for each of these phases, the navigation tabs for this topic have been organized to correspond with these five phases.  For more information about each of the implementation phases, visit the corresponding tab on 


Further Reading


Pinkelman, S.E. & Horner, R.H. Improving implementation of function-based interventions:  Self-monitoring, data collection and data review.  Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.  December 1, 2016. DOI: 10.1177/1098300716683634


Ingram, T., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Sugai, G. (2005).  Function-based intervention planning:  Comparing the effects of FBA function-based and non-function-based intervention plans.  Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 7(4), 224-236.