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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Meta-analysis of family-centered positive behaviour support with families of children with developmental disabilities and problem behaviour Gao, Xin


Children with developmental disabilities often engage in problem behaviour. Problem behaviour has a pervasive and disruptive effect on children’s development and family quality of life. Family-centered Positive Behaviour Support (FCPBS) integrates core features of a positive behaviour support approach (e.g., functional assessment, multicomponent behaviour support plan, contextual fit) and family centered service delivery (e.g., family as unit of attention, collaborative partnership, family empowerment) into a behavioural support service delivery model that aims to improve child behaviour and child and family quality of life. The primary purpose of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis to examine the overall effect of FCPBS across 30 included studies published between 1997 to 2019. The secondary purpose was to evaluate the rigor of the 30 included studies based on What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) design and evidence standards for single case research, and to determine if FCPBS meets criteria necessary to be categorized as an empirically supported treatment (EST). In addition, a moderator analysis was conducted to determine whether there were effect size differences across the moderating variables of age, gender, disability category and WWC rigor evaluation. Result showed that FCPBS is effective at reducing problem behaviour of children with developmental disabilities and increasing their appropriate behavior and/or positive engagement. Result also showed that 12 of the 30 included FCPBS studies (40%) met WWC design and evidence standards. The WWC 5-3-20 criteria for an EST indicated that the first two criterion were met (i.e., 12 studies across 6 research groups and 7 locations) but the third criterion was approached but not met, indicating that FCPBS is an emerging rather than established EST. Results are discussed in terms of relation to the literature, limitations and future directions.

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