The Role of Target Behaviors in Enhancing the Efficacy of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation

Rachel E. Schumacher, Henry P. Bass, Katherine C. Cheng, Lorey A. Wheeler, Susan M. Sheridan, Amanda L. Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC) is an evidence-based, indirect service delivery model that addresses children’s behavioral concerns across home and school. However, to date, researchers have not yet examined specific aspects of the intervention that maximize the effects of CBC. The current study examined whether a foundational aspect of consultation—the framing of target behaviors (i.e., positive behaviors to increase versus negative behaviors to decrease)—moderated the effects of CBC on children’s problem and adaptive behaviors. Participants were 267 children in Kindergarten through third grade (nCBC = 159, nControl = 108) and their parents and teachers. Results revealed positively framed target behaviors were associated with fewer behavior concerns at school for children who received CBC relative to other child participants. Children who received CBC and whose target behaviors were framed negatively showed more noncompliant behavior relative to all other participants. Implications of these findings for practice, study limitations, and areas for future research are discussed. Impact Statement In the absence of effective intervention, students with behavioral challenges face a lifetime of difficulty. Ample research documents the efficacy of conjoint behavioral consultation (CBC) for promoting prosocial behaviors and ameliorating school difficulties. This study demonstrates that the effects of CBC can be amplified by intentionally framing target behaviors in a positive (i.e., desirable behaviors to improve) versus negative (i.e., undesirable behaviors to decrease) manner, providing a simple but significant method for improving practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSchool Psychology Review
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Prerna Arora
  • child behavior
  • conjoint behavioral consultation
  • family–school partnership
  • target behavior framing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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