Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Families: A Model of Individualized Positive Behavior Support for Home and Community

Authors: Glen Dunlap Ph.D., Phillip S. Strain Ph.D., Janice K Lee M.Ed., BCBA, Jaclyn Joseph MSW, BCBA, Christopher Vatland Ph.D., Lise K. Fox Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 240 pages, 8.5 x 11.0
ISBN: 9781598579789
Price: $44.95

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The popular, research-based Prevent-Teach-Reinforce (PTR) model is used in schools and childcare settings nationwide to address challenging behaviors in children with and without disabilities. Now, with the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Families (PTR-F) model in this accessible guidebook, you can use this proven approach with families to help them resolve their child's challenging behavior in their own homes and communities.

Developed by top behavior experts, PTR-F is a highly effective intervention model that helps families prevent behavior problems in children ages 2–10, teach proactive communication and social skills, and reinforce positive behavior. In this expertly organized book, you'll discover how to take on the role of PTR-F facilitator to meet each family's unique needs, and you'll get a clear 5-step process for guiding families as they promote their child's positive behavior (see below). With this comprehensive, adaptable model of behavior support, you'll strengthen family engagement, set each child on the path to healthy social-emotional development, and improve quality of life for the entire family.


  1. Initiating the process. Establish a partnership with the family, and then work together to set individualized goals and develop a vision for the child's future.
  2. Assessment. Guide the family through the steps of functional behavioral assessment (FBA) to uncover the triggers and functions behind the child's behavior.
  3. Intervention. Using results of the FBA, help the family choose from a menu of intervention options to build a behavior support plan that meets their specific needs.
  4. Coaching. Conduct meetings with the family, acting as cheerleader and coach and guiding the family to implement the behavior support plan with fidelity in home and community settings.
  5. Monitoring. Review behavioral data with the family to monitor how well the plan is being implemented and whether the child is making progress.

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Practical, printable forms (including a Behavior Rating Scale for data collection, Assessment Checklists, Behavior Support Plan Summary, Fidelity of Strategy Implementation Form, and complete PTR-F Plan Implementation Guide), plus extended case examples that walk you through the PTR-F steps and bring the process to life.


Review by: Joseph Lucyshyn, Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counseling, Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia
Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Families provides a much-needed manual version of individualized, positive behavior support (PBS) with families of children with challenging behavior. The authors have synthesized features of a PBS approach into a highly practical, family-centered and family-friendly model that is deeply respectful to children and families, firmly grounded in evidence-based practice, carefully illustrated with case studies, and imminently doable by practitioners in family support agencies. Professionals who aim to empower families to improve child behavior and development in family life will find this book an invaluable aid.”
Review by: Stephan Viehweg, Associate Director, Riley Child Development Center, IU School of Medicine, Co-author of Tackling the Tough Stuff
“This practical, logical, and doable method for families takes the guesswork out of achieving meaningful changes in children's challenging behaviors.”
Review by: Patricia Snyder, Professor, David Lawrence Jr. Endowed Chair, and Director of the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, University of Florida
“An exceptional and must-have resource for those supporting families of children with serious challenging behaviors that includes step-by-step guidance for implementing the PTR-F model. The authors have masterfully combined family-centered principles and practices with evidence-based strategies from applied behavior analysis (ABA) and positive behavior support (PBS) to create the PTR-F model.”
Review by: Angela Tomlin, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Riley Child Development LEND Program, Indiana University School of Medicine, Co-author of Tackling the Tough Stuff
“The Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Families approach is clear, understandable, and family-friendly while remaining true to key behavioral principles. The newest version offers a set of well-designed tips and tools that professionals can use to work together with families to design, implement, and evaluate behavior plans that effectively address serious challenging behaviors in young children.”
Review by: Mary Louise Hemmeter, Department of Special Education, Vanderbilt University
“PTR-F is the tool many early childhood professionals have been looking for as they work with young children with challenging behavior and their families. PTR-F is research-based and family-friendly, and provides concrete strategies. Families will find that the process is useful and effective and that the strategies can be implemented in the context of their daily routines.”
Review by: Ilene Schwartz, University of Washington
“This book distills incredibly important information about powerful teaching strategies into a process that is family-friendly and usable. I will recommend this book to all of my students and colleagues who are working with families.”
Review by: Hill Walker, College of Education, University of Oregon
“The authors of Prevent-Teach-Reinforce rank among the most highly respected early childhood professionals today. This book will be a wonderful resource for families and community members working with young children. I highly recommend it as a compendium of effective strategies.”
Review by: George Sugai, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut
“Anyone who supports families will quickly discover the many applied uses for this book. This resource excels because of an emphasis on specially-designed evidence-based practices, family centered implementation, preventive behavioral sciences, and consideration of individual family strengths and challenges. With this book, moving from words-to-practice is facilitated by clear descriptions, operationalized implementation steps, facilitating self-assessments, and a full range of examples and illustrations to achieve high contextual fit. I know so many families and children who will benefit from use of the PTR-F contents and approach.”
Review by: Meme Hieneman, Positive Behavior Support Applications
“This guide – written by knowledgeable, experienced researchers – explains not only how to implement positive behavior support to address behavioral difficulties, but also how to engage families as true partners in the process. It will be a useful resource for practitioners supporting children with challenging behavior and their families.”

Table of Contents

About the Forms
About the Authors
Foreword: Ann Turnbull
  1. Introduction to Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Families (PTR-F)
  2. How to Work with Families
         Appendix: Case Examples
  3. Initiating the PTR-F Process
         Appendix: Case Examples
  4. PTR-F Assessment (Functional Behavioral Assessment)
         Appendix: Case Examples
  5. PTR-F Intervention
         Appendix: Case Examples
  6. Coaching the Family to Implement Plans with Fidelity
         Appendix: Case Examples
  7. Using Data and Next Steps
         Appendix: Case Examples
Intervention Guide

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