What Is the Definition of Behavior Management?

Behavior management is a process that guides people to change their actions within a specific context. Behavior management is usually used to change negative behaviors and habits such as those that occur in education and behavioral health. The process involves identifying the negative behavior, raising awareness about alternative behaviors, changing the environment to reduce negative behavior and offering positive reinforcement to encourage alternative behaviors.

Parents use behavior management techniques to alter children’s behavior at home. Parents begin by identifying factors that make a negative behavior more likely to occur. These factors are called triggers, and identifying them is an important step in behavior management. The second part of behavior management refers to the behaviors themselves. This requires the individual to identify which behaviors he wishes to encourage and which behaviors to discourage. Identifying the consequences of negative behaviors is the final step in basic behavior management.

Behavior management is more difficult when an individual has an underlying condition that causes negative behavior. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to misbehave than other children without ADHD. The behavior management process works the same way except more emphasis is placed on rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior. Experts say that an ideal approach to behavior management for children is focusing on solutions and what the child is already doing successfully rather than dwelling on negative behaviors.