Research News

Step-by-step guide to handling anti-social behavior at school published

Many schools across the nation struggle in their efforts to deal with challenging behaviors. A new book co-authored by Kathleen Lane, associate professor of special education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development, aims to help schools develop a comprehensive strategy to identify and help students with behavior issues before violence erupts.

The book, Developing Comprehensive School-wide Intervention Programs to Prevent and Manage Antisocial Behavior: A Step-By-Step Approach, is co-authored by Jemma Robertson Kalberg and Holly Menzies. It translates years of classroom research into a manual for school administrators and teachers wishing to create positive behavior support programs in K-12 settings with an overall goal of improving academic, social and behavior outcomes for all students.

“Each school is unique. Rather than offering a canned curriculum, this book helps schools explore a variety of options to craft a plan that addresses their particular needs,” Lane said. “Also, rather than just focusing on behavior in isolation, we provide a guide for developing a comprehensive primary prevention program that addresses academic, behavioral and social domains.”

Through a series of questions and instructions, school personnel are led through the foundations of designing, implementing and evaluating a primary prevention program designed to prevent the development of challenging behaviors and respond to existing cases of problem behavior.

The book includes extensive forms, resources and instructions that walk the reader through every step of the process. In addition, it offers a research-based view of the topic and details studies that examined the effectiveness of school-wide interventions designed to promote positive student behavior and improve academic performance.

Lane is an investigator in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Vanderbilt Learning Sciences Institute. Kalberg is a special education teacher at Seneca Center in San Leandro, Calif., and Menzies is an associate professor of special education at California State University, Los Angeles.

Guilford Press published the book.

For more information, contact Kathleen Lane: For more information about Peabody College, go to Visit the book’s web site at

Camilla Meek, Peabody College webmaster, contributed to this report.

Media Contact: Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS