Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Mandy Meyer


Purpose This scholarly project was created to provide pediatric occupational therapists with a best-practice approach to address challenging behavior by focusing on its prevention while establishing consistency throughout the clinic.

Methodology An extensive literature review was performed using eight search databases and combinations of six primary search terms as well as original works by key scholars and researchers. The results of this literature review suggested the need for a best-practice approach to both protect occupational therapists and their clients during interventions related to challenging behavior and to provide guidance as to how to format a consistent approach toward challenging behavior in an occupational therapy clinic. Through further study of occupational therapy practice models, the Ecology of Human Performance model was chosen as a guiding framework for the methodology of the project and the creation of the product.

Results The conclusion of this process resulted in the creation of a guide, intended for occupational therapy practitioners, entitled Best-Practice for Preventing Challenging Behavior in Pediatric Occupational Therapy. The product consists of a three-part inservice intended to educate pediatric practitioners about the complexities surrounding challenging behavior and proposes best-practice approaches to prevent challenging vii behavior as suggested by the literature review. The in-service materials include a detailed speaker’s guide, a visual slide presentation, and a participant’s guide.

Conclusion The work of this scholarly project is intended to increase the efficacy of pediatric occupational therapy practitioners through education about challenging behavior and its prevention and by promoting consistency throughout a pediatric occupational therapy clinic. It is anticipated that the in-service material will be a helpful tool for beginning practitioners and for those practitioners who wish to increase evidence-based support for their intervention approaches.