First Advisor

Thomas Kindermann

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors




Behavior modification -- Research -- United States, Psychotropic drugs, Drug abuse -- Treatment, Drug abusers -- Services for, Mental health -- Treatment -- United States




The potential benefits of positive behavior supports were explored in a sample of elderly persons and traumatic brain injured persons, all of whom were exhibiting behavioral problems. The sample was drawn from Woollard Ipsen Management, LLC’s clientele base and included persons living in adult foster care homes and assisted living facilities within the State of Oregon. All sample members exhibited behavioral symptoms (n=100) that threatened to result in eviction from their places of residence and most were taking at least on[e] psychotropic medication (n=75). Behavior consultants (n=5) working with the residents were also interviewed and observed. Data was collected on residents using the resident behavior charts, intake forms, working behavior plans, and surveys provided by Woollard Ipsen Management and on the behavior consultants using interview questions and observation. Data was analyzed to determine diagnosis, behavioral patterns, and suggested intervention techniques and then compounded for possible patterns and support for or against the hypotheses (i.e. most common diagnosis will be dementia, TBI will be linked to physical aggression, etc…). The most common diagnosis was depression, followed by dementia. The most common behavioral symptom was verbal aggression and the most common suggested intervention by behavior consultants was to avoid arguing with resident. Results indicated a statistically significant relationship between several diagnoses and behavioral patterns or resultant suggested intervention techniques and indicated an overall support for positive behavioral supports for the specified populations. Implications of these findings for psychotropic drug use within these populations are discussed.


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