A simple behavior pathway is a visual series of four boxes that helps organize and understand the sequence of problem behavior. The boxes (components) of a behavior pathway include:
- Setting event (background state or event that sets the stage for the problem behavior to occur). Setting events may be hunger, lack of sleep, earlier difficulty with peers, an upsetting home situation, etc.)
- Antecedent or trigger (the closest cause of the problem behavior or the most obvious event which immediately precedes the behavior).
- Behavior (what the student/child does in specific terms, including exactly what happens, to whom, for how long, how frequently, etc.)
- Maintaining consequence (what generally happens as a result of the problem behavior). This consequence is often a clue to the function of the child's behavior (what he/she gets or avoids) and how the consequence may be reinforcing the behavior.