Competing Pathways

Used to help identify an appropriate replacement behavior.

Competing Pathways Template

Competing Pathways Template

Color coded template

Competing Pathways Example 1

Competing Pathways Example 1

Example 1

Competing Pathways Example 2

Competing Pathways Example 2

Example 2

When to use:

  • To determine a functionally equivalent replacement behavior.
  • Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Intervention Plan development.

How to use:

  1. Identify the target behavior (red path on template)
  2. Identify the immediate antecedent for the target behavior (red path)
  3. Identify the immediate consequence of the target behavior (red path)
  4. Identify the hypothesized function of the target behavior (red path)
  5. Identify any setting event relevant to the occurrence of the target behavior
  6. Identify the desired behavior (blue path on template)
  7. Identify the desired behavior’s consequence (blue path)
  8. Identify the desired behavior’s hypothesized function (blue path)
  9. Identify a replacement behavior the will produce the same function as the target behavior (green path on template)


  • When a replacement behavior provides the same function, is as efficient as the target behavior, and is reinforced, the likelihood of that person using the replacement behavior increases.
  • If a student has more than one target behavior, complete a Competing Pathways for each.
  • Planning can still occur if you do not know the setting events.
  • A desired behavior may produce the same hypothesized function as the target behavior. This behavior may be considered as a replacement behavior.
  • A desired behavior may not produce the same function as the target behavior. Only use a replacement behavior that produces the same function as the target behavior.
  • Don’t forget to teach the student how to use the replacement behavior and reinforce its use!


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