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How to Choose Practices to Work with the PAX Good Behavior Game?

If your child, grandchild, or other loved ones were diagnosed with a serious disease or disorder or at-risk for a serious disorder, you’d want to find out the most scientifically proven treatment and preventive strategies to protect or save your loved one.

You’d be worried about quack remedies, and you’d probably seek advice from trusted sources. You might even do research yourself by going to the National Library of Medicine (, which indexes the much of the best science in healing arts. You’d want to know how those healing, curative, or preventive strategies were scientifically tested. You’d be a bit suspicious of claims such as “as advertised on TV” or in the Sunday supplement in the newspaper. You’d probably have memories of false remedies promoted such as apricot pits (aka Laetrile) to cure cancer.

You’d be right to be cautious. Many groups look to profit off of hurt or loss.

Now, what if you are a teacher or school administrator? You will have a significant percentage of children in your classroom, school, and school district who have or are at risk to have ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Emotional Disorders, Conduct or Behavioral Disorders, or developmental disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some students will have had significant exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) or also have high risk for substance abuse, violence, or even suicide. Presently, the best data suggest half of children in America will have or have had such a disorder by age 18. What you choose, or your school or community chooses to help children matters for everybody. So how do you choose wisely?

Picking Fact from Fad

Fads sweep education like teenage fashions and often change with a new administrator or with the last visit to a vendors’ table at a conference. Imagine if your child’s doctor made decisions based on fads. Doctors and healing arts professionals are supposed to make decisions based on the best peer-reviewed, replicated science available. Most of that science is freely available at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (

If you went to, you would find at least 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles just for the good behavior game as cited in examples here [1-15], and you could then find scores of scientific studies on each of the active ingredi­ents used in the implementation of the PAX Good Behavior Game® as cited in the manual and in peer-reviewed articles by Embry and colleagues.[16-25]

If you search or PsychInfo ( on Positive Behavioral Interven­tions and Supports (PBIS), you will find 20+ publications. Some studies have integrated PBIS and PAX GBG or PAX GBG and an evidence-based social-emotional learning curricu­lum (e.g. PATHS®, Positive Alternative Thinking Skills). The combinations have proven very beneficial.

FACTS: Neither PAX GBG, PBIS, PATHS nor some other SEL strategies are fads. They have solid, replicated science you can verify. In the case of PAX GBG, that replicated sci­ence documents the effective treatment of ADHD, emotional problems, behavior problems, other mental health disorders for children’s lifetimes, increased academic success across the lifetime, and even reductions in suicide and violent crime.

PAXIS Institute emphatically encourages the integration of PAX Good Behavior Game with other powerful, proven educational evidence-based practices that improve student, school, family, and community outcomes.

FADS: Now look up clip charts or their popular electronic version, Class Dojo® in both Pubmed and PsychInfo. There are no scientific studies demonstrating any results from clip charts despite nearly 1 million “clip chart” hits on Google. Class Dojo has over $40 million in funding from Silicon Valley investors, yet not one high-quality scientific study shows any results. The only study available is a dissertation, combining Dojo with Good Behavior Game. Dojo has no benefit above PAX GBG, which also has its own iOS, Android, & web app  (PAX Up!).

FADS often have dark sides. Clip charts and Dojo both have news and magazine articles that suggest adverse effects in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and educational publications. One widespread significant Dojo concern is about FERPA privacy violations, see Just like doctors, schools must do their own due diligence researching behavioral and academic strategies—especially on hyped fads with little or no substantive scientific evaluation on both positive and negative effects in the short and long term.

Download the document with citations here.

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