Jeffrey Sprague, PhD, is a professor of special education and director of the University of Oregon Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior. He directs federal, state, and local research and demonstration projects related to positive behavior interventions and supports, multitiered support systems, alternative education, juvenile delinquency prevention and treatment, restorative practices, and school safety.
His research activities encompass applied behavior analysis, positive behavior supports, behavioral response to intervention, functional behavioral assessment, school safety, youth violence prevention, and juvenile delinquency prevention.
Sprague began his career as a teacher of students with low-incidence cognitive disabilities, and his early career research was focused primarily in this content area. In 1990 and 1997, Sprague coauthored the first guide to Functional Behavioral Assessment (O’Neill et al., 1997). He is a contributor to Early Warning, Timely Response, and the 1998, 1999, and 2000 President’s Annual Report on School Safety. He wrote the books Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design for school administrators (Schneider, Walker & Sprague, 2000) and Safe and Healthy Schools: Practical Prevention Strategies with Hill Walker for Guilford Press (Sprague & Walker, 2005). His book, Best Behavior: Building Positive Behavior Support in Schools with Annemieke Golly (2005; 2013) was recently released as a second edition. In 2008 he published the book Response to Intervention and Behavior Supports. He has published more than 200 journal articles and book chapters.
Sprague recently completed an R01 research project from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct the first randomized control trial of the effects of positive behavior supports in middle schools. Further, he has served as principal or co-principal investigator on multiple Institute of Education Sciences Goal 2 development projects focusing on PBIS in schools, universal screening for behavior adjustment, classroom management, student self-management, the role of Native language and culture in academic achievement and behavior, and PBIS implementation in juvenile justice settings.
Sprague is a native Oregonian, husband, and father of two girls. He enjoys cycling, running, fly fishing and playing guitar.