PAX Good Behavior Game

The PAX Good Behavior Game® is a universal preventive intervention applied by teachers in the classroom. This evidence-based practice consists of a set of research-based strategies with origins in behavioral science, neuroscience, and cultural wisdom that operate together to improve children’s self-regulation. Teachers implement these strategies as part of their daily routines in carrying out tasks such as getting students’ attention, selecting students for tasks, transitioning from one task to the next, working as part of a team, limiting problematic behavior, and reinforcing pro-social behavior.

This program is approved for WV Expanded School Mental Health.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

  • reduced problematic behaviors
  • reduced risk for mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders
  • fewer symptoms of depression
  • fewer school-related injuries and symptoms of aggression
  • reduced rates of bullying
  • decreased suicide ideation and fewer attempts
  • decreased tobacco use
  • reduced alcohol use
  • decreased illicit drug including opioid abuse
  • less overall service use for drug abuse or psychiatric disorder
  • higher reading levels than their peers
  • reduced need for Special Education Services
  • higher graduation and college entrance rates

Continuum of Care:
Indicated Prevention, Selective Prevention, Universal Prevention

Topic Areas:
Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Depression, Disruptive Behaviors, Substance Use, Suicide

Childhood (4-12)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:

Cultural Considerations:
A balanced amount of the research involved diverse populations

Children in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 6th

This program is implemented by classroom teachers and educators.


Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
Please see the following link for more training information:

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Yes, refer to program website

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Bradshaw, C. P., Zmuda, J. H., Kellam, S. G., & Ialongo, N. S. (2009). Longitudinal impact of two universal preventive interventions in first grade on educational outcomes in high school. Journal of educational psychology, 101(4), 926.

Humphrey, N., Panayiotou, M., Hennessey, A., & Ashworth, E. (2021). Treatment affect modifiers in a randomized trial of the good behavior game during middle childhood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 89(8), 668.

Ialongo, N. S., Domitrovich, C., Embry, D., Greenberg, M., Lawson, A., Becker, K. D., & Bradshaw, C. (2019). A randomized controlled trial of the combination of two school-based universal preventive interventions. Developmental Psychology, 55(6), 1313.

Kellam, S. G., Wang, W., Mackenzie, A. C., Brown, C. H., Ompad, D. C., Or, F., … & Windham, A. (2014). The impact of the Good Behavior Game, a universal classroom-based preventive intervention in first and second grades, on high-risk sexual behaviors and drug abuse and dependence disorders into young adulthood. Prevention science, 15, 6-18.

Smith, E. P., Osgood, D. W., Oh, Y., & Caldwell, L. C. (2018). Promoting afterschool quality and positive youth development: Cluster randomized trial of the Pax Good Behavior Game. Prevention Science, 19, 159-173.

Additional Sources:

Well-Supported by Research

WV Rating:
Well-Supported by Research
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

Many quality studies have been completed for this program.

Contraindications or Concerns:
None identified

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Well-Supported by Research Evidence

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:
Not On Registry

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Promising - One study

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Found on the registry. See link for more information.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy Registry Link: