STAR Analysis of Dysregulated Behaviour

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Last update: December 8, 2022

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The ‘STAR Approach’ to the management of dysregulated behaviour first appeared in Problem Behaviour and People with Severe Learning Disabilities: The STAR Approach by Ewa Zarkowska and John Clements (1994).

We use the tool to identify the learner’s strengths and patterns of dysregulation before we formulate an understanding of what factors contribute to emotional dysregulation and the purpose of associate behaviours.  This analysis will include:

  • a description of typical dysregulated behaviours
  • the results the behaviour appears to achieve
  • apparent triggers for emotional dysregulation
  • environmental setting
  • personal context
  • related skill deficits which contribute to dysregulated behaviour.


The STAR Analysis of Dysregulated Behaviour should be preceded by the STAR Observation Tool.   These observations can be used to inform an Emotional Regulation or Stress Management Plan and Individual Risk Assessment, where necessary.

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