Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Catherine H. Glascock

Committee Members

James J. Fox III, James H. Lampley, Donald W. Good


Students who exhibit disruptive and inappropriate behaviors are a challenge for schools, as teachers and administrators are most often held responsible for managing these behaviors. This study was designed to evaluate School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) when used in a rural middle school setting. Research indicates that using SWPBS in an individual school over a period of time can decrease the amount of disruptive behaviors in the school while also increasing attendance and academic scores. However, little longitudinal research exists concerning the use of SWPBS within middle school settings across a system.

Through the use of quantitative methods, this study included examining overall effect on office disciplinary referrals (ODRs), suspensions, and expulsions under the 3 categories of schools as well as faculty and student perceptions (current year only) of SWPBS. While there was no significant difference found among ODRs, expulsions, or suspensions among the 3 school categories through ANOVA analysis, the study did highlight the need for further evaluation of how schools implement SWPBS. A one-way, chi-square analysis of faculty perceptions did not show a significance among the three school categories, while student perceptions did show significance and a follow-up pairwise comparison was conducted. The student survey analysis suggests that students in either a school with the SWPBS plan or without a plan are 3 times more likely to have a negative attitude toward the behavioral school policies than schools with a partial SWPBS plan. The analysis on perceptions indicates the need for further faculty and student questioning in future research.

The primary significance of this study is that it addresses the use of SWPBS in various middle school settings and in various stages of use (full plan, partial plan, or no plan). This study also evaluates data from two years before the SWPBS implementation as opposed to just one year. The study highlights issues related to middle school students and how school systems might better serve those students.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.