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The Relationships Among School-Wide Positive Behavioral Support, School Size, and Math Achievement Open Access

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The school-wide positive behavioral support (SWPBS) framework is a behaviorally-based, systems approach to addressing the problem behaviors of youth in our schools. This study examined the relationships among SWPBS implementation, SWPBS effectiveness, school size, and math achievement utilizing a secondary analysis of records and a principal opinion survey in 26 elementary schools in one large, diverse, mid-Atlantic school district. While results are inconclusive and should be interpreted with caution, six key findings (three related to SWPBS implementation and three to SWPBS effectiveness) were indicated: 1. No statistical relationship was found between school size and SWPBS implementation, although 64% of principals agreed that additional resources and 48% of principals agreed that additional years might be needed to implement SWPBS.2. All but one principal (96%) agreed that their schools were implementing SWPBS with a high degree of fidelity, with 100% of principals agreeing that universal interventions such as students knowing school rules, rewards and consequences were in place in their schools. However only 50% of principals agreed that tertiary level interventions involving mental health, community collaborations were being implemented. 3. No statistical relationship was found between SWPBS implementation and math achievement and only 46% principals agreed that additional math interventions were included in their school programs. 4. No statistical relationship was found between school size and SWPBS effectiveness although 100% of principals in large schools and 75% of principals of small schools agreed that school size influenced SWPBS effectiveness. 5. All principals agreed that SWPBS has had a positive impact on student behavior, and students with disabilities, and results in less teacher time spent on student behavior. Ninety-size percent of principals agreed that SWPBS has had a positive impact on teachers' behavior management. 6. A statistically significant relationship was found between SWPBS effectiveness and improved math achievement in medium size schools, supported by 69% of principals agreeing that SWPBS resulted in increased student engagement in math and increased time for math instruction.A thorough description of research design, conceptual framework, study conclusions, and recommendations for future research are included in the study.

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