Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Terry Stewart

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindy Vitale

Third Advisor

Dr. Don Francis


This study was conducted in order to examine the effects of a positive behavior intervention program in a middle-school setting. Over the course of many years, Rogers Middle School has had chronic discipline problems as evidenced by the number of behavioral referrals by teachers to the principals’ offices. As discipline problems increased, student classroom performance seemed to decrease. In the school year 2002-03, Rogers Middle School implemented a program called Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) to address the discipline problems. The program objective was to improve student achievement by improving behaviors. This study allowed the researcher to examine the effectiveness of using PBIS to improve student behavior and increase academic achievement. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in behaviors and academic achievement between two cohorts of students (one pre-PBIS and one post-PBIS) in a school with chronic discipline problems.

The hypothesis for this study was that PBIS used in place of punitive disciplinary measures will improve student behavior, as measured by student discipline referrals and that PBIS used in place of punitive disciplinary measures will increase academic achievement, as measured by Lexile reading scores and student grades.

Statistical analysis of behavioral referrals, grade point averages and Lexile reading scores comparing Cohort I (pre-PBIS) during the years 2003 to 2005 to Cohort II (post-PBIS) during the years 2005 to 2007 indicated that PBIS had no statistically significant impact on student behavior or academic performance. School personnel were trained in the use of PBIS, but once implemented, the process was not measured or managed.

The most salient finding of this study, therefore, was the importance of successful program implementation. Ensuring the staff carries out the right strategies in the right way may improve the effectiveness of a PBIS program. Therefore, a recommendation for future research is to not only measure outcomes, but also and at the same time, measure the process. Such a study may show that the more the process is followed, the more behaviors and student achievement improve.


Copyright 2009

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