Implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) in Tennessee public schools

Mary Kate Boston, Tennessee State University


The present study examined the implementation process of School Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) in selected Tennessee elementary and middle schools. This researcher sought to investigate staff members’ perceptions of the school-level factors of PBIS implementation for the primary level of support, Tier 1. Through this examination, this study determined factors of the change process that are necessary for successful organization change and outcomes associated with PBIS implementation. A secondary purpose of the study was to evaluate and determine the success of the implemented program through examining teacher perspectives and school data. Educational and behavioral changes within the school, including office discipline referrals, student achievement, suspensions, retention rates, and school climate, were measured through data collection and surveying faculty and staff in order to determine the achieved outcomes of the program. The results of this study revealed opportunities for improvement while implementing PBIS and will assist in the rollout of future PBIS implementation at the primary (Tier 1) level. The process of change when implementing PBIS was measured based on well-known organizational change theories. Quantitative and Qualitative data were concomitantly collected as each research participant completed a seven part survey. Among the major findings, the mean scores for all construct areas of the survey, which measured the different factors of PBIS implementation, (i.e. change, leadership and support, knowledge, and attitudes) represented positive responses from participants. Stakeholders did not rate PBIS as effective in improving truancy; however, research participants indicated that PBIS had a positive impact on behavior referrals, achievement, retention, suspensions, and school climate. While there were differences between school data from 2012-2013 (before PBIS implementation) and 2014-2015 (after PBIS implementation), there is no statistically significant difference (p<.05) in school data. This research may serve as a beginning point for non-similar schools and school districts in gathering a more solid understanding of the PBIS implementation process and of factors that need to be considered during implementation in order for it to be successful. Further investigation is needed for non-similar schools and districts, Tier 2 and Tier 3 implementation, and in the high school setting.

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Mary Kate Boston, "Implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) in Tennessee public schools" (2016). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10158566.