The Effects of School-Wide Behavior Support on Special Education Students' Achievement and Office Discipline Referrals

Sandy Dawes, Tennessee State University


This study investigated the effect School-Wide Positive Behavior Support had on special education students' achievement and office discipline referrals. Sixty-nine special education students from eight elementary schools participated in this study. Thirty-four participants were in the group with School-Wide Positive Behavior Support, and 35 participants were in the group with no discipline program. The participants all had attended their schools for a minimum of two consecutive years. A quantitative causal comparative research method was utilized to compare the participants with School-Wide Positive Behavior Support to the participants with no School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Program. This study utilized two school years of archival data to obtain students. TCAP math and language achievement test scores. Several methods were utilized to obtain the office discipline referrals from the participating schools. The data was then analyzed and the nine null hypotheses were tested. A t-test was utilized for much of the data to compare the means and determine a means difference. Some of the data was not normally distributed and a non-parametric test also was utilized for three of the null hypotheses. The researcher in this study set the alpha level of significance at .05. After careful analysis of the data this study concluded that School-Wide Positive Behavior Support does not have a statistically significant effect on math and language achievement scores or office discipline referrals. The null hypotheses were retained. This study was conducted after a year of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support implementation. The literature review found that the longer the program is in effect the more probable it is for schools to see significant results. Also, the researcher found that if the alpha had been set at .10 a statistical significance would have been found, in terms of office discipline referrals. It is recommended that further research be conducted on the effects of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support. If this study were replicated after the program has been in place for four years, the data analysis may find different outcomes. Utilizing an entire school population would give the researcher more information and might have different results also. Utilizing School-Wide Positive Behavior Support is aiding in meeting the discipline needs of schools across the country, and research on its effects should be continued.

Subject Area

School administration|Educational psychology|Special education

Recommended Citation

Sandy Dawes, "The Effects of School-Wide Behavior Support on Special Education Students' Achievement and Office Discipline Referrals" (2011). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3454360.