Date of Conferral





Human Services


Sandra Harris


Abstract Teachers and administrators spend a great deal of time addressing minor to moderate school discipline behaviors with punitive actions such as suspensions and expulsions from school. Past research has revealed that such punitive actions do not correct the unwanted behavior, and extensive use of punitive disciplinary actions have been linked to negative outcomes such as repeated suspensions, repeating grades due to time missed from school, increased likelihood of dropping out of school, or potential involvement in the juvenile justice system. This single case study design addressed the following research question: How school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) affected the academic achievement of boys attending an all male Grade 6 through 12 urban school. The conceptual framework for this study was grounded in applied behavior analysis. Data were collected through semistructured interviews from 10 teachers and administrators. Results revealed that school-wide PBIS resulted in improved student behavior by decreasing use of punitive behaviors such as office referrals and school suspensions, and resulted in positive behaviors from students such as increased school attendance and motivation to learn. Results also highlighted the need to prepare educators for implementation through involving them in the initial implementation, providing training and professional development, and providing follow-on support meetings. Findings from this study contribute to social change by presenting evidence of how the successful implementation of school wide PBIS can be used to curb negative school behavior and lead to positive educational outcomes in schools.