Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Cathryn White


School personnel were concerned that the disruptive student behaviors at an urban, elementary school in the northeast United States had persisted despite positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) implementation and professional development (PD) for more than 7 years. The purpose of this basic qualitative research study was to explore teacher perceptions regarding the PBIS related to student behavior and socialization issues. Skinner's reinforcement theory and Bronfenbrenner's bioecological systems theory served as the conceptual frameworks for this study. Specifically, this study explored the PBIS framework in reducing students' undesirable behaviors, how the framework prepared teachers to implement PBIS in their school, and how PBIS developed prosocial behaviors in students. The study included interview data from 20 purposefully selected teachers from prekindergarten through Grade 3, and Grade 5 teachers who were known to meet the selection criteria of being an urban elementary school teacher with 2 or more years of experience using the PBIS framework. Data were analyzed using Attride-Stirling's 6 steps of thematic coding. Findings indicated that PBIS is beneficial but selective; more training was needed after implementation; and parental support is necessary for the development of prosocial behaviors. Themes supporting the findings included that the PBIS framework being beneficial, that it was successful with some students but not all, and that it must be implemented properly. Thus, the resulting project provides intervention strategies to supplement the current PBIS framework. The implications for positive social change are dependent on educators to effectively use PBIS in improving students' social behavior in the school district.