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Alice Eichholz


Positive behavior intervention support is a behavioral approach that was implemented in the early 2000s across the United States to assist educators in addressing the behavioral concerns of students with special needs. Since its implementation, it has been used to assist students at all levels with emotional and behavioral needs to achieve academic success in over 20,000 schools. However, there was a reported lack of administrative support and insufficient understanding regarding administrators’ roles in the process. The purpose of this basic interpretive qualitative study was to examine administrators’ roles and decision-making practices in implementation of the behavioral intervention approach across elementary schools in Guam. The conceptual framework for this basic qualitative study consisted of Rogers’s innovation diffusion theory and Lorenz’s complexity theory. Data were collected from interviews with 8 administrators. and analyzed using open coding to identify patterns that were then categorized into 5 emergent themes: degrees of administrative autonomy, realizing importance of a schema, positive outcomes, challenges and setbacks, and perceptions of improvements of the behavioral approach. The participants described the effectiveness of the behavioral approach as positive; however, they found that inadequate buy-in, resources, and professional training were still areas of need. Study findings may help administrators and teachers in Guam better address the social and emotional concerns at school by strengthening administrative practices.

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