Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lopez, Rosita

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Educational administration; Educational psychology; Problem children--Education--Case studies; Problem children--Behavior modification--Case studies; Behavior modification; School discipline; School psychology


The purpose of this single longitudinal case study was to evaluate the impact of PBIS as a viable alternative for an elementary school to improve behavior and academic outcomes for all students at the Tier 1 level. The foundation of Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and its practices is that social behaviors and academic achievement are connected. When students spend more time in behavior-related activities, it becomes more challenging to participate in activities related to learning academic content. PBIS is designed to reduce inappropriate behaviors and provide more time to improve student academic performance by establishing a positive behavioral environment. In this case study, data were collected through the examination of office discipline referrals (ODRs), suspensions, and state reading scores both before and after implementation of PBIS Tier 1. The data were analyzed descriptively and comparatively over a four year span (0, 1, 2, and 3 years). The results suggested the number of documented ODRs and suspensions decreased during Year 1 and Year 2 when compared to baseline Year 0. ODRs and out-of-school suspensions greatly increased during the fourth year, while in-school suspensions greatly decreased during the fourth year when compared to baseline Year 0. Extraneous variables were discussed as possible causes for the results reported in Year 3. When the case study analyzed the standardized reading test scores grades third through fifth results were mixed when compared to baseline and behavior data. The data collected suggested a measureable difference in students' academic reading achievement based on state reading score performance during the three years following the implementation of PBIS Tier 1. When compared to the increase in ODRs, the academic scores do not support the research finding. Qualitative data were also analyzed after using open-ended interview questions for a deeper understanding of staff members' perceptions of behavior management and discipline procedures used with the implementation of PBIS Tier1. Results indicated that implementing PBIS Tier 1 helped to produce positive changes in behavior and improved the decision-making abilities of students. Although the results affirmed that PBIS Tier 1 was effective in reducing behaviors and increasing reading scores, further study is recommended on how to improve sustainability in an elementary school setting. Results of this case study could also benefit administrators in this school district as they evaluate the effectiveness of PBIS Tier 1 and plan to implement further interventions or programs.


Advisors: Rosita Lopez.||Committee members: Ximena Burgin; Patrick Roberts.


142 pages




Northern Illinois University

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