Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Administration

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Carole Heitman Murphy


Kathleen Brown

Charles Fazzaro

Richard Burns


Many theories regarding school discipline have been developed and implemented. In this study, various discipline models are discussed and analyzed. One particular model that claims to significantly reduce discipline referrals is Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The primary purpose of this study was to determine if PBIS is effective in reducing discipline referrals in a particular Midwest suburban 6-8 middle school. In addition, the referrals were analyzed to determine if there was a significant change in the academic achievement in the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) math and communication arts test scores after implementation of PBIS in 2008-2009. The population in this study was approximately 600 students attending a suburban Midwestern grade 6-8 middle school with fifty-nine (59) teachers and two (2) administrators. Behavior referral data for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years were compared to the 2008-2009 academic year to determine if there was a significant difference in the number of referrals since the program was initiated. In addition, the referrals were analyzed by using a frequency count to determine if conclusions can be drawn from the types of referrals. A comparison of academic achievement, using the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) was also used to compare the pre and post initiation of PBIS. A t test and an analysis of variance revealed significant effects were only shown for the behavior referral data. The null hypothesis was rejected resulting in acceptance of the alternative hypothesis stating that a significant decrease in behavior referrals occurred. This information provides evidence that PBIS should continue to be implemented to minimize the number of behavior referrals. On the contrary, there was no significant effect on academic achievement according to the MAP results collected. Further studies are necessary to show whether there are any long term effects on academic achievement.

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