Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Clinton Smith



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Special Education

Committee Chair

Sara E. Bicard

Committee Member

David F. Bicard

Committee Member

Laura B. Casey

Committee Member

Janet Siegel-Robertson


Every day administrators and teachers issue increasing numbers of disciplinary referrals that document problematic behaviors in the classroom. When placed in in-school suspension (ISS) because of disciplinary reasons students lose valuable academic instruction time and their academic achievement is negatively impacted. ISS produces little, if any, meaningful behavior change at the expense of the academic achievement of students. Although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) makes provisions for conducting functional behavior assessments (FBA) for students with disabilities, best practices would allow using the same process for at-risk students without disabilities who have behavioral issues in the classroom. Yet many schools do not use FBAs for these at-risk students and continue to utilize ISS as a consequence for problem behaviors although research indicates this has not been effective. The current study investigated the effects of implementing function-based interventions developed from functional behavior assessment data for students who have been assigned ISS. The purpose of this study was three- fold: (1) to compare the effects of function-based classroom interventions derived from a FBA and an ISS program on the duration of ISS placement, to the number of office discipline referrals (ODR), and academic grades for at-risk middle school students who display problematic behaviors in school; (2) to determine if the function-based classroom interventions derived from a functional behavior assessment that was implemented by teachers would improve classroom disruptive behavior; and (3) to compare pre-test and post-test results on a universal screening tool, the Student Risk Screening Scale (SRSS), for students who received function-based interventions and those who did not receive the interventions. The study found that using function-based interventions with information derived from FBAs reduced the time a student served in ISS, decreased ODRs, but had little effect on academic grades. The study also showed that function-based interventions helped participants reduce problematic behaviors in the classroom thereby increasing academic instruction time in the classroom. The study also showed that there was no meaningful difference in the pre-test and post-test scores of the SRSS for students who received function-based interventions and those who did not receive function-based interventions.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.