Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Special Education

Committee Chair

David Bicard

Committee Member

Sara Bicard

Committee Member

William Zachry

Committee Member

Laura Casey


Although many schools have begun developing school wide discipline plans for how school personnel should respond to problem behaviors, the discipline plans tend to rely heavily upon punishment and the application of punitive consequences. An alternative approach, School-wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) is a proactive intervention and support strategy aimed at decreasing problem behaviors by strengthening pro-social behavior.Key components of SWPBS are the use of systemic preventative tactics such as school-wide rules, teaching behavioral expectations to all students, and buy-in from at least 80% of the school staff.It is important to understand the impact of punitive consequences a school uses on the success of SWPBS in reducing problem behavior in schools. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of the SWPBS program in schools that continue to implement highly punitive consequences for problem behaviors.Seventeen schools from an urban southeastern community participated.The schools had been implementing SWPBS for one year, but also consistently used referrals to the office, referrals to in-school suspension, referrals to out of school suspensions, and expulsions as consequences for problem behaviors.The current study found that the continued use of punitive consequences had no impact on the schools’ implementing SWPBS in regard to decreasing problem behavior, but that a current commonly used school assessment instrument used for SWPBS was not able to detect the impact of the continued use of punitive consequences.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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