Investigating the construct validity of office discipline referrals as a measure of school-wide positive behavior support
Coleman, Matthew Edward
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Coleman, Matthew Edward
School-Wide Positive Behavior Support has emerged as an effective approach to impact challenging student behaviors at the individual level while building and maintaining a positive learning environment for all. Office discipline referrals are widely utilized within the field of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support as a measure of behavior and behavior change at the individual, group and whole school level. Though widely utilized, the validity of office discipline referrals as an outcome measure has received little attention. This study presents evidence of the construct validity of office discipline referrals as an outcome measure of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support. The primary purpose of this study was to provide evidence of the construct validity of office discipline referrals. The concept of a nomological network was utilized and empirical evidence linking various student predictor variables with office discipline referrals was investigated. The study employed case study methodology with an embedded quasi-experimental design to investigate the correlations between ten independent predictor variables and office discipline referrals. The initial analysis produced weak correlations and limited evidence for the proposed network. A second analysis was conducted including attendance as a co-morbid variable with office discipline referrals. This analysis identified stronger, more compelling evidence supporting the existence of a nomological network for office discipline referrals with attendance. Further regression analysis of the predictor variables blocked within four domains (academic, access, socio-economic status, and student group status) found even more evidence supporting the nomological network of office discipline referrals with attendance. The results from this study support the validity of office discipline referrals with attendance as a measure of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support at the high school level. The inclusion of attendance as a measure at the high school level is supported and recommended for schools implementing School-Wide Positive Behavior Support. Academic learning (cumulative grade-point-average) was identified as the strongest predictor variable and adds credibility that an explicit link between academics and behavior exists and should be further investigated within the field of Positive Behavior Support. Finally, this study provides and example of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support implementation at the high school level.