Driving under the influence of positive behavior support: A behavior management program for students who ride the school bus
Bronaugh, Louise J.
Student safety on school property continues to be a priority for educators. Pediatric research reveals that student injuries sustained while riding the school bus may be more than three times the number actually reported by transportation departments. These studies further indicate that a major factor contributing to injuries is inappropriate student behavior while riding a school bus. This dissertation involved the creation of a behavior management program for students who ride the school bus. The behavior management program (Bus PBS) was derived from the established and well researched school-based universal prevention, Positive Behavior Support (PBS). The core features of the Bus PBS program included, (1) active support and involvement by the School Administrator and the Transportation Director, (2) school-wide expectations reworded for use on the school bus, (3) students received direct instruction regarding behavioral expectations on the school bus, (4) drivers received a 1.5 hour training in the classroom and 3 days of on-board coaching during the intervention phase, and (5) drivers were encouraged to greet students by name as they entered the bus, provide formal rewards to recognize correct student behavior, and deliver a continuum of clear consequences for student problem behavior. The study was conducted with three typical school buses in a moderate-sized West Coast city. The research question under consideration asked if the presence of Bus PBS was functionally related to student behavior on the school bus. Using a single subject multiple baseline design across three buses, direct observation data were collected on (a) fidelity of bus driver implementation of the program and (b) student problem behavior. Results indicated that bus drivers were able to implement the intervention with moderate to high fidelity, and implementation of Bus PBS was functionally related to improved student behavior. Student problem behavior on the school bus during the Bus PBS program was 37% lower than baseline levels. Discussion is provided about the clinical and research implications of the results.
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