Implementation and Sustainability of Positive Behavior Support in Elementary Schools
Committee ChairChalfant, James
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPositive Behavior Support (PBS) is a school-wide discipline program designed to increase appropriate social behavior of students and create safe teaching and learning environments. A number of studies provide data demonstrating PBS is an evidence-based practice. It is not clear, however, why PBS is successfully implemented and sustained over time in some schools and not in others. The purpose of this study was to investigate what factors led to the successful implementation of PBS three years post training in elementary schools.Rogers' (2003) Theory of Diffusion of Innovations was applied to view the impact of the characteristics and types of communication networks on diffusion. The components of the implementation process specifically examined were: a) levels of implementation of the features, b) school personnel's perceptions of the characteristics of PBS, and c) types of communication networks. A mixed-methods approach was used. A four-step selection process was developed to categorize 16 southwestern public elementary schools into high and low implementer groups. Two demographically similar schools were chosen from each implementation group for case-studies. Interviews, surveys, school and classroom observations, and reviews of archival records were conducted.This study found whether or not PBS was successfully implemented and sustained was primarily a "systems" issue:a) High implementer schools implemented each feature of PBS while low implementers sustained only some features.b) Rogers' (2003) characteristics of an innovation included: relative advantage, compatibility, observability, trialability, and re-invention. Rogers claimed these characteristics affected rate of adoption. High implementer schools found PBS possessed these characteristics. Low implementer schools expressed conflict with these characteristics impacting the overall implementation and sustainability of PBS.c) The types of communication networks at schools affected the overall diffusion of PBS. High implementer school personnel engaged in diverse forms of communication while low implementer personnel engaged in insular forms of communication stifling the implementation process.Additional findings provided insight into the components needed for successful PBS development including: a) management through site-based steering mechanisms,b) considerations for initial training and continuing professional development, and c) oversight of PBS by the principal.
Degree ProgramSpecial Education & Rehabilitation