Date of Award
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Learning, Leadership and Change
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Rod P. Githens
There is an abundance of research on chronic absenteeism as well as the multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) approach, specifically the element of positive behavior intervention strategies (PBIS), at the elementary school level. A clear understanding of MTSS and PBIS at the high school level and how those approaches may impact chronic absenteeism of high school students is lacking in the recent research. The literature review provided the reader with an overview on PBIS and chronic absenteeism through the theoretical lens of Cooper’s (1982) Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) theory and explained the influence that PBIS has on chronic absenteeism at the elementary school level. The argument supporting utilizing successful policies already in place to address chronic absenteeism at the high school level is presented. This study identifies PBIS within the current research, as a means to understand how these promising practices may support improved attendance for the chronically absent high school student. The research suggests that positive behavior intervention strategies have tangentially decreased chronic absenteeism by reducing suspension rates at the elementary school level.
This study sought to understand how effective, evidence-based positive behavior intervention strategies (PBIS), which have addressed and improved challenging student behavior schoolwide, can be repurposed to combat the causes associated with chronic absenteeism at the high school level. The causes associated with chronic absenteeism at the high school level fall into four categories termed school, family, environmental and personal. The objective of this quantitative program evaluation study was to evaluate the PBIS interventions that a local, small public high school used for targeted chronically absent high school students to see if their chronically absenteeism rate decreases. This study hypothesizes that the PBIS approach to behavior intervention can successfully transfer to decrease chronic absenteeism at the high school level. Additionally, this study discusses the extent to which results may be generalized to high school students across school districts.
The results of this research study affirm the research questions that PBIS strategies can be repurposed to address chronic absenteeism at the high school level and having an effective attendance intervention program can improve attendance rates between and within attendance tiers in high school students, resulting in reduced chronic absenteeism. The most effective tier in improving attendance rates and reducing chronic absenteeism was both Tier 3 and Tier 4, with each tier resulting in 50% of participants increasing their attendance rates and reducing chronic absenteeism.
Clayton Johnson, Marla. (2020). The Evaluation of Positive Intervention Strategies on Chronic Absenteeism at the High School Level. University of the Pacific, Dissertation. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/3729
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