Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Rachelle Kisst Hackett, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Amy Scott Brown, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

William Heidenfeldt, Ph.D.


Catholic schools need to examine the barriers to, benefits of, and interventions needed when implementing inclusive practices into their institutions. Catholic schools are experiencing an increase in enrolled students identified with learning and behavioral needs; however, they frequently lack resources and expertise to provide the necessary support for these students and their families to succeed. Research studies identify teacher attitudes and perceptions regarding inclusive practices as vital factors to create successful culture change.

A single group pretest-posttest design, incorporated into this action research study, measured the attitudes and stress of teachers before and after a 14-week long intervention for eight target students with ADHD. The Attitudes Toward Inclusive Education Scale (ATIES), adapted for this setting, was completed by 26 teachers. The Index of Teaching Stress (ITS) was completed by each teacher for each target student in their class for a total of 53 teacher-student dyads. Data analysis included two, one-tailed, paired-samples t-tests. A moderate effect (d= .471) that was statistically significant (p

The implications of this study suggest the importance of providing appropriate interventions and accommodations to better support teacher-student relationships, and that a greater buy-in and understanding is needed by the teachers to change their overall attitudes toward inclusivity. Effective professional development is crucial for teachers and students alike to be better informed of the potential academic and social challenges of an ADHD diagnosis and how to best support these specific needs. Further, creating a more inclusive school environment requires stakeholders to develop clear mission statements, approve budgets that include wellness and resource programs, and design daily bell schedules that allocate time for support outside of the student’s normal classes.

The limitations of this action research include generalization beyond a private high school setting, experimenter effect, teachers self-reporting, and not having a comparison or control group. Suggestions for further research include incorporating a qualitative component to better understand the effectiveness of an intervention, and running interventions for female groups, middle-school-aged students, and other specific diagnoses for comparative results.



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