Date of Award

Fall 12-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Thomas Lipscomb, Ph.D.

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Kevin Wells, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. David Lee, Ed.D.

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Kyna Shelley, Ph.D.

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5


Committee Member 6



The purpose of this research study is to determine if relationships exist between the level of School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports implementation, student academic achievement, and teacher self-efficacy in high-poverty rural Alabama elementary schools. The research encompassed a comprehensive analysis of existing literature, incorporating historical and policy-related context, theoretical underpinnings, relevant studies, and expert viewpoints. Additionally, the research involved the gathering and examination of data, presentation of findings, establishment of conclusions, and suggestions for prospective research directions. The primary objective of this study is to investigate potential correlations between the extent of SWPBIS (School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) implementation, and teacher self-efficacy and students’ performance. The research focuses on measuring different levels of SWPBIS enactment and the effects it may or not have related to student academic success and teacher self-efficacy. Archived student testing data from the 2021 Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program (ACAP), the State of Alabama’s chosen standardized test for measuring student academic achievement, helped in answering the first research question. Students’ reading and math scores in Grade 4 were used in 103 high-poverty Alabama elementary schools. The Benchmark of Quality (BOQ), the recognized instrument to measure levels of PBIS implementation, was utilized to determine if levels of SWPBIS implementation have an impact on student academic achievement. The second aspect of this study explored a possible relationship between levels of SWPBIS implementation and teacher self-efficacy. The Tschannen-Moren and Hoy’s Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) was used to measure levels of teacher self-efficacy in the same 103 Alabama high-poverty elementary schools. The participants were 1,434 elementary teachers who taught at the schools mentioned in this study. The study revealed that most of the schools used in this study were not implementing SWPBIS to fidelity (70% or higher on the BOQ). Even though all 103 elementary schools had been through SWPBIS training and implementation four years before data collection, levels of PBIS implementation varied extensively between schools.