Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Lauren McKinley, Ph.D.

Advisor Department



Systematic direct observation is a commonly used method in schools to compile data on students' behavior in a naturalistic setting. Internalizing problem behaviors, behaviors such as social withdrawal, somatic complaints, and anxiousness, can lead to adverse consequences and have not, to the researchers' knowledge, been systematically observed in a classroom setting. Additionally, students have never been identified for intervention through direct observation. The researchers administered the Student Internalizing Behavior Screener (SIBS), which is a 7-item, teacher-completed, Likert-type scale which measures occurrences of internalizing problem behaviors. Once scores from the SIBS were calculated, students who scored at-risk were chosen for observation along with students not-at-risk for use as comparison. Their behavior in a classroom setting was observed to determine if an at-risk score on the SIBS correlated with an elevated occurrence of internalizing problem behaviors in a naturalistic setting. The protocol developed for this project is the Internalizing Behavior Observation Protocol (IBOP), which includes an observation form developed by the researchers for the purposes of observing students who are at-risk for internalizing problem behaviors. Results showed that a small number of students did exhibit internalizing problem behaviors during direct observation. However, the level of internalizing problem behaviors exhibited by at-risk students was lower than expected. Further research could investigate other settings and behaviors.