Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Peggy Schaefer-Whitby

Committee Member

Suzanne Kucharczyk

Second Committee Member

Tom Smith

Third Committee Member

Howard Wills


Behavior Specific Praise, Group Contingency, Inclusion Classrooms, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, Student On-Task


Disproportionality in discipline has been well-documented in the research literature (Achilles, McLaughlin, & Croninger, 2007; Losen & Gillespie, 2012; Gregory, Skiba, & Mediratta, 2017; Skiba, Peterson, & Williams, 1997). Students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities are removed from their classrooms more frequently than their Caucasian peers without disabilities (Losen & Gillespie, 2012). This disparate removal of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities has spurned education stakeholders to call for removal of punitive policies and replacement with positive behavior interventions and supports. This study sought to evaluate the impact of Class-Wide Function-related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT) on adolescent student behaviors and teacher behaviors. Specifically, the classroom management strategy was investigated to determine if adolescent students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and adolescent students with disabilities in inclusion classroom settings would demonstrate increases in on-task behavior with the introduction of the intervention. Additionally, the current study evaluated the effectiveness of the intervention at increasing teacher behavior specific praise statements and decreasing teacher reprimands

Teachers and students were recruited for participation from a middle school represented by students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and low socio-economic status. Four classrooms were selected for inclusion. Three of the four classrooms were co-taught settings with high numbers of students receiving special education services. Teachers in each of the participating classrooms were trained to implement the CW-FIT intervention in each of their classrooms.

A multiple-baseline across participants design was used to evaluate the effects of the intervention. The results of the study indicated a functional relation between the implementation of the CW-FIT intervention and increases in on-task behavior of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities who showed low levels of on-task behavior prior to treatment. In addition, the findings also showed improvements in teacher behavior specific praise statements; however, no effect was observed with teacher reprimands. Finally, social validity measures were taken to assess satisfaction levels of teachers and students participating in the study. Results indicated that the direct consumers of the intervention found the goals, procedures, and outcomes of the intervention to be favorable.