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School Psychology Quarterly - Vol 29, Iss 2

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School Psychology Quarterly The flagship scholarly journal in the field of school psychology, the journal publishes empirical studies, theoretical analyses and literature reviews encompassing a full range of methodologies and orientations, including educational, cognitive, social, cognitive behavioral, preventive, dynamic, multicultural, and organizational psychology. Focusing primarily on children, youth, and the adults who serve them, School Psychology Quarterly publishes information pertaining to populations across the life span.
Copyright 2014 American Psychological Association
  • Effects of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports and fidelity of implementation on problem behavior in high schools.
    High school is an important time in the educational career of students. It is also a time when adolescents face many behavioral, academic, and social-emotional challenges. Current statistics about the behavioral, academic, and social-emotional challenges faced by adolescents, and the impact on society through incarceration and dropout, have prompted high schools to direct their attention toward keeping students engaged and reducing high-risk behavioral challenges. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SW-PBIS) on the levels of individual student problem behaviors during a 3-year effectiveness trial without random assignment to condition. Participants were 36,653 students in 12 high schools. Eight schools implemented SW-PBIS, and four schools served as comparison schools. Results of a multilevel latent growth model showed statistically significant decreases in student office discipline referrals in SW-PBIS schools, with increases in comparison schools, when controlling for enrollment and percent of students receiving free or reduced price meals. In addition, as fidelity of implementation increased, office discipline referrals significantly decreased. Results are discussed in terms of effectiveness of a SW-PBIS approach in high schools and considerations to enhance fidelity of implementation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Measurement invariance of an instrument assessing sustainability of school-based universal behavior practices.
    The purpose of the study was to examine the extent to which the School-Wide Universal Behavior Sustainability Index: School Teams (SUBSIST; McIntosh, Doolittle, Vincent, Horner, & Ervin, 2009), a measure of school and district contextual factors that promote the sustainability of school practices, demonstrated measurement invariance across groups of schools that differed in length of time implementing school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS; Sugai & Horner, 2009), student ethnic composition, and student socioeconomic status (SES). School PBIS team members and district coaches representing 860 schools in 14 U.S. states completed the SUBSIST. Findings supported strong measurement invariance, for all items except 1, of a model with two school-level factors (School Priority and Team Use of Data) and 2 district-level factors (District Priority and Capacity Building) across groups of schools at initial implementation, institutionalization, and sustainability phases of PBIS implementation. Schools in the sustainability phase were rated significantly higher on School Priority and Team Use of Data than schools in initial implementation. Strong measurement invariance held across groups of schools that differed in student ethnicity and SES. The findings regarding measurement invariance are important for future longitudinal investigations of factors that may promote the sustained implementation of school practices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Mystery Motivator: A Tier 1 classroom behavioral intervention.
    This study is an examination of the effectiveness of the Mystery Motivator—an interdependent group contingency, variable-ratio, classwide intervention—as a tool for reducing disruptive classroom behavior in eight diverse general-education elementary school classrooms across seven different schools. The study was conducted using an ABAB, changing criterion design, and the effectiveness of the intervention was assessed for an 8-week period. The frequency of disruptive behavior in all classrooms decreased. Teacher intervention acceptability data indicated seven of eight teachers found the intervention to be acceptable. Overall, data indicated the Mystery Motivator intervention was a powerful intervention for reducing disruptive behaviors in elementary classrooms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Direct Behavior Rating: An evaluation of time-series interpretations as consequential validity.
    Direct Behavior Rating (DBR) is a repeatable and efficient method of behavior assessment that is used to document teacher perceptions of student behavior in the classroom. Time-series data can be graphically plotted and visually analyzed to evaluate patterns of behavior or intervention effects. This study evaluated the decision accuracy of novice raters who were presented with single-phase graphical plots of DBR data. Three behaviors (i.e., academically engaged, disruptive, and respectful) and three graphical trends (i.e., positive, no trend, and negative) were analyzed by 27 graduate and five undergraduate participants who had minimal visual analysis experience. All graphs were unique, with data points arranged to form one of three “true” trends. Raters correctly classified graphs with positive, no, and negative trends an average of 76, 98, and 67% of instances. The generalized linear mixed model was used to handle significance tests for the categorical data. Results indicate that accuracy was influenced by the trend direction, with the most accurate ratings in the no trend condition. Despite the significant effect for trend direction, the current study provides empirical evidence for accuracy of DBR trends and interpretations. Novice raters and visual analysts yielded accurate decisions regarding the trend of plotted data for student behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Correction to Reynolds (2013).
    Reports an error in "Interpreting the g loadings of intelligence test composite scores in light of Spearman's law of diminishing returns" by Matthew R. Reynolds (School Psychology Quarterly, 2013[Mar], Vol 28[1], 63-76). In the article, the links to supplemental material provided in the text were incorrect. Supplemental material for this article is available at The online version of this article has been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2013-08376-004.) The linear loadings of intelligence test composite scores on a general factor (g) have been investigated recently in factor analytic studies. Spearman's law of diminishing returns (SLODR), however, implies that the g loadings of test scores likely decrease in magnitude as g increases, or they are nonlinear. The purpose of this study was to (a) investigate whether the g loadings of composite scores from the Differential Ability Scales (2nd ed.) (DAS–II, C. D. Elliott, 2007a, Differential Ability Scales (2nd ed.). San Antonio, TX: Pearson) were nonlinear and (b) if they were nonlinear, to compare them with linear g loadings to demonstrate how SLODR alters the interpretation of these loadings. Linear and nonlinear confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) models were used to model Nonverbal Reasoning, Verbal Ability, Visual Spatial Ability, Working Memory, and Processing Speed composite scores in four age groups (5–6, 7–8, 9–13, and 14–17) from the DAS–II norming sample. The nonlinear CFA models provided better fit to the data than did the linear models. In support of SLODR, estimates obtained from the nonlinear CFAs indicated that g loadings decreased as g level increased. The nonlinear portion for the nonverbal reasoning loading, however, was not statistically significant across the age groups. Knowledge of general ability level informs composite score interpretation because g is less likely to produce differences, or is measured less, in those scores at higher g levels. One implication is that it may be more important to examine the pattern of specific abilities at higher general ability levels. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The influence of student characteristics on the dependability of behavioral observation data.
    Although generalizability theory has been used increasingly in recent years to investigate the dependability of behavioral estimates, many of these studies have relied on use of general education populations as opposed to those students who are most likely to be referred for assessment due to problematic classroom behavior (e.g., inattention, disruption). The current study investigated the degree to which differences exist in terms of the magnitude of both variance component estimates and dependability coefficients between students nominated by their teachers for Tier 2 interventions due to classroom behavior problems and a general classroom sample (i.e., including both nominated and non-nominated students). The academic engagement levels of 16 (8 nominated, 8 non-nominated) middle school students were measured by 4 trained observers using momentary time-sampling procedures. A series of G and D studies were then conducted to determine whether the 2 groups were similar in terms of the (a) distribution of rating variance and (b) number of observations needed to achieve an adequate level of dependability. Results suggested that the behavior of students in the teacher-nominated group fluctuated more across time and that roughly twice as many observations would therefore be required to yield similar levels of dependability compared with the combined group. These findings highlight the importance of constructing samples of students that are comparable to those students with whom the measurement method is likely to be applied when conducting psychometric investigations of behavioral assessment tools. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The Responsive Environmental Assessment for Classroom Teaching (REACT): The dimensionality of student perceptions of the instructional environment.
    This study details the initial development of the Responsive Environmental Assessment for Classroom Teachers (REACT). REACT was developed as a questionnaire to evaluate student perceptions of the classroom teaching environment. Researchers engaged in an iterative process to develop, field test, and analyze student responses on 100 rating-scale items. Participants included 1,465 middle school students across 48 classrooms in the Midwest. Item analysis, including exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, was used to refine a 27-item scale with a second-order factor structure. Results support the interpretation of a single general dimension of the Classroom Teaching Environment with 6 subscale dimensions: Positive Reinforcement, Instructional Presentation, Goal Setting, Differentiated Instruction, Formative Feedback, and Instructional Enjoyment. Applications of REACT in research and practice are discussed along with implications for future research and the development of classroom environment measures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A psychometric analysis and standardization of the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2, Self-Report of Personality, Child Version among a Korean sample.
    The psychometric properties of the Korean version of the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2, Self-Report of Personality, Child Form (K-BASC-2 SRP-C) are reported. A total of 1100 Korean children ages 8–11 years participated in the study to establish normative data. The results of this study generally supported the factor structure and reliability of the various clinical, adaptive, and composite scale scores of the K-BASC-2 SRP-C. A separate sample of 738 Korean children was used to examine the convergent validity of a subset of the K-BASC-2 SRP-C scales related to anxiety, depression, and attention problems. Results revealed generally strong psychometric properties of the K-BASC-2 SRP-C. The one exception was the Self-Esteem scale: its reliability is low. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Understanding and measuring student engagement in school: The results of an international study from 12 countries.
    The objective of the present study was to develop a scale that is appropriate for use internationally to measure affective, behavioral, and cognitive dimensions of student engagement. Psychometric properties of this scale were examined with data of 3,420 students (7th, 8th, and 9th grade) from 12 countries (Austria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The intraclass correlation of the full-scale scores of student engagement between countries revealed that it was appropriate to aggregate the data from the 12 countries for further analyses. Coefficient alphas revealed good internal consistency. Test–retest reliability coefficients were also acceptable. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the data fit well to a second-order model with affective, behavioral, and cognitive engagement as the first-order factors and student engagement as the second-order factor. The results support the use of this scale to measure student engagement as a metaconstruct. Furthermore, the significant correlations of the scale with instructional practices, teacher support, peer support, parent support, emotions, academic performance, and school conduct indicated good concurrent validity of the scale. Considerations and implications regarding the international use of this student engagement in school measure are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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