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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

School Psychology

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Sara Whitcomb

Second Advisor

Amanda Marcotte

Third Advisor

Christopher Overtree

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | School Psychology

Abstract

American youth are in need of supervision after the school day concludes. After School Programs (ASPs) provide students with safe and supportive venues that have the potential for encouraging student growth and development. ASPs across the country struggle to find high quality professionals to staff their programs; adequate training for these professionals is also limited. There is also significant evidence linking strong teacher-student relationships to both academic and social success. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a framework that has a strong evidence base to support success in promoting a proactive approach to behavior management within school settings. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of two variables that can improve ASP staff professional development opportunities and the quality of staff-student relationships in after-school settings: active supervision and consultation with performance feedback. A multiple-baseline design across five after-school counselors was utilized to evaluate the effects of an intervention involving training in PBIS as it relates to after school settings and visual performance feedback on the counselors’ engagement in active supervision, provision of reinforcement, statements of correction, and statements of behavioral expectations during daily snack time. The study also examined counselor perceptions of utility and relevance of the training and feedback process. As expected based on previous research, the intervention was somewhat effective in increasing and sustaining high levels of active supervision amongst most counselors. Overall rates of reinforcement increased across all counselors, use of correction was less affected, and statements of behavior expectations remained low throughout the study. Results of the social validity measures indicated positive feelings about the relevance of the training, but mixed perceptions related to the specific application of the skills to snack time. Findings from the current study provide early evidence that after-school professionals would benefit from the opportunity to engage in professional development in the area of behavior management, when combined with consultation and performance feedback. Limitations of the study, contributions to the field, and directions for future research are presented.

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