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Using Social Network Analysis to Investigate the Relationship between School-Based Team Communication Networks and Implementation of Positive Behavior Support Systems

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between school-based team communication networks and implementation of school-wide reform efforts and initiatives, namely Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The study employed social network analysis (SNA) to determine if a relationship was present between the structure and properties of the team communication network and the level of implementation of PBIS, the position and properties of the PBIS leadership team and the level of implementation of PBIS implementation, and the quality of internal process for collaboration of the PBIS leadership team and PBIS implementation. It was predicted that schools in which teachers and staff have opportunities to communicate with their colleagues within and across teams have a network conducive to access of social capital and diffusion of innovation, supporting the school-wide implementation of reform efforts. Team network data were collected from eight elementary schools actively implementing PBIS and were analyzed at the network and ego-level using social network analyses. Network analyses were correlated with reports of PBIS implementation, as measured by the Self-Assessment Survey (SAS). Internal process for collaboration was assessed using the Teacher Collaboration Assessment Survey (TCAS) and correlated with the SAS. Moderate findings were present between network properties indicating the number of nodes, edges, and density of the network and PBIS implementation. A moderate relationship was also found between the degree centrality, betweenness centrality, and eigenvector centrality of the PBIS leadership team and the level of PBIS implementation. Statistically significant and strong correlations were reported for the quality of internal process for collaboration in PBIS leadership teams and PBIS implementation. The study concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings for policy, professional practice, and future research on implementation of school-wide reform efforts, particularly from a social network and diffusion of innovations perspective.
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