Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Thesis


Behavioral assessment--Methodology; Problem children--Education;


A growing body of evidence shows that Direct Behavior Rating (DBR) should continue to be examined as a method of behavior assessment to inform decisions about universal screening as well as progress monitoring for group or individual interventions. Researchers have looked toward DBR as a potential method to capture levels of problem behavior for use in tiered problem solving models. Most research on DBR has focused on comparing its ratings against systematic direct observation. The current study examined the correlation between DBR ratings of academic engagement and disruptive behavior with the Conners 3-Teacher Short (Conners 3-T(S)) form. This is important because the Conners 3 ratings represent a standardized measure of the severity of problem behaviors relative to same age peers, and DBR has yet to be compared with a measure of behavioral severity. In the current study, the participants were classroom teachers of students identified as experiencing problem behaviors. Students were between the ages of 5-18 and were identified by the principal as experiencing behavioral difficulties in the classroom. The correlation between DBR and Conners 3-T(S) completed by classroom teachers were analyzed using Spearman’s rho correlation coefficient. A strong positive correlation was found between DBR-Disruptive Behavior and the Conners 3-T(S) scale for Hyperactivity/Impulsivity. A moderate positive correlation was found between DBRAcademic Engagement and the Conners 3-T(S) Inattention scale. In addition, a moderate positive correlation was found between DBR-Disruptive Behavior and the Conners 3- T(S) scale Defiance/Aggression. None of the correlations were significant, and the lack of significant correlations likely resulted from a small sample size. These results suggest that a future study with a larger sample should be conducted to establish the relationship between DBR and the Conners 3-T(S). If meaningful correlations are established it would indicate that DBR is not solely a measure of the frequency of problem behavior but also measures the severity of problem behavior. This may extend the usefulness of DBR for practitioners both for purposes of multi-tiered systems of support as well as progress monitoring individual and group interventions.

Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Nicole Skaar, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 43 pages)



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