|Title:||National Behavior Research Coordination Center|
|Principal Investigator:||Wagner, Mary||Awardee:||SRI International|
|Program:||Unsolicited and Other Awards: Special Education Research [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||5 years||Award Amount:||$2,208,547|
|Type:||Other Goal||Award Number:||ED04CO00400001|
Co-Principal Directors: Michelle Woodbridge and Carl Sumi
Purpose: The National Behavior Research Coordination Center (NBRCC) is coordinating data from behavior research centers (BRCs) at four leading universities. The BRCs are investigating the efficacy of evidence-based interventions with students who exhibit severe behavior problems in grades 1 to 3. With SRI leadership and in partnership with the four BRCs, the NBRCC will produce and actively disseminate new knowledge for the special education and mental health fields regarding "what works" in improving the behavior and, through it, the academic performance of children and youth with severe behavior problems. Children with emotional/behavioral disorders have among the worst outcomes of all groups of children with disabilities.
Project Activities: The NBRCC is contributing methodological expertise toward a rigorous multi-method, cross-site evaluation of the behavioral and educational effects of the interventions examined by the four research centers. Data collection began in the fall of 2005 and will continue through the 2007–08 school year. The NBRCC will advise and work with the BRCs to develop and implement a 1) data coordination plan, 2) data synthesis plan, 3) data analysis plan, and 4) data dissemination plan. More information and periodic reports are available at http://www.nbrcc.sri.com/.
Products: The expected products from this contract include:
Specific Research Questions:
Duration: 5 years (September 30, 2004–September 30, 2009)
Setting: The BRC projects are located throughout the country to include urban/suburban school districts in Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, Tennessee, Minnesota, Virginia, Florida, and Colorado.
Population: Participants are students with severe behavior problems in grades 1–3. Students are screened for eligibility with the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (SSBD).
Research Design and Methods: The four intervention projects (BRCs) are conducting randomized control group designs to test different interventions. The data sets are drawn from the Oregon Research Institute, The University of Washington, Vanderbilt University, and the University of South Florida. The role of the NBRCC is to coordinate, synthesize, and analyze data and findings from the four behavior research centers. In general, the BRCs are researching evidence-based interventions for children with severe behavior problems in grades 1–3 and will follow participants for 2 years.
A common set of key instruments is used across the four BRCs which covers the domains of student, classroom, school, and implementation. Student-level information is collected from school records (IEP/504 plan status, services received, discipline referrals, absences, suspensions, expulsions), a student demographic survey (age, grade, race/ethnicity, free/reduced lunch status, English-language learner status), observations of student academic engaged time, direct assessments of reading skills, and teacher ratings of social skills, problem behaviors, and academic competence. Classroom-level information is collected from teacher surveys of the classroom characteristics (e.g., instructional practices, student composition), teacher characteristics (e.g., education, experience, credentials), teacher supports received, and self-reported skills working with students with behavior problems. An observation of the classroom climate is also conducted. School-level information is collected from an administrator report (e.g., mobility, incidents of violence), and data are pulled from the Common Core Data, a national database on school characteristics (e.g., grade levels served, student/teacher ratio, enrollment). Observations/interviews are also completed to assess the school environment relative to positive behavior supports. Data on intervention implementation are collected through measures of fidelity, social validity, and alliance.
BRC specific information:
The University of Washington BRC is evaluating the Check, Connect, and Expect (CC&E) program. CC&E is based on the theory that relationships with school staff, reinforcement of clear expectations and social behavior, and engagement in school activities contribute to improved academic and social outcomes of students. Therefore, the intervention focuses on improving students' positive relationships and prosocial behavior via increased school staff reinforcement and feedback. Students not completely successful with CC&E will receive an additional intensive, functionally based, individualized intervention developed by the district behavior specialist, a behavior coach, and the classroom teacher.
The Vanderbilt BRC is evaluating the Classroom Management and Academic Tutoring (CMAT) program. The program instructs teachers in classroom management techniques designed to improve classroom behavior, including the effective use of a peer contingency game. In addition, an academic tutoring component will consist of tutoring in reading. These interventions are based on the theory that student behavior is directly affected by classroom environment and practices. Training and motivating teachers to engage in practices known to improve the classroom environment will result in improved student behavior and learning. Academic success hinges on reading skills and will be enhanced by direct reading instruction and indirectly by improved student behavior.
The University of South Florida BRC is evaluating the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce (PTR) intervention. PTR is modeled after a positive behavior supports approach and is a team process through which an individualized intervention is developed and implemented. PTR is based on the theory that well-conducted functional behavioral assessments and sound positive behavior support plans for children with severe behavior problems will: (a) decrease the occurrence of maladaptive target behaviors, (b) increase the occurrence of appropriate prosocial behaviors, and (c) consequently produce positive outcomes in the areas of behavior, academics, and lifestyle changes for the child and family.
Data Analytic Strategy:
Current Status: As of December 2006, the NBRCC has provided technical assistance and coordinated/troubleshooted BRC data collection efforts (e.g., concerns about data collection with Spanish-speaking participants). Although data collection began in the fall of 2005, the variability in the duration of interventions and in research designs across the four BRCs results in baseline, posttest, and follow-up measurements that are staggered over time. Although some data to address questions of effects are currently available for some projects, data for the full sample will not be available until Summer 2007.
Journal article, monograph, or newsletter
Wagner, M.M., Sumi, W.C., Woodbridge, M.W., Javitz, H.S., and Thornton, S.P. (2009). The National Behavior Research Coordination Center: Coordinating Research and Implementation of Evidence-Based School Interventions for Children With Serious Behavior Problems. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 17(4): 244–249. doi:10.1177/1063426609343593
Nongovernment report, issue brief, or practice guide
Woodbridge, M., Sumi, W.C., Thornton, P., Javitz, H., Wagner, M., and Shaver, D. (2009). Evaluation Results for Four Behavior Interventions. Menlo Park, CA: National Behavior Research Coordination Center, SRI International.
Sumi, W.C., Woodbridge, M., and Wagner, M. (2009). The National Behavior Research Coordination Center: Overview and Final Findings. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Research Conference (pp. 120–121). Tampa, FL: Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health, University of South Florida.
Wagner, M., Sumi, W.C., and Woodbridge, M. (2007). Measuring the Effectiveness of School-Based Interventions for Children With Serious Behavior Problems. In Proceedings of the 20th Annual Research Conference (pp. 205–210). Tampa, FL: Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health, University of South Florida.