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IES Grant

Title: Identifying Factors Predicting Implementation and Sustainability of Tier 2 and 3 Behavior Support Systems
Center: NCSER Year: 2018
Principal Investigator: McIntosh, Kent Awardee: University of Oregon
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 Years (07/01/2018-06/30/2022) Award Amount: $1,399,970
Type: Exploration Award Number: R324A180027
Description:

Co-Principal Investigator: Mercer, Sterett; Horner, Robert; Nese, Rhonda

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to identify malleable factors that influence the implementation and sustainability of behavioral interventions at Tiers 2 (supplemental interventions) and 3 (intensive interventions) of a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS). Many effective interventions are adopted in schools, but they rarely are implemented beyond a year or two. One promising method of enhancing sustainability of interventions is to implement them within broader systems that may support their implementation, such as MTSS. Recent research has examined factors that influence implementation of Tier 1 (universal supports) interventions, but additional research is needed to understand how to sustain the more intensive behavioral interventions in MTSS models (e.g., interventions at Tiers 2 and 3), which may be more challenging to sustain. The current project will focus on School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as an MTSS system because it has been widely adopted in the United States, has sustained in many schools, and relies on validated fidelity of implementation measures that can be used to document sustained implementation. The research team will (a) validate models of sustainable implementation for Tier 2 and Tier 3 behavior support interventions, (b) identify malleable factors that are associated with implementation, and (c) refine a theory of change to develop a systems-level intervention to enhance the sustained implementation of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions by teachers and other instructional personnel.

Project Activities: The project will occur in three phases and will involve both primary data collection and secondary data analysis. In Phase 1 the research team will collect data to assess factors related to implementation and sustainability of Tiers 2 and 3 social-emotional and behavior support interventions. These data will also be used in longitudinal analyses in Phase 3. In Phase 2, the research team will examine extant datasets to identify school characteristics that are associated with implementation and sustainability of implementation of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions, and assess the extent to which fidelity of implementation of Tier 1 systems influences implementation of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. In Phase 3, the research team will create a longitudinal dataset including primary data from Phase 1 and extant data on school characteristics and fidelity of implementation of Tiers1, 2, and 3 interventions. This dataset will be used to examine factors associated with implementation and sustainability of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions for schools at three key points of PBIS implementation (initial implementation, 2-4 years of implementation, and 5 years of implementation).

Products: Products will include evidence of malleable factors that are associated with fidelity of implementation and sustainability of Tier 2 and 3 social-emotional and behavioral support interventions. Products will also include peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

Structured Abstract

Setting: In Phase 1 data will be collected from public elementary, middle, and secondary schools in six states (California, Florida, Illinois, Oregon, Missouri, and Wisconsin) with established PBIS initiatives and ongoing training for schools adopting and sustaining PBIS. Secondary data for Phase 2 and 3 analyses will be drawn from databases from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) databases (to assess school characteristics) as well as the University of Oregon (to assess Tier 1 fidelity of implementation). The research team will merge the Phase 1 primary data with the secondary data to create a longitudinal dataset to be used in Phase 3.

Sample: The sample for Phases 1 and 3 will include approximately 500 schools. Phase 2 analyses will use extant data from a sample of at least 3,000 schools across the United States implementing PBIS.

Malleable Factors: Malleable factors under investigation include school characteristics from NCES databases (i.e., grade levels served, enrollment, student-teacher ratio, and school type) and Tier 1 fidelity of implementation from data collected in prior external evaluations in PBIS schools. Other malleable factors associated with initial and sustained implementation of Tier 2 and 3 interventions will be determined in Phase 1 of the project. These factors may be similar to those that are associated with Tier 1 implementation (e.g., school team use of data, behavior support systems being a top priority for the school).

Research Design and Methods: The plan includes a series of studies, conducted over three project phases. In Phase 1, the research team will develop a measure, the Advanced Level Tier Interventions Treatment Utilization and Durability Evaluation (ALTITUDE), to assess contextual and practice variables related to implementation and sustainability of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. Primary data will be collected to evaluate the psychometric properties of the measure. In Phase 2, researchers will conduct secondary data analyses to examine the extent to which school characteristics and fidelity of implementation of Tier 1 interventions influence fidelity and sustainability of implementing Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. In Phase 3, the research team will merge primary data from Phase 1 with extant data used in Phase 2 to longitudinally examine the extent to which sustainability factors (as measured by the ALTITUDE), school characteristics, and fidelity of Tier 1 implementation influence fidelity and sustainability of implementation of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions for schools at three key points of PBIS implementation (initial implementation, 2-4 years of implementation, and 5 years of implementation).

Control Condition: Due to the nature of the research design, there is no control condition.

Key Measures: School demographic data will be accessed from extant NCES databases and will include enrollment, grade levels served, student-teacher ratio, and school type (e.g., regular, alternative, juvenile justice, charter, magnet, locale, percent of students receiving free or reduced lunch, and Title I status). The School-wide Universal Behavior Sustainability Index: School Teams will be used to measure factors associated with sustainability of Tier 1 interventions, including school priority, school team use of data, district priority, and district capacity. The ALTITUDE, which will be developed in the current project, will be used to measure factors associated with sustainability of interventions at Tiers 2 and 3. The Access to District Expertise and Professional Training measure will be used to assess levels of district support (e.g., training, coaching) provided to schools. Additional school self-report measures of PBIS implementation will also be examined.

Data Analytic Strategy: In Phase 1, psychometric analyses will be conducted on the ALTITUDE measure to evaluate its factor structure, measurement invariance and convergent and discriminant validity. In Phase 2, multilevel path analyses, with school at Level 1 and district at Level 2, will be conducted to assess associations between school characteristics and Tier 1 fidelity and fidelity of implementation of Tier 2 and tier 3 interventions. In Phase 3, multilevel structural equation modeling will be used to examine longitudinal relations between predictor variables, including factors assessed on the ALTITUDE measure, school characteristics, and Tier 1 fidelity and the outcomes of fidelity and sustainability of Tier 2 and Tier 3 implementation.

Related IES Projects: Identifying Factors Predicting Implementation and Sustainability of School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (R324A120278)


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