Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Daniel J. Reschly

Second Advisor

Carla A. Peterson


There is an increasing need to address behavioral issues in the public schools. School psychologists and other support staff frequently consult with teachers and parents when students exhibit a variety of academic or behavioral problems, yet children with severe emotional disturbance (SED) or behavior disorders (BD) are often considered to present some of the most difficult cases (Shapiro, 1991). School districts are facing growing expectations to include all students; however many support staff do not have the training or resources to implement interventions that are effective for students with histories of aggression, self injury and property destruction (O'Neill, William, Sprague, Homer, & Albin, 1993);The use of functional behavioral assessment to reduce the challenging behaviors of individuals with developmental disabilities is well documented in the research literature. The majority of the studies that rely on functional behavioral assessment have focused on challenging behavior with relatively few reported on students of average intelligence with emotional/behavioral disorders (Gable, 1996). The research base is promising in indicating that functional behavioral assessments can occur in the school setting, but the research has not addressed training relative to support staff developing skills in functional behavioral assessment and subsequent intervention development;This study is designed to extend the application of functional behavioral assessment procedures to school settings using the schools' assigned support staff. The purpose of the study was to evaluate and compare continuing education variables related to staff development model. A pretest-posttest design with quasi-random assignment was utilized to compare a one day inservice model, with an on-going inservice model of four sessions with homework practice and feedback. A wait control group was also included;Results indicated that on measures of acceptance, attitude, and knowledge all groups improved from pretest to posttest as a result of training. There were no significant differences found due to model of training. Incentives were a key factor in completion of case studies.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Susan Marie Ward



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

201 pages