This study examined student responses to the Minnesota Student Survey in 286 schools across the state of Minnesota. Of these schools, 143 of the schools had implemented PBIS and the other 143 schools had not. The study included elementary, middle, and high schools. The schools were coded as either small (under 150 students), medium (151-480 students), or large (over 480 students). For schools that had been trained to implement PBIS, fidelity of implementation was also considered and all schools were coded as having either high fidelity (80 or higher for SET; 70 or higher for BoQ) or low fidelity. The cohort level of each school that has implemented PBIS is also recognized. Each school that had implemented PBIS was matched with a school that had not implemented PBIS that had similar free and reduced lunch population (within 15%) and same type of school (elementary, middle or high school) and also the same size of school (small, medium, or large). Students in 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grades were asked to complete the Minnesota Student Survey and responses were analyzed to compare the differences in responses across various domains: (a) School behavior: Commitment; (b) School behavior: Discipline; (c) School behavior: Bullying/harassment; (d) School behavior of others: Adult treatment of students; (e) School behavior of others: Student illegal behavior; (f) School behavior of others: bullying/harassment; (g) Risk behavior: General; (h) Risk behavior: Drugs and alcohol. Data were analyzed to determine any differences among student responding based on the PBIS schools' fidelity of implementation scores and the cohort level of the PBIS schools.

Results combined across all grade levels demonstrate that students who attended schools that have implemented PBIS with fidelity report lower grades, but that they care more about doing better in school; higher instances of being sent to the office for discipline, but lower instances of bringing a weapon to school; they report that they feel that adults at their school treat students more fairly, that adults at their school listen to the students, that teachers care about students, and that teachers at their school are more interested in them as a person when compared with students who attended schools that were not trained in PBIS. However, fewer positive PBIS-related outcomes and more negative PBIS-related outcomes were found in high schools than were found in elementary schools. Differences between PBIS cohorts and grade levels are also discussed in addition to the limitations of the current study and implications for future research.


Kevin J. Filter

Committee Member

Kristie Campana

Committee Member

Kathy Bertsch

Committee Member

Alexandra Panahon

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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