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J Sch Psychol. 2013 Jun;51(3):367-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2013.04.002. Epub 2013 May 11.

Direct behavior rating as a school-based behavior screener for elementary and middle grades.

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  • 1University of Connecticut, USA. sandra.chafouleas@uconn.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate how Direct Behavior Rating Single Item Scales (DBR-SIS) involving targets of academically engaged, disruptive, and respectful behaviors function in school-based screening assessment. Participants included 831 students in kindergarten through eighth grades who attended schools in the northeastern United States. Teachers provided behavior ratings for a sample of students in their classrooms on the DBR-SIS, the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (Kamphaus & Reynolds, 2007), and the Student Risk Screening Scale (Drummond, 1994). Given variations in rating procedures to accommodate scheduling differences across grades, analysis was conducted separately for elementary school and middle school grade levels. Results suggested that the recommended cut scores, the combination of behavior targets, and the resulting conditional probability indices varied depending on grade level grouping (lower elementary, upper elementary, middle). For example, for the lower elementary grade level grouping, a combination of disruptive behavior (cut score=2) and academically engaged behavior (cut score=8) was considered to offer the best balance among indices of diagnostic accuracy, whereas a cut score of 1 for disruptive behavior and 8 for academically engaged behavior were recommended for the upper elementary school grade level grouping and cut scores of 1 and 9, respectively, were suggested for middle school grade level grouping. Generally, DBR-SIS cut scores considered optimal for screening using single or combined targets including academically engaged behavior and disruptive behavior by offering a reasonable balance of indices for sensitivity (.51-.90), specificity (.47-.83), negative predictive power (.94-.98), and positive predictive power (.14-.41). The single target of respectful behavior performed poorly across all grade level groups, and performance of DBR-SIS targets was relatively better in the elementary school than middle school grade level groups. Overall, results supported that disruptive behavior is highly important in evaluating risk status in lower grade levels and that academically engaged behavior becomes more pertinent as students reach higher grade levels. Limitations, future directions, and implications are discussed.

Copyright © 2013 Society for the Study of School Psychology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
23816230
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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