Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Jose Castillo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Don Kincaid, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nathaniel von der Embse, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.


Perceptions of Safety, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, School Safety


Past and recent violent incidents (e.g., shootings, bullying) within schools in the United States have caused great concern among the public about the safety of students. Although research has shed light upon the positive and negative impacts of current crisis prevention initiatives (e.g., federal and state legislation, security cameras, trauma-informed practices) on student perceptions of safety, the breadth of literature focused on the impact multitiered systems of supports (i.e., school-wide positive behavior supports and interventions [SWPBIS]) have on student perceptions of safety is limited (Nowicki, 2020). This exploratory investigation utilized a multivariate analysis of variance to examine perceptions of safety across student-level predictors (i.e., grade level and race/ethnic identity) of secondary students in two schools implementing SWPBIS. Additionally, this study investigated the interaction effect between grade level and race/ethnic identity. Findings included significant differences within specific domains of school safety between student racial and ethnic identities and between grade levels. Findings indicate the importance of disaggregating student-level data when evaluating school safety. Directions for future research pertaining to SWPBIS and school safety are also presented.

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