Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


McCleon, Tawny E.

Committee Member

Henington, Carlen

Committee Member

Gadke, Daniel L.

Committee Member

Elder, Anastasia D.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology


Students with internalizing behavioral concerns are an overlooked and underserved segment within education. The trend unfortunately results in poor academic and societal outcomes. In response, early prevention and identification through universal screening practices has become an important method for combating internalizing problems in education. However, additional research in the field is needed, including better psychometric understanding of the instruments available and what types of informants provide the best evidence for proper identification. Therefore, the purpose of the following study was to investigate how student and teacher informants of internalizing behaviors influence outcomes in the context of universal screening. Comparison of these two informants were done by analyzing the relationship between a teacher completed screener, the Student Internalizing Behavioral Screener (SIBS) and a student completed behavior rating scale, the Behavioral Assessment System for Children – 2nd edition (BASC-2). In addition to exploration of informant agreement, discrepancies in test score outcomes for different student age groups were investigated along with criterion relatedness of the SIBS when using student self-report as a criterion measure. Results included low agreement between teacher and student informant, as well as poor discriminate ability of the SIBS when using student self-report as a criterion. Findings also revealed a small but significant age discrepancy in the total score for the SIBS when comparing a child vs. adolescent sample. Implications of the findings suggest teachers as a sole informant about internalizing behaviors of students may not be sufficient for desired outcomes of proper identification with internalizing behaviors. Moreover, age may be a factor in monitoring internalizing problems across development and current psychometric evaluation of screeners (e.g., type of validity) should also include other informants. Based on the findings, future directions of research are also proposed. This includes exploration of the impact teachers and teacher training as well as considerations for multi-informant screening procedures.