Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Doggett, Anthony R.

Committee Member

Heningtonm Carlen

Committee Member

Kane, Harrison

Committee Member

Hall, Kim

Committee Member

Devlin, Sandra

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology


The participants in this study were referred by the teacher or the teacher support team for a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and development of a positive behavior support plan to address disruptive behavior and academic skills deficits. Therefore, the purpose of Experiment I was to examine the ability of FBA procedures to identify students with reading difficulty who demonstrated problem behavior potentially maintained by escape from academic demands. Each environmental variable introduced during the brief functional analysis was manipulated via a multiple element design (Cooper, Wacker, Sasso, Reimers, & Donn, 1990; Derby et al., 1992; Northup et al., 1991). Experiment II sought to empirically evaluate the effectiveness of the Reading to Read (RTR) intervention package in addressing the oral reading fluency and comprehension deficits of referred elementary students. Experiment II also examined the generalized effects of the reading intervention on reducing the identified escapemaintained problem behaviors (i.e., off-task) during the reading class. For Experiment II, a multiple baseline (MBL) across participants design was used to evaluate the impact of the RTR intervention on addressing both academic and problem behaviors (e.g., identified on the FAIR-T). Results from descriptive and functional analysis procedures in Experiment I revealed that all of the participants were performing at least one grade level below expectations in regarding to reading fluency. In addition, all of the participants exhibited more off-task behavior during the difficult task demand versus the easy task demand conditions of the brief functional analysis. The participants also obtained lower scores on comprehension questions during the difficult task demand versus the easy task demand conditions. This pattern of responding suggested the off-task behavior was potentially maintained by escape from academic demands in reading. Results from Experiment II revealed that all participants increased their oral reading fluency levels on intervention probes in comparison to the baseline levels. In addition to the increase in oral reading fluency, there was an increase in their percentage of correct responses in reading comprehension when compared to baseline data. In regards to generalization reading probes, all of the participants evidenced overall increases in their reading skills in comparison to baseline data. In fact, all of the participants increased from frustrational to near mastery levels. Finally, results from Experiment II revealed that all participants’ experienced reduction in their off-task behavior while partaking in the RTR intervention in comparison to baseline levels. This notable decrease extended throughout the study for all participants. Overall, the present results revealed that the RTR intervention was effective in addressing the reading fluency and comprehension deficits of identified students. In addition, remediation of reading skills appeared to have assisted in the reduction of social problem behavior performed during reading instruction in the general education classroom. Important implications for practice and inclusion of the procedures used in this study within applied settings are discussed. In addition, important limitations and considerations for future research are outlined.