Date of Completion


Embargo Period



High School Dropout, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, Structural Equation Modeling

Major Advisor

Dr. Brandi Simonsen

Associate Advisor

Dr. George Sugai

Associate Advisor

Dr D. Betsy McCoach

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The purpose of this study was to explore the direct and indirect effects of SWPBIS on high school dropout. This study uses structural equation modeling to describe the web of relationships among important high school level outcomes and SWPBIS in a sample of 883 high schools from 37 states. Results suggest that SWPBIS has statistically significant positive effects on behavior and attendance at the high school level and that attendance and behavior are statistically significant indicators of high school dropout risk. The study did not find significant or consistent direct effects of SWPBIS on dropout rates, and there is an indication that schools implementing SWPBIS may have higher initial dropout rates as well as increased initial risk across outcome areas. This study also highlights the need to address the effects of poverty and race on student outcomes and to consider the integration of student support efforts with an understanding of the relationships between different outcome areas.