In the field of gifted education, there is little research on the perceptions of high school teachers of the gifted about giftedness, good gifted education practices, and the nature and needs of gifted learners. The purpose of this study was to form a deeper understanding of how those educators who guide gifted learners out of high school and into adulthood perceive giftedness and gifted education. This qualitative study, conducted in two phases, took place in a large suburban school district with three large high school systems and was focused on the responses of high school teachers to assess their attitudes, feelings, and opinions about the nature and needs of gifted learners using a grounded theory model of analysis. Data collected from the 11 participants in the first phase of the analysis was combined with that collected from the 13 participants in phase two and validated throughout with continual comparison through memoing. Participants reported a general lack of engagement with scholarly work in the gifted education field as well as a dependence on the school district for effective training in classroom practice. Evidence also suggested a view of giftedness among the participants as an inherent quality of some people who needed to be properly trained in the instructional environment. Implications from this study suggest further research, both qualitative and quantitative, needs to focus on clarifying the perception of giftedness among high school teachers as well as how the delivery of effective training to those teachers can be implemented.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display deficits in communication and social interaction that can impact their ability to function in daily environments. To remediate these deficits, it is critical for professionals to use effective interventions. While there are many evidence-based practices (EBPs) identified for ASD (e.g., video modeling), the adoption of these EBPs may not occur automatically. Existing research suggests professionals have a generally favorable impression of video modeling. However, little research has examined opinions and applied use of video modeling, which was the purpose of the present study. Using survey methodology, data were collected from 510 professionals in various disciplines (e.g., special educators, speech-language pathologists [SLPs], and behavior analysts [BCBAs]). Data were analyzed primarily via factor analysis and multiple regression. Factor analysis was used to examine the underlying structure of the instrument, revealing two predominant factors: (1) interest in and (2) perceived accessibility of video modeling. Multiple regression was used to examine which demographic characteristics (e.g., age and years of experience) were associated with each factor. Results indicated that BCBAs and SLPs perceived video modeling as more accessible. In terms of interest, professionals who worked with preschool-aged students, who worked in a suburban location, and who had an extended family member with ASD showed higher interest in video modeling. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Significant growth in the number of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools is anticipated to continue, demanding that educators and evaluators have the skills necessary to distinguishing language difference from disability and provide appropriate services to these students. However, little research exists examining the role of evaluator's cultural competence in evaluating ELLs for special education; furthermore, what does exist shows that many evaluators report low levels of self-efficacy as it relates to assessing ELLs. The first chapter of the dissertation reports on a review of 21 articles conducted to address best practices for evaluating culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners, evaluator self-efficacy, and recommendations for conducting culturally competent assessments and evaluations. The majority of the articles identified in this review focused on recommendations for best practices for conducting evaluations rather than reporting empirical findings related to the topic. Only one study was identified that focused on appropriate training needed by evaluation staff to effectively discriminate between language difference and a disability. Based on the findings of this review, additional research, using a rigorous methodology is needed. Addressing that need, the second chapter reports the results of a study conducted to examine the effectiveness of Project PEAC3E (Preparing Evaluators to Accurately Conduct Culturally Competent Evaluations), a reform-oriented professional development model, using case-based activities designed to increase evaluators' sense of self-efficacy, cultural competence, and the accuracy of evaluator eligibility decisions for English language learners (ELLs). The study found that Project PEAC3E was effective in increasing evaluator self-efficacy.
Using a modified still-face procedure the present study explores 3-6-month-old infants' behavioral and physiological responses to mothers' screen distractions during mother-infant interactions. In the modified phone still-face procedure the neutral face of the traditional still face procedure was replaced with mothers' texting on their mobile phones. Infants' cortisol stress responses to mothers' device use were assessed through the collection of 3 infant saliva samples. Infants' behavioral responses including facial expressions, vocalizations, gaze and self-comforting behaviors were also explored. All mother-infant interactions were videoed recorded and coded for analysis. Thirty-four mother-infant dyads participated, average ages for mothers was 29 years and 4.4 months for infants. As predicted, infants demonstrated the changes in affect associated with the still-face effect, with significant differences in positive and negative affect during the play phases and the phone still face phase. As a whole, infants did not respond with increased cortisol responses, however, when individual differences were explored 47% responded with increased stress during mothers' phone distractions. Mother's frequency and attitudes towards device use were also assessed but were unrelated to infant responses. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
The present study examined the factor structure and measurement invariance of the revised version of the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory (ACSI-28), following adjustment of the wording of items such that they were appropriate to assess Coping Skills in an educational setting. A sample of middle school students (n = 1,037) completed the revised inventory. An initial confirmatory factor analysis led to the hypothesis of a better fitting model with two items removed. Reliability of the subscales and the instrument as a whole was acceptable. Items were examined for sex invariance with differential item functioning (DIF) using item response theory, and five items were flagged for significant sex non-invariance. Following removal of these items, comparison of the mean differences between male and female coping scores revealed that there was no significant difference between the two groups. Further examination of the generalizability of the coping construct and the potential transfer of psychosocial skills between athletic and academic settings are warranted.
The common practice for testing measurement invariance is to constrain parameters to be equal over groups, and then evaluate the model-data fit to reject or fail to reject the restrictive model. Posterior predictive checking (PPC) provides an alternative approach to evaluating model-data discrepancy. This paper explores the utility of PPC in estimating measurement invariance. The simulation results show that the posterior predictive p (PP p) values of item parameter estimates respond to various invariance violations, whereas the PP p values of item-fit index may fail to detect such violations. The current paper suggests comparing group estimates and restrictive model estimates with posterior predictive distributions in order to demonstrate the pattern of misfit graphically.
Pre-service teachers are entering the field as novice practitioners with concerns regarding their ability to confidently and effectively implement key components of response to intervention (RTI). This concurrent mixed-methods study explores pre-service teachers' (N =169) perceptions and experiences with key components of RTI (e.g., screening, multi-tiered evidence-based intervention, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making). A questionnaire in conjunction with open-response items and four focus groups provided data to identify aspects of university coursework and field experiences that contribute to pre-service teachers' perceived ability to confidently implement key components of RTI. The results of this investigation show between group differences in perception and experiences related to RTI. Special education certification seekers reported higher perceived confidence, receiving more coursework, and having more field experiences with RTI than elementary, middle grade, and secondary certification seekers. Among all groups, secondary certification seekers reported the lowest confidence, least amount of coursework, and fewest field experiences with RTI. Pre-service teachers in this study valued coursework and knowledgeable instructors who emphasized the components of RTI and participating in hands-on class activities. Participants noted benefits from or a desire for field experiences with struggling learners and having mentors with knowledge and expertise in RTI. Study findings suggest providing pre-service teachers with comprehensive preparation in RTI during coursework in combination with field experiences working with struggling learners may increase perceived confidence and is valued.
Currently there is extensive literature on evidence-based practices (EBP) for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is limited research on whether or not these practices are implemented in the classroom by teachers serving students with ASD. Special education teachers are responsible for the learning outcomes of students across a range of ages and disabilities. This study investigated teachers' self-reported use of EBP and what factors influence implementation. Participants included 129 special education teachers in Texas public schools. Data utilizing descriptive statistics and logistic regression was conducted to determine what factors (i.e., education, employment, teaching experience and training methods) predicted implementation of a particular practice. Although 67% of teachers reported using EBPs, teachers' employment and training experiences did not predict the implementation of a particular practice. Information from this study can be used to enhance professional development for teachers serving students with ASD.
Two important health issues that can develop during young adulthood are related to mental health (e.g., depression) and physical health (e.g., cardiovascular disease). A common characteristic for both of these diseases is low-grade and chronic inflammation, but inflammation is negatively associated with physical activity (PA) and physical fitness. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate how PA and physical fitness were associated with biomarkers for depression and cardiovascular disease. Participants included 41 undergraduates who were considered to be "physical fit" (n = 21, Males = 15) or "physically unfit" (n = 20, Males = 17). They completed a battery of physical fitness assessments (e.g., 20m shuttle run, body fat percentage, handgrip strength, push-ups, blood pressure, and waist circumference), a self-report measure for depression and stress, and wore an accelerometer for one week. Afterwards, blood was drawn to estimate CVD risk using biomarkers for metabolic syndrome (i.e., triglycerides, glucose, and HDL) and inflammation (i.e., C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6, interleukin-1b, and tumor necrosis factor alpha). The physically fit group had more moderate and vigorous PA, lower body fat percentage and handgrip strength scores, and performed better on the VO2max, curl-up, and plank tests compared to the physically unfit group. They also had a healthier profile for CVD (i.e., smaller waist circumference, lower triglycerides and glucose concentrations, higher HDL, and lower CRP) and lower self-reported depression and stress scores compared to the physically unfit group.
Behavioral and emotional problems (BEPs) are known to affect children's ability to shape and maintain effective social relationships. BEPs are typically categorized into two main factors: internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Internalizing behaviors represent introverted problems, directed inwardly to the individual. While externalizing behavior patterns represent behaviors that are directed outwardly. Behaviors, emotions and thoughts are experienced by all people but on a continuum rather than in terms of absence versus presence of the behavior. The child behavior checklist (CBCL) is used to measure BEPs. The system of CBCL (parent form) measures also includes a teacher rating form and a youth self-report. Using 62 teachers and 311 students, the present study assessed convergent and discriminant validity using a correlated trait, correlated method minus one [CT-C(M-1)] model. The results showed low to moderate teacher-student agreement on the traits. To extend the theoretical structure of the teacher and self-report forms, the present study assessed the nested structure of the data using a multilevel model. Results revealed the nested structure of the data should not be ignored.
Data-driven decision making is an integral part of higher education and it needs to be rooted in strong methodological and statistical practices. Key practices include the use and interpretation of effect sizes as well as a correct understanding of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST). Therefore, effect size reporting and interpreting practices in higher education journal articles represent an important area of inquiry. This study examined effect size reporting and interpretation practices of published quantitative studies in three core higher education journals: Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education. The review covered a three-year publication period between 2013 and 2015. Over the three-year span, a total of 249 articles were published by the three journals. The number of articles published across the three years did not vary appreciably. The majority of studies employed quantitative methods (71.1%), about a quarter of them used qualitative methods (25.7%), and the remaining 3.2% used mixed methods. Seventy-three studies were removed from further analysis because they did not feature any quantitative analyses. The remaining 176 quantitative articles represented the sample pool. Overall, 52.8% of the 176 studies in the final analysis reported effect size measures as part of their major findings. Of the 93 articles reporting effect sizes, 91.4% of them interpreted effect sizes for their major findings. The majority of studies that interpreted effect sizes also provided a minimal level of interpretation (60.2% of the 91.4%). Additionally, 26.9% of articles provided average effect size interpretation, and the remaining 4.3% of studies provided strong interpretation and discussed their findings in light of previous studies in their field.
Academic support resources are increasingly available to military-connected youth; however, the military community, in general, tends to under-utilize available resources. The research literature has not clearly identified accessibility to military academic support resources or perceived effectiveness of resources as explanations for under-utilization of adolescent support services. The current research study examines military parents' perceptions of academic resource programs looking at how parents' perception of resource accessibility and resource effectiveness were related to program utilization. Based on qualitative analysis of military parent interviews, utilization was related to both accessibility and effectiveness. This research adds to the literature by identifying the relationship to between accessibility and utilization and reported effectiveness and utilization of academic support resources.
Circumscription and Compromise theory suggests self-concept and sex stereotype explain occupational preferences, including preferences for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Support exists for sex differences between males and females in both science degrees and science careers. The main thrust of observed sex differences in science lies in the development of occupational interest, as it has been suggested females are encouraged away from science due to stereotypes and social pressure. The present study evaluates high school juniors and seniors (n = 295) to explore their preference for science as indicated by science motivation, attitude, academic experience, and interest. Latent Profile Analysis was used to model profiles of preferences for science with a person-centered approach. Then, the impact of self-concept variables was explored and four profiles of science interest were identified. Sex differences were identified based on science interest, but were not always in favor of males. Covariate analysis indicates vocabulary ability and personality as significantly different for students in the high science interest profile. Implications of these results and future research directions are discussed.
Creativity is a complex construct that is conceptualized and measured in multiple ways. This study examined the relationship between creativity and personality taking this into account. It was hypothesized that applying different conceptions and measures would cause variation in the creativity-personality relationship. The participants (N = 224) were undergraduate students completed six creativity measures, a personality inventory, and a demographic questionnaire. Personality predicted more creative production (R2 = .277) than creative potential (R2 = .176) and more self-reported creativity (R2 = .348) than that which was externally-rated (R2 = .149). Personality predicted creativity beyond demographic and intellect variables, but the effects varied based on the creativity measure. Openness was most consistently and strongly related to creativity. Other personality factors demonstrated suppression effects in multiple models. Overall, the results suggest that despite relatively small effects of personality on creativity, it can help strengthen prediction in creativity models. Implications for educational settings and future research are discussed.
Children and Adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) are often involved in aggression, acting out, bullying, violence, substance abuse, and juvenile crime. However, the limited Korean studies have focused primarily on bullying of students with developmental disabilities or intellectual disabilities. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore contributing factors to traditional bullying and cyberbullying in Korean children and adolescents with EBD. The current study surveyed 112 students with EBD between ages of 10 and 15 and their parents (guardians). The results revealed that internalizing problem behaviors including anxious/depression, withdrawal/depression, and somatic problems significantly affected traditional bullying victimization of Korean students with EBD. The peer support was a significant factor affecting cyberbullying victimization. Furthermore, the maternal psychological control was a meaningful factor affecting perpetration at school and in cyber world. Based on the findings, the present study described implications regarding prevention and intervention programs for addressing traditional bullying and cyberbullying victimization and perpetration.
Reliability generalization (RG) is a method for meta-analysis of reliability coefficients to estimate average score reliability across studies, determine variation in reliability, and identify study-level moderator variables influencing score reliability. A total of 107 peer-reviewed RG studies published from 1998 to 2013 were systematically reviewed to characterize the meta-analytic methods employed and to evaluate quality of reporting practice against standards for transparency in meta-analysis reporting. Most commonly, RG studies meta-analyzed alpha coefficients, which were synthesized using an unweighted, fixed-effects model applied to untransformed coefficients. Moderator analyses most frequently included multiple regression and bivariate correlations employing a fixed-effects model on untransformed, unweighted coefficients. Based on a unit-weighted scoring system, mean reporting quality for RG studies was statistically less than that for a comparison study of 198 meta-analyses in the organizational sciences across 42 indicators; however, means were not statistically significantly different between the two studies when evaluating reporting quality on 18 indicators deemed essential to ethical reporting practice in meta-analyses. Since its inception a wide variety of statistical methods have been applied to RG, and meta-analysis of reliability coefficients has extended to fields outside of psychological measurement, such as medicine and business. A set of guidelines for conducting and reporting RG studies is provided.
Mand training is a very logical and natural procedure to begin teaching communication skills to individuals with autism. Existing research has documented strategies for teaching children with autism to mand for preferred items, although there are fewer high quality studies on teaching children to mand for other people to perform an action. In addition to improving the general mand repertoire, teaching children to mand for others to perform an action is important because it allows children with autism to communicate ways in which another person could improve their environment by performing a simple action. The purpose of this study was to document a functional relation between mand training and acquisition and generalization of unprompted mands for another person to perform an action. Using a multiple-baseline design across participants, four children with autism were taught to mand for an adult to perform a variety of actions (e.g., to open a container so the child could obtain a preferred item). Results showed that the intervention produced an increase in unprompted mands for actions for all participants. Additionally, all participants demonstrated unprompted mands at or above mastery criteria during all generalization sessions in a different setting and different interventionist. The magnitude of effect was also large for all participants. This study extends the research on mand training by demonstrating a procedure that can be used to teach children with autism specific mands for actions. Additionally, this study will contribute to a body of strong and adequate studies that will eventually lead to mand training being considered an evidence-based practice.
Digital piracy, the illegal copying or downloading of copyrighted digital products without approval from the copyright holders, has brought great economic loss to the software and digital media industries. Previous studies using moral developmental theory have not found consistent relationships between moral judgment and attitudes towards digital piracy. While some researchers have developed individual test items to assess relationships between moral judgment and attitudes toward digital piracy, others have relied on the Defining Issues Test (DIT). However, in that the DIT represents a general measure of moral judgment based on broad social issues, it, too, may not adequately assess an individual’s reasoning specific to issues regarding digital piracy. The purpose of this study was to create a reliable instrument (i.e., DP-DIT) modeled after the DIT designed to assess moral judgment regarding digital piracy as well as to examine and compare the ability of both DP-DIT and DIT2-short to predict attitudes, intentions and behaviors regarding digital piracy of college students. Results indicated the reliability of both the DIT2-short and the DP-DIT were discounted, quite likely due to the small number of stories contained in each. DP-DIT appeared to have greater predictive ability due to its advantage in predicting attitudes toward digital piracy, especially using DP-DIT MNS. However, even though here DP-DIT MNS was the strongest predictor of attitudes toward digital piracy, it explained a limited amount of variance. Further research to improve reliability and validity of DP-DIT is warranted.
Traditional latent class analysis (LCA) considers entropy R2 as the only measure of effect size. However, entropy may not always be reliable, a low boundary is not agreed upon, and good separation is limited to values of greater than .80. As applications of LCA grow in popularity, it is imperative to use additional sources to quantify LCA classification accuracy. Greater classification accuracy helps to ensure that the profile of the latent classes reflect the profile of the true underlying subgroups. This Monte Carlo study compared the quantification of classification accuracy and confidence intervals of three effect sizes, entropy R2, I-index, and Cohen’s d. Study conditions included total sample size, number of dichotomous indicators, latent class membership probabilities (γ), conditional item-response probabilities (ρ), variance ratio, sample size ratio, and distribution types for a 2-class model. Overall, entropy R2 and I-index showed the best accuracy and standard error, along with the smallest confidence interval widths. Results showed that I-index only performed well for a few cases.
This study presents a set of data analysis approaches for single subject designs (SSDs). The primary purpose is to establish a series of statistical models to supplement visual analysis in single subject research using Bayesian estimation. Linear modeling approach has been used to study level and trend changes. I propose an alternate approach that treats the phase change-point between the baseline and intervention conditions as an unknown parameter. Similar to some existing approaches, the models take into account changes in slopes and intercepts in the presence of serial dependency. The Bayesian procedure used to estimate the parameters and analyze the data is described. Researchers use a variety of statistical analysis methods to analyze different single subject research designs. This dissertation presents a series of statistical models to model data from various conditions: the baseline phase, A-B design, A-B-A-B design, multiple baseline design, alternating treatments design, and changing criterion design. The change-point evaluation method can provide additional confirmation of causal effect of the treatment on target behavior. Software codes are provided as supplemental materials in the appendices. The applicability for the analyses is demonstrated using five examples from the SSD literature.
During the transition to college, emerging adults are expected to develop independence and increase individual responsibility as they live away from home for the first time. Modern electronic communication has enabled emerging adults to maintain frequent, daily contact with the parent, a pattern of communication Hofer refers to as an “electronic tether.” This study examined the link between parenting style and the development of independence of first year, first semester college students. Although these students were in frequent contact with their designated parent, no correlation between frequency of communication and parenting style or independence was found. Both authoritative and helicopter parenting significantly positively predicted attitudinal independence. However, permissive parenting functioned as a significant negative predictor. Authoritarian, permissive, and helicopter parenting significantly positively predicted conflictual independence. However, authoritative parenting functioned as a significant negative predictor. Both authoritative and helicopter parenting significantly positively predicted emotional and functional independence.
Ordinal coefficient alpha is a newly derived non-parametric reliability estimate. As with any point estimate, ordinal coefficient alpha is merely an estimate of a population parameter and tends to vary from sample to sample. Researchers report the confidence interval to provide readers with the amount of precision obtained. Several methods with differing computational approaches exist for confidence interval estimation for alpha, including the Fisher, Feldt, Bonner, and Hakstian and Whalen (HW) techniques. Overall, coverage rates for the various methods were unacceptably low with the Fisher method as the highest performer at 62%. Because of the poor performance across all four confidence interval methods, a need exists to develop a method which works well for ordinal coefficient alpha.
Some basic but desirable employability skills are antecedents of job performance. The Workplace Skills Survey (WSS) is a 48-item situational judgment test (SJT) used to assess non-technical workplace skills for both entry-level and experienced workers. Unfortunately, the psychometric evidence for use of its scores is far from adequate. The purpose of current study was two-fold: (a) to examine the proposed structure of WSS scores using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and (b) to explore the WSS item functioning and performance using item response theory (IRT). A sample of 1,018 Jamaican unattached youth completed the WSS instrument as part of a longitudinal study on the efficacy of a youth development program in Jamaica. Three CFA models were tested for the construct validity of WSS scores. Parameter estimations of item difficulty, item discrimination, and examinee’s proficiency estimations were obtained with item response theory (IRT) and plotted in item characteristics curves (ICCs) and item information curves (IICs). Results showed that the WSS performed quite well as a whole and provided precise measurement especially for respondents at latent trait levels of -0.5 and +1.5. However, some modifications of some items were recommended. CFA analyses showed supportive evidence of the one-factor construct model, while the six-factor model and higher-order model were not achieved. Several directions for future research are suggested.
Professional school counselors frequently use career interest inventories as part of a comprehensive guidance program to help students create a post-secondary school plan. The present study evaluates the validity of three commonly used interest inventories, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Self-Directed Search, and Strong Interest Inventory on field of study choice for graduating high school seniors (N = 616) from a large, suburban high school in Texas. Students identified their intended postsecondary field of study category, were randomly assigned using stratification to three groups, and each group completed a different inventory. Group membership was evaluated to establish covariate balance on a wide variety of indicators. Data from each group was evaluated to determine the extent to which the inventory predicted the chosen field of study, as well as Other and Undeclared categories using logistic regression models. None of the inventory models suggest that the inventory accurately predicts Other or Undeclared outcomes. For students selecting intended postsecondary fields of study, the Self Directed Search predicts such outcomes better than other measures. Professional school and career counselors should consider the SDS in addition to narrative counseling strategies to add greater precision with career decision making among clients and students.
Research has shown that students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) typically have poor life outcomes. Students with EBD who are placed in an alternative education setting are likely to continue a path toward failure without carefully designed effective services. Existing studies have independently examined resilience in children and youth and alternative education settings. However, there is a gap in research examining resilience in students who have graduated from alternative education settings. Using semi-structured interviews, the present interpretive and descriptive qualitative study sought to explore factors of resilience in individuals who graduated from alternative education settings. The study sought to identify elements, specific to alternative education settings, that have contributed to resilience in young adulthood and to further our understanding of how alternative education placements have contributed to the participants’ current life status. Findings revealed three themes specific to alternative education settings that contributed to participants’ resilience: teachers who show that they care about their students, a positive learning environment, and a small student-teacher ratio where participants were able to get more one-on-one instruction. Additionally, two other themes arose from the data: having a supportive family and an innate sense of self.
Parenting self-efficacy refers to the ability of parents to have confidence in their abilities to effectively parent their children. Parenting self-efficacy can be divided into two types: (a) general parenting self-efficacy, which is defined as a parent’s overall sense of ability to effectively parent; and (b) task-specific parenting self-efficacy, which is defined as a parent’s confidence level to perform specific parenting tasks, such as teaching and nurturing (tested in this study). The study applied Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory to an analysis of (a) the effect of the HIPPY program in interaction with family and neighborhood variables on parenting self-efficacy and (b) the effect of the interaction of family and neighborhood variables on parenting self-efficacy. A group of 138 HIPPY mothers and a group of 76 comparison mothers who did not receive HIPPY services were surveyed. The sample was largely Hispanic. Results indicated HIPPY predicts task-specific parenting self-efficacy for teaching tasks, but not general parenting self-efficacy or task-specific efficacy for nurturance. Many family variables that reflected Hispanic family values were unique predictors of all three types of parenting self-efficacy, both in analyses involving interactions with HIPPY and with neighborhood variables. Neighborhood variables solely predicted general parenting self-efficacy. Moderation effects were found for the interaction between family conflict and neighborhoods in predicting general parenting self-efficacy, and the interactions between family control and all three types of parenting self-efficacy. Overall, the bioecological model was inapplicable to urban, Hispanic mothers in the surveyed population because of the lack of interaction effects found in the study.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) measures assessing social-emotional learning and character development across a broad array of constructs have been developed but lack construct validity. Determining the efficacy of educational interventions requires structurally valid measures which are generalizable across settings, gender, and time. Utilizing recent factor analytic methods, the present study extends validity literature for SEL measures by investigating the structural validity and generalizability of the Social-Emotional and Character Development Scale (SECDS) with a large sample of children from schools in Belize (n = 1877, ages 8 to13). The SECDS exhibited structural and generalizability evidence of construct validity when examined under exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). While a higher order confirmatory factor structure with six secondary factors provided acceptable fit, the ESEM six-factor structure provided both substantive and methodological advantages. The ESEM structural model situates the SECDS into the larger body of SEL literature while also exhibiting generalizability evidence over both gender and time.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show significant deficits in communication, emotion recognition, perspective taking, and social skills. One intervention gaining increased attention is the use of computer assisted instruction (CAI) to teach social, emotional and perspective-taking skills to individuals with ASD with the purpose of improving theory of mind skills. This study evaluated the effectiveness of CAI for improving theory of mind skills in four children with high functioning autism ages 5 to 12 years. A single-subject multiple baseline research design across participants was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of CAI. The software contained 22 instructional scenarios that asked participants to identify emotions of characters based on situational cues displayed in line drawn pictures and audio feedback for correct and incorrect responses. Mind-reading skills were assessed using ten randomly selected scenarios for various emotions and no audio feedback. Visual analysis of the data revealed that all four participants increased mind-reading skills during the CAI condition. Additionally, this study evaluated levels of task engagement during experimental conditions. Three of the four participants showed an increase in task engagement during CAI compared to paper-based social stories used during baseline. Generalization of skills was assessed through the use of social scenarios acted out by family members of participants. All four participants were able to correctly identify emotions displayed in generalization scenarios. Results demonstrated that CAI was an effective and socially viable method for improving ToM skills in children with autism and they could generalize their skills to untrained settings.
Co-teaching has been, and continues to be, a growing trend in American schools since the late 1990s. As the popularity of this service delivery model increases, there is an imperative need for empirical research focusing on how co-teaching affects academic outcomes of students who receive special education services. Evidence regarding the academic outcomes of co-teaching is limited, and reports mixed results. The purpose of this study is to provide a synthesis of research examining academic outcomes of co-teaching on students who receive special education services. Quantitative information from each research report was coded, an overall effect size was computed, and a moderator analysis was conducted. Results suggest a significant effect (g = .281, k = 32, p < .05) of co-teaching on the academic outcomes of students with disabilities when compared to students with disabilities who did not receive instruction in co-taught settings; though a larger effect was found among dissertation reports (g = .439, k = 25, p < .001). Additionally, a significant effect was found when examining the academic outcomes of students in co-teaching compared to the academic outcomes of students in a resource classroom setting (g = .435, k = 27, p < .001. Lastly, effects were stronger the longer these students were in co-teaching environments. Implications of findings and recommendations for further research are discussed.
Spatial ability is the skill associated with mental relations among objects, the process of maintaining the physical aspects of an object after mentally rotating it in space. Many studies report a strong association of spatial ability with success in various areas of health care, especially surgery, radiology and dentistry. To date, similar investigations in professional nursing could not be located. Registered nurses, employed in an acute care multi-hospital setting, were surveyed using the Shipley-2Block Pattern Test, the Group Embedded Figures Test, and a newly created test of general nursing knowledge. The sample size of 123 nurses was composed of 31 male nurses and 92 female nurses. Data was collected between May and August of 2013 and analyzed using R, version 2.15.2. The present study did not demonstrate a statistically significant effect for gender differences on two measures of spatial ability. However, Cohen’s d effect sizes for mean gender differences in the present study are consistent with prior studies. This may suggest the nursing profession is comparable with other professions where males perform higher than females on spatial ability. The present study should be considered an initial step toward evaluating the relevance of spatial ability in the performance of nursing care.
Research examining the academic experiences of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) residing in foster care (FC) is scarce. Research is warranted to understand the academic strengths, weaknesses, and school disciplinary experiences of youth with EBD residing in FC. Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being II (NSCAW II) included data on eight participants classified as EBD. Having a limited number of participants classified as EBD in the data set, I used participants’ scores on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to classify participants who may be at-risk for EBD. Analyses were conducted to determine if significant relationships existed between participants’ internalizing and externalizing scores on the CBCL and their (a) scores on assessments of academic achievement and (b) behavior problems leading to suspension or expulsion. Results indicated that participants’ scores on the CBCL were not predictive of their academic achievement or of their numbers of behavior problems leading to suspension or expulsion.
Family cohesion, or emotional bonding, is important to family functioning. Shared activities such as family vacations offer opportunities for strengthening the family unit which can improve cohesion. Additionally, parenting style has direct influence on the family unit and family cohesion. This study’s purpose was to assess to what extent the perception of the family vacation experience predicted the perception of family cohesion and whether that relationship was moderated by parenting style. An online survey was conducted, resulting in 97 adult participants responding to items regarding their last family vacation, family cohesion, and parenting style. Using hierarchical multiple regression, a medium effect size was found for the predictive ability of a participant’s perception of their last family vacation on family cohesion. Findings also indicated a negative correlation between an authoritarian parenting style and perception of family cohesion, but a positive relationship between the interaction of family vacation experience and authoritarian parenting to family cohesion. Stronger predictive abilities were found for those with children in the 3-11 age group. Results may encourage parent and family educators to use family vacation as a tool in assisting families with the processes of building strong and cohesive families.
Recent research suggests that culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices have the potential to increase student educational outcomes, as well as to reduce unnecessary or inappropriate placement referrals. Examination of the core components in CRT, teacher efficacy and cultural competence, is proposed to be a critical step to reduce unwarranted referrals of culturally and linguistically diverse students. However, there is limited empirical support for the relationship between CRT and instructional referrals, and even among existing studies there is inconsistency regarding the relation of these constructs. The purpose of this study is to examine teacher factors (i.e., teacher role, degree earned, years of teaching, ESL certification held, language proficiency and ethnicity) as a predictor of teacher competence, and the role these factors play in teachers’ referral decision making. To investigate these relationships, a national sample of elementary teachers (N = 258) completed a survey addressing their background, profession endorsements, sense of teaching efficiency, and the instructional decisions they would make in the scenarios presented. The results of this study revealed that teacher role (i.e., general, ESL or special educator) and ESL certification were important predictors of teacher competency. A statistically significant mean difference in teacher competency was found between teachers with and without ESL certification, indicating ESL certification as an important factor in deciding the level of teacher competency. Finally, teacher competency was found to improve teachers’ instructional decision making in scenarios in which the students displayed linguistic difficulties. The findings provide valuable insights to teacher training programs and other professional development entities regarding how to prepare educators to work more efficiently with ESL students.
This present study examined the structural validity of a Chinese version of Multidimensional Work Ethic Profile (MWEP-C), using a large sample of Chinese parents and their young adult children (N = 1047). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied to evaluate the model fit of sample data on three competing models using two randomly split stratified subsamples. Measurement invariance for these two generational respondents was checked using differential item functioning (DIF) analysis. The results indicated that MWEP-C provided a reasonable fit for the sample data and the majority of survey items produced similar item-level responses for individuals that do not differ on the attributes of work ethic across these two generations. DIF items were detected based on advanced and successive iterations. Monte Carlo simulations were also conducted for creating threshold values and for chi-square probabilities based on 1,000 replications. After identifying the DIF items, model fit improved and generational differences and similarities in work ethic between parents and their young adult children were also identified. The results suggested that the younger Chinese generations have higher work ethic mean scores on the dimensions of work centrality and morality/ethics while they have similarities on time concept, self-reliance, delay of gratification, and hard work as their parents.
Transitions are a natural part of life. Youth grow and develop physically, socially, psychologically, and intellectually during primary and secondary school years. The transition from secondary to postsecondary education is an important transition as youth not only move from high school to college, but also from adolescence to young adulthood. It is a time when young adults naturally desire to become more independent in pursuit of their personal dreams and aspirations. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that academic, psychological, and social factors on youth with high-incidence disabilities as they strive to make successful postsecondary education transitions. Current trends indicate youth with high-incidence disabilities are graduating from high school and are attending vocational schools, colleges, and universities in increasing numbers. Transition barriers still limit many youth who could otherwise attend institutions of higher education regardless of disability type. Findings suggest academic and psychological factors most significantly predict successful postsecondary education transitions. Recommendations for improved transition planning and parental training are suggested.
The purpose of this study is to identify novice teachers’ perception of their preparedness to teach a class designed for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) after graduation from a traditional university-based special education program or from a special education alternative certification program. Teacher preparedness and the need for highly qualified teachers of students with ASD are relevant topics, as the prevalence rate of ASD continues to increase. This phenomenological qualitative study explores novice teachers’ perceptions of preparedness to teach students with ASD and their knowledge about teaching students with ASD. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with six novice special education teachers of students with ASD. Results indicated that novice teachers of students with ASD have knowledge of autism and evidence-based practices (EBP), which they ascertained primarily through experiences such as; working directly with students with ASD, however, preservice education programs provided the participants with cursory information related to knowledge of ASD and EBP.
This study investigated the relation between maternal self-efficacy, depression, and intimate partner violence among Mexican immigrant and Mexican mothers. The research was conducted using a parallel mixed methods approach including both qualitative and quantitative methods. A total of 136 mothers living in the United States and Mexico completed surveys, and 10 mothers participated in semi-structured interviews. In a regression on maternal depression, living in Mexico as opposed to the U.S., psychological violence, and maternal self-efficacy were significant predictors of maternal depression. In the qualitative data analysis, we found five main themes: perceptions, cultural influence, involvement, resources, and barriers. In this stage of the study, Mexican and Mexican immigrant mothers described in detail their experiences of being a mother, their perceptions of maternal self-efficacy, and the influence of intimate partner violence and depression on their effectiveness as mothers. Overall, Mexican immigrant families appeared to have healthier relationships and greater well-being than Mexican families.
Current research indicates that the inability to spontaneously communicate needs or wants may result in the acquisition of unconventional forms of requesting such as aggression and tantrums. This in turn limits the amount of access that students with autism have to neurotypical peers and social environments. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of using a stimulus control transfer procedure on the acquisition of spontaneous mands. Four school-aged children with autism, two boys and two girls, participated in the study. A multiple baseline design across participants was utilized to demonstrate a functional relation between the stimulus control transfer procedures and the rate of spontaneous mands. Measurement variables included the frequency of spontaneous versus multiply-controlled mands during discrete trial training on a variety of verbal operants. Effectiveness of the intervention was analyzed through visual analysis and the magnitude of effect was assessed through effect size. Visual analysis indicated that three of the four participants learned to spontaneously mand for items out of view and demonstrated generalization across targets, staff and environments. The effect size for three participants were large (d = 1.94; d = 2.2; and d = 1.4), whereas the outcome of intervention for one participant (d = 0.98) indicated moderate effect. The overall (d = 1.15) outcome demonstrated a large effect of the intervention on the rate of mands. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that early and intensive behavior intervention programs for children with autism incorporate this type of procedure for socially significant outcomes.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) provides an option for librarians to administer a combination of LibQUAL+® and LibQUAL+® Lite to measure users' perceptions of library service quality. LibQUAL+® Lite is a shorter version of LibQUAL+® that uses planned missing data in its design. The present study investigates the loss of information in commonly administered proportions of LibQUAL+® and LibQUAL+® Lite when compared to administering LibQUAL+® alone. Data from previous administrations of LibQUAL+® protocol (2005, N = 525; 2007, N = 3,261; and 2009, N = 2,103) were used to create simulated datasets representing various proportions of LibQUAL+® versus LibQUAL+® Lite administration (0.2:0.8, 0.4:0.6. 0.5:0.5, 0.6:0.4, and 0.8:0.2). Statistics (i.e., means, adequacy and superiority gaps, standard deviations, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, and polychoric correlation coefficients) from simulated and real data were compared. Confidence intervals captured the original values. Root mean square errors and absolute and relative biases of correlations showed that accuracy in the estimates decreased with increase in percentage of planned missing data. The recommendation is to avoid using combinations with more than 20% planned missing data.
Research indicates that serious behavior problems begin during the early childhood years. The study examined the perceived preparedness of teachers related to behavior management as well as preschool teachers' usage of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. The data indicates that preschool teachers feel prepared for managing aggression in their classrooms and report utilizing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies regularly. Additionally, the data shows a weak relationship between teacher variables and the likelihood of feeling prepared for managing aggression or utilizing evidence-based strategies. The results can be used to gain a better understanding of special education preschool teachers' training needs in regard to behavior management and managing behavior problems in the preschool classroom.
This study examined the bias and precision of four residualized variable validity estimates (C0, C1, C2, C3) across a number of study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error, correlations among error scores, and correlations between error scores and true scores (C3) performed the best, yielding no estimates that were practically significantly different than their respective population parameters, across study conditions. Validity estimates that considered measurement error and correlations among error scores (C2) did a good job in yielding unbiased, valid, and precise results. Only in a select number of study conditions were C2 estimates unable to be computed or produced results that had sufficient variance to affect interpretation of results. Validity estimates based on observed scores (C0) fared well in producing valid, precise, and unbiased results. Validity estimates based on observed scores that were only corrected for measurement error (C1) performed the worst. Not only did they not reliably produce estimates even when the level of modeled correlated error was low, C1 produced values higher than the theoretical limit of 1.0 across a number of study conditions. Estimates based on C1 also produced the greatest number of conditions that were practically significantly different than their population parameters.
Legal mandates and best practice recommendations for the education of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) emphasize the importance of systematic, ongoing observational data collection in order to monitor progress and demonstrate accountability. The absence of such documentation in decision-making on instructional objectives indicates a weakness in bridging the research-to-practice gap in special education. Utilizing a multiple baseline design across participants, the current study evaluated the effects of a prototypical teacher training program (i.e., workshop, checklist, in-classroom training with feedback, and maintenance with a thinned schedule of feedback) on the frequency of data collection on core deficits of ASD and the use of data-based decision-making. Results indicate increases in daily mean frequency of data collection following intervention. Maintenance and generalization indicates variable responding across participants. Effect size (Cohen's d) indicates a large, clinically significant effect of the training program. Results are discussed in relation to training models, maintenance, and future research.
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine school psychologists' use of evidence- based practices (EBP), in general, and more specifically in the area of social skills training (SST) for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Study participants, consisting of 498 school psychologists from across the nation, participated in an online survey that gathered information about their training, attitudes, and practices. The frequency with which specific EBP practices for social skills training for students with ASD was examined, as was prediction of use of these practices. Multiple-regression analyses revealed multiple independent variables that were predictors for overall use of EBP. Results indicated that over half of the participants provide SST for students with ASD. Although the majority of participants indicated that their graduate program included at least one course with information about ASD and EBP practices, in general, nearly half indicated that their coursework did not include any courses that directly addressed social skills training for students with ASD. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to determine the extent to which the data fit the factor model. Participants' perception of the importance placed on EBP by their school district, scores on the openness subscale of the Evidence Based Practices Assessment Scale, perception of how well their graduate program prepared them in the EBP process, perception of whether they were adequately trained in the area of SST for students with ASD, and having a caseload evenly divided among settings were significant predictors of overall use of EBP.
In recent decades, there has been renewed interest in examining the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs. Unfortunately, researchers have found that there is limited empirical research on the effectiveness of quality special education teacher preparation programs, specifically those programs specializing in the education of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest special education organization, conducts research on the standards needed by teachers who serve children and youth with exceptionalities. These CEC standards are recommended to serve as a guide for teacher preparation programs in special education. Utilizing the CEC standards delineated for preparation programs in EBD, the present study sought to determine how graduates of one program perceived the importance of the standards and their perceived proficiency in using the standards in their work with students with EBD. Results indicated that graduates viewed the standards as Important to their work with students with EBD. Further, they viewed their proficiency in using the standards to be above average. In addition, the present study examined the relationship between graduates perceived importance and perceived proficiency in using the CEC standards. Results indicated that graduates who had higher score ratings on their perceived importance of the standards tended to have higher ratings on their perceived proficiency scores.
Currently, there is a shortage of professors preparing personnel to teach in high need areas (e.g., special education, English language learners) at institutions of higher education (IHE). The purpose of the present study was to examine the motivations or influencers that impelled individuals to pursue careers in IHEs as professors in personnel preparation. Data were collected using Motivations for Choosing Academia as a Profession (MCAP) and a 10-item Big Five Inventory (BFI-10). Two hundred eighty-nine professors of education representing the four U.S. census regions participated in the present study. The MCAP is a 25-item instrument designed to measure retrospective motivation of faculty decisions to enter the professoriate. The development of the MCAP is described and an exploratory factor analysis was employed to examine the psychometric validity of the instrument. Three factors emerged and implications are discussed. Data were analyzed using logistic regression with the dichotomous outcome variable being the area of education in which the professor works (i.e., general or special education).
Youth with emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD) have poorer outcomes compared to their peers with and without disabilities. As a result, the federal government has mandated transition services to improve supports and ultimately student outcomes. Using data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS-2), this secondary analysis looked at services provided to youth with EBD (n = 410). The purpose of the study was to show a relationship between utilization of multiple services and the attainment of paid employment, and/or attending post-secondary education. Results indicate relationships between receiving financial services, tutoring and educational services and vocational services with attending a post-secondary institution. Logistic regression indicated a relationship between time, age and amount or services with paid employment. These results indicate the need for continuous, systematic and linked services for youth with EBD well into their twenties.
The present study examined variables affecting teachers’ perceptions of inclusionary practices for students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) in three areas: inclusion of students with E/BD, behaviors of students with E/BD, and teacher efficacy. Teachers listed in the database of one Education Service Center located in north central Texas which represented 66 school districts, completed the online Survey on Teacher Perceptions of Inclusionary Practices for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders. Findings of the study showed that (a) teaching experience was a significant predictor of teacher’s perceptions regarding the inclusion of students with E/BD, (b) student age was a significant predictor of teachers’ perceptions regarding behaviors of students with E/BD, (c) special education teachers are more likely to have a higher degree of perceptions on the subscale that measures their efficacy than general education teachers, and (d) the number of special education courses taken by general education teachers did not have a significant effect on teachers’ perceptions.
Autism is primarily a social disorder and deficits in social?orienting may be responsible for the failure of children with autism to initiate critical social behaviors. The purpose of this research was to improve the quality of social interactions of children with autism by implementing naturalistic behavior strategies intervention utilizing a multiple baseline design across four participants. Naturalistic behavior strategies comprised a comprehensive package of integrated components including: (a) intervention in the child’s natural environment; (b) child-initiated play activities ; (c) prompts to emit language; (d) shaping for all vocal approximations and (e) delivery of natural reinforcement with embedded social interactions to maintain learned behavior. In addition to intervention, generalization of child behaviors was assessed across untrained parents and/or caregivers in the same environment. Results indicated the effectiveness of naturalistic teaching strategies package in increasing (a) the frequency of vocal mands for all children, (b) the number of times that children initiated social engagement during manding, and (c) intervals of nonverbal dyadic orienting. These skills generalized across two untrained caregivers in the same clinical setting without any training from the interventionist. Two parents required training during the generalization phase in order for their child’s behaviors to maintain at levels demonstrated during the intervention phase. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.
This study investigated the effectiveness of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program on school readiness. The HIPPY program uses home-based instruction to aid parents in teaching their children school readiness skills. The curriculum in this program includes literacy, math, and social skills. Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills assesses the academic achievement of students in different grade levels and in various subject areas. The chi square test revealed that the children in the HIPPY program were more likely to have higher passing rates on the first administration of TAKS Reading, Math and Science sections compared to non-participants. The implementation of early intervention and parental involvement programs such as HIPPY helps to facilitate students‟ success.
Covariate quality has been primarily theory driven in propensity score matching with a general adversity to the interpretation of group prediction. However, effect sizes are well supported in the literature and may help to inform the method. Specifically, I index can be used as a measure of effect size in logistic regression to evaluate group prediction. As such, simulation was used to create 35 conditions of I, initial bias and sample size to examine statistical differences in (a) post-matching bias reduction and (b) treatment effect sensitivity. The results of this study suggest these conditions do not explain statistical differences in percent bias reduction of treatment likelihood after matching. However, I and sample size do explain statistical differences in treatment effect sensitivity. Treatment effect sensitivity was lower when sample sizes and I increased. However, this relationship was mitigated within smaller sample sizes as I increased above I = .50.
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