Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. John Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Neal F. Grandgenett

Third Advisor

Dr. Karen L. Hayes

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jeanne L. Surface


The purpose of this study was to compare the behavior outcomes of kindergarten (n = 20), first-grade (n = 20), second-grade (n = 20), and third-grade (n = 20) students in a large urban Midwestern school district returning to school after receiving out-of-school suspensions for violent and/or aggressive behaviors with the behavior outcomes of same school district kindergarten (n = 20), first-grade (n = 20), second-grade (n = 20), and third-grade (n = 20) students receiving non-exclusionary, in-school disciplinary alternatives for matched levels of violent and/or aggressive behaviors. The results of this study support the notion that school administrators and district level decision makers should strongly consider utilizing non-exclusionary consequences in response to the violent or aggressive misbehavior of young students. This consideration should be based upon the lack of statistical significance found in all four post-posttest—post-posttest, four to six weeks after administration of the disciplinary alternative, ANCOVA comparisons for kindergarten, first-grade, second-grade, and third-grade students indicating no intra-grade difference in the rate of behavior outcomes change between students who were suspended out-of-school for violent or aggressive behavior and students who were assigned an in-school alternative consequence in response to their violent or aggressive behavior. Given this observed equipoise, the more aversive out of school alternative, which takes young students away from the very adults who can provide them with instruction and positive emotional support leading to self regulation and more positive replacement behaviors, should be discontinued.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2013 Amy E. Williams.

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