Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Pamela Fenning

Second Advisor

Dr. Don Sibley

Third Advisor

Dr. Cortney Bindrich


There is growing national concern about how schools can help mitigate the growing social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) difficulties demonstrated by school-age youth even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a popular evidence-based framework addressing rising SEB difficulties in schools. The primary purpose of PBIS is to create a safe and supportive school environment that shapes positive behaviors. However, the PBIS framework is less effective in urban school settings due to barriers to implementation. One barrier is the presence of weaker teacher-student relationships in urban schools (TSRs). Indeed, urban school districts report weaker TSRs and poorer PBIS implementation fidelity. Positive TSRs are the keystone to urban student success. However, positive TSRs are an integral yet commonly overlooked aspect of the traditional PBIS framework. Furthermore, teachers are often not provided with explicit training in forming positive TSRs. This is particularly problematic for urban school districts struggling with implementing the complexities associated with system change and the PBIS framework. Furthermore, there are limited practical examples of how relationship-building practices within the PBIS framework can be incorporated into teacher professional development feasibly and effectively. School District X is an urban school system implementing a traditional PBIS framework with little to no explicit teacher training on relationship-building practices. For SDX, the Establish-Maintain-Restore (EMR) method could develop teachers' bank of PBIS Tier 1, evidenced-based relational practices to cultivate positive TSRs with students. EMR also offers achievable training and implementation objectives to improve student academic and behavioral outcomes using an existing PBIS framework.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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