Dissertation Defenses

Upcoming Dissertation Defenses

Name:  Agata Trzaska

Title:  A Case Study of Bullying Prevention and Intervention for Students with Disabilities in Middle School

Committee Chair:  Dr. Elizabeth Talbott

Date:  Monday, June 18, 2018

Time:  10:00am – 12:00pm

Location:  Room 3015, ETMSW Building, 1040 W. Harrison St.


Researchers agree that students with disabilities (SWD) who are at the increased risk for bullying perpetration and victimization require more intensive interventions. While there is a large number of bullying prevention and intervention programs that have been evaluated with youth in general education, less is known about effective interventions for SWD.

In response to the recent call for integrating bullying prevention and interventions efforts into a multi-tiered framework, such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), this case study examined the nuances of how school personnel prevent and intervene with bullying perpetration and victimization of SWD in a middle school that has adopted this approach.  Because SWD receive support from various school personnel, this case study examined bullying prevention and intervention for SWD from the perspective of 18 participants such as general education teachers, special education teachers, related services personnel, school administrators, and PBIS leader/coach.  Data was obtained from multiple sources to ensure triangulation including interviews, documentation, and physical artifacts.

Results revealed that the PBIS framework allowed school personnel to establish and promote a positive school climate.  Additionally, a school-wide bullying prevention program was integrated into the PBIS framework.  Given the fluidity of the PBIS framework, SWD at risk for bullying tended to have an easy and quick access to the targeted Tier 2 interventions.  More intensive and individualized interventions focusing on skills related to chronic bullying or victimization were limited.  Implications for future research are discussed.