Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

School Psychology

Major Professor

R. Steve McCallum

Committee Members

Sherry M. Bell, Tara C. Moore, David F. Cihak, Bruce A. Bracken

Abstract

In order to develop the Brief Behavior, Academic, and Social Screener (B-BASS), an experimental measure for identifying students at risk for academic underachievement and for predicting performance on high-stakes tests, data were obtained from elementary teachers for 198 third- through fifth-grade rural elementary students in the Southeastern United States. Teachers provided ratings on items within the following global domains: cognitive ability, social/emotional traits, socioeconomic and family characteristics, and executive functions using a brief, practical, contextually appropriate format, one sensitive to local norms. Results reveal strong test-retest correlations (r indices > .95) and moderate to high inter-correlations among the items. Based on a multiple linear regression analysis, B-BASS domain scores account for 81.4% and 66.2% of the variance in North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests of English Language Arts/Reading and Mathematics, respectively. These values are impressive given the brief administration time of the B-BASS, approximately 1 minute per student. Based on a stepwise analysis, two items significantly predict English Language Arts/Reading; specifically, Reading Ability (p < .001) and Effort (p < .005). Predictors of Mathematics in order of magnitude are Math Ability (p < .001) and Hyperactivity (p < .001). According to discriminant function and ROC curve analyses, B-BASS items also significantly predict proficient vs non-proficient status from the ELA (p < .001) and Math (p < .001) EOGs, with true positive rates of 93.9% and 85.4%, respectively. B-BASS composites predict 78.5% of variance in ELA EOG scores, with the strongest predictors being Academic Ability (p < .001), Social Adaptability (p < .05), and Executive Function (p < .005). For the EOG Mathematics scores, the strongest composite predictors, in order of magnitude, are: Academic Ability (p < .001), Overall Ability (p < .05), Home Support (p < .05), and Executive Function (p < .05); these domain scores predict 66.2% of the variance. Composites also predict significantly categorical status (proficient vs non-proficient) on the ELA (p < .001) and Math (p < .001) EOGs; classification accuracy was determined to be 92.9% and 91.4%, respectively. Implications of using B-BASS are discussed.

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