Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Gina L. Peyton

Committee Member

Gloria Kieley


behavior problems, expulsion, intervention, suspension


Using Literacy-Based Behavioral Intervention as a Strategy to Prevent Expulsion and Suspension in Preschool Classrooms. Karina Soto, 2021: Applied Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice. Keywords: expulsion, suspension, behavior problems, interventionExpulsion and suspension are exclusionary practices that were previously reserved for students in kindergarten to 12th grade. They have now become commonplace in preschool. Though researchers have been unable to identify the reasons why this is occurring, many have studied the classroom climate and other elements surrounding the child; however, to this date, no research exists that supports effective strategies implemented directly with the children who are the direct recipients of these exclusionary practices. This applied dissertation was created to evaluate the effectiveness of a Literacy-Based Behavioral Intervention with preschoolers who displayed challenging behaviors that would qualify them for expulsion and suspension. These behaviors included repeated noncompliance, intentional aggression, and intentional destruction of property. The interventions used in the classroom included ignoring the behaviors, redirecting the behaver, removing the behaver from an activity or interaction, removing the behaver from the classroom, holding conversations with the behaver about the behaviors, and calling administrators for support. The behavers showed no improvement in any of the behaviors targeted for modification. The investigator developed stories tailored for the specific behaviors the preschoolers displayed in the classroom. The investigator read these stories with the preschoolers once per session while asking questions about the story. The preschoolers only had access to the story when read with the investigator since the story was removed from the classroom after every session. The preschoolers had the opportunity to ask questions about the story which were answered by the investigator. The investigator encouraged the teachers and teacher assistants to continue reading the story after the study was concluded. A multiple baseline design was used to deliver the intervention to one participant to teach socially appropriate behaviors. An analysis of the data revealed the participant was more likely to engage in classroom activities once the intervention was introduced. The participant was able to join activities such as meeting time and small groups, participate fully while following classroom rules and expectations, and remain engaged for the duration of the activity. This participation and engagement included activities of low or no interest for the participant. The behaviors achieved during intervention were generalized to other adults other than the interventionist and maintained during follow-up sessions.