Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress


This study examined the natural occurrence of externalizing behaviors within six preschool classrooms (two general education classrooms, two at-risk classrooms, and two special education classrooms). Approximately 100 direct observation minutes were collected in each of the six classrooms to obtain measures of student off-task and disruptive behavior. No significant off-task differences were found across the three classroom types. However, a significant difference in disruptive behavior was found between special education and general education classrooms and also between special education and at-risk classrooms. The most commonly observed disruptive behaviors across all six classrooms were talking out, being out of area, and inappropriate behavior. Implications and directions for future study are discussed.