SPBD Support
Staff and student surveys assessing
perceptions of behavior and discipline
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StPBD Survey Overview

The Student Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (StPBD) is a research-based tool for use by PBIS planning and implementing schools. The StPBD survey is used to gather the voices, experiences, and perspectives of students in secondary schools. The StPBD survey is available for students in 5th through 12th grade.. Click here to request the survey.
There is also a brief 10 item version of the StPBD available that assesses student views of the key elements of PBIS practices in your building - the Mini StPBD.

How to use the StPBD survey

The StPBD survey and data report are available for use free of charge. School leaders request the survey and receive links to distribute and manage the online administration of the survey. Students can complete the survey on their devices or in computer labs. We encourage educators to first explain the purpose of the survey to their students and how their information will be used. This helps students take the survey more seriously and yields to more meaningful data. Educators should also monitor students as they complete the surveys, answering their questions and providing clarity as necessary. After students complete the survey, a data report is generated that summarizes the data. Your team will receive both a standard report and a detailed report that disaggregates data by race, gender, and grade.

How the StPBD can help your school

Student behavior problems in schools, such as aggression and violence, have long served as a lightning rod for societal attention. Sadly, societal response seems to focus on placing blame rather than getting to the root cause and identifying solutions. Student behavioral issues impact school climate (Irvin, Tobin, Sprague, & Vincent, 2004), interfere with healthy student-teacher relationships, and obstruct student learning (Kremer, Flower, Huang, & Vaughn, 2016). While it is easy to blame students, it is much harder to create a school community that fosters safety, civility, and mutual respect. Real change will require an understanding of the problem as understood by the students themselves.
Fortunately, we know the framework of schoolwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), especially when Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is intertwined with this approach (Bradshaw, Bottiani, Osher, & Sugai, 2014; Cook et al., 2016), is an effective alternative to exclusionary and disproportionate discipline practices. Schools adopting the PBIS framework define and actively teach social, emotional, and behavioral competencies and recognize students for demonstrating them—rather than simply reacting to student misbehavior with a punitive response.
For many schools, particularly middle and high schools, PBIS is challenging to implement (e.g., Flannery et al., 2013); our current challenge in implementing PBIS in secondary schools is not what to do, but rather, how to do it. PBIS is not a packaged program, but a framework with a set of guiding practices to be adjusted to fit the unique needs of each school. Secondary teachers know that considering student perspectives (e.g., buy-in) is an important step toward successful PBIS implementation (Feuerborn, Wallace, & Tyre, 2016), and secondary teachers, along with other staff, have voiced concerns that PBIS is failing to get at the heart of students’ true needs (Feuerborn, Tyre & Beaudoin, 2018). To move toward closing this research-to-practice gap, we developed and recently validated the Student Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (StPBD).

About the StPBD survey

The StPBD covers five domains extracted from the PBIS, implementation science, school climate, student voice, and adolescent mental health literature. It also allows you to populate customized questions about your school’s expectations and acknowledgement system (E.g., Wolverine Way; Panda Paws). The survey asks students to select their preferred acknowledgements (e.g., positive recognition, free time, snacks, and a write-in option).

The Four Factors of the StPBD

Domain 1: Student-Staff Relationships

Assesses students’ perceptions of their relationships with adults working in the school. This includes the degree to which students perceive their voice is being heard and if staff know them, care about them, and will help them. Also assesses the degree to which students’ feel they are being treated differently based on gender, race, or other factors such as socio-economic status.

Domain 2: School Climate

Assesses students’ perceptions of the school culture, including the degree to which they feel pride in the school, a sense of belonging, and kindness among students.

Domain 3: Family Connections

Assesses students’ perceptions of the relationship between their parents/guardians and teachers. Assesses the degree to which they perceive that their parents/guardians are informed of—and care about—students’ progress in school.

Domain 4: PBIS Practices

Assesses students’ perceptions of essential elements of schoolwide positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). This includes schoolwide expectations, the acknowledgement system, and an equitable consequence system. Note that some PBIS-specific items are to be populated by your school’s specific social-behavioral expectations (e.g., Panda Pride, Wolverine Way) and acknowledgement system (e.g., Panda Paws, Wolverine Tickets).
In addition to these domains, the StPBD includes open-ended items to allow for students to individually offer their own perspectives of strengths and areas of opportunity for your school. See a sample report here.

What are the Technical Properties of the Student Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (StPBD)? Is it reliable and valid?

The StPBD is our newest measure. To date, we have conducted an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and a linear mixed effect analysis on student data we have gathered from three states. The full manuscript detailing these analyses and results will be available soon (Feuerborn, Tyre, Beaudoin, & Zečević). To request this manuscript, please contact us. Exploratory and multilevel confirmatory factor analysis provides evidence that supports and confirms the internal consistency and factor structure of the StPBD.


Coefficient FA1 Student Staff Relationships FA2 School Climate FA3 Family Connections total
alpha 0.83 0.84 0.70 0.89
omega 0.87 0.85 0.77 0.92

Multilevel Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MCFA)

Model fit: χ2 (149) = 1696.18, p < .001; RMSEA = .062, 90% confidence interval (CI) = [0.059, 0.065]; CFA = .94; and TLI = .93. (Zecevic, M., 20202)

Linear Mixed Effects Analysis

We conducted a linear mixed effects analysis to explore the associations of the PBIS practices, school and student level variables, with the StPBD. We found that student scores on the StPBD were associated with factors as predicted. Student perceptions of behavior and discipline in their school were positively associated with student perceptions of PBIS practices (B = 0.72, 95% CI [0.69, 0.75]). Students that were send to the office for breaking a rule in the past year had lower StPBD scores than students than those were not disciplined, B = -0.16, [-0.21, -0.11]. Also, elementary school students had scored higher on StPBD than middle and high school students, B = 0.68, [0.42, 0.93]. Students that identified themselves as female (B = -0.15, [-0.19, -0.10]) or non-binary (B = -0.42, [-0.58, -0.26]) gender tended to have lower StPBD scores as compared to males (Zecevic, M., 20202).