Date of Award


Degree Name

School Psychology


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Lanai Jennings, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Conrae Lucas-Adkins

Third Advisor

Dr. Sandra Stroebel


The use of universal behavioral screenings is endorsed by school psychology training programs as a gold standard of practice, but the implementation of these screenings is less common. Due to this, it is crucial that research examines reliability, validity, and all other psychometric properties when implementing a universal behavioral screening. Literature tells us that the BESS TRSP has shown to have moderate-to-high predictive validity and high stability coefficients in a variety of urban and rural populations of preschool and school age children. This research examined stability of high and low risk scores on the BESS TRSP within a rural Appalachian sample of Head Start children. Results revealed that the majority of children whose ratings yielded elevated scores during the first school year, maintained that level of risk going into the second school year. Additionally, the Appalachian sample was compared to other preschool samples from across the United States, including percentage of children receiving at-risk scores. Results showed the Appalachian sample had a lower percentage of at-risk scores when compared to various samples of preschool children in the United States. Future research should focus on rural Appalachian school age children’s scores on the BESS teacher rating as well as scores on the self-report and parent report in the same population. Due to the vast geographical area that is the Appalachian region, future research should also focus on preschool and school age children outside of the region managed by the local Head Start agency.


Early childhood education -- Appalachian Region.

Behavioral assessment of children -- Appalachian Region.

Head Start programs -- Appalachian Region.