Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Zigmund Kryszak

Third Advisor

Dr. Patrick Jenlink


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of parents, students, and teachers relative to specific, documented behavioral problems which occur in the middle school environment. Of particular interest were the perceptions of the frequency with which these behaviors occurred, whether these perceptions correlated with the actual frequencies as documented by formal dismissal referrals, and the perceptions of appropriateness of referral to a school administrator of these behaviors.

The sample group consisted of 230 students, 25 teachers, and 230 parents from a selected middle school in Macomb County, located in southeastern Michigan. The instrument used for data collection was investigator developed and included an assessment of 27 behaviors documented as discipline problems occurring in the selected middle school.

It was found that none of the three groups (parents, students, teachers) had an accurate perception of the frequency with which the specified behavioral problems occurred. In addition, differences in perceptions, of the frequency of referral for the specified behaviors among the three groups, were noted for 21 of the 27 behaviors. A similar conclusion was reached relative to the three groups' perceptions of the appropriateness of referral to a school administrator; differences were noted for 19 of the 27 specified behaviors.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access