Ryan GoodmanFollow


School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Donna Joy

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Sociology of; Education, Administration; Psychology, Behavioral


behavior, discipline, ground groups, office discipline referrals, social learning


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Psychology | Sociology


The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the effectiveness of ground groups on office discipline referrals in a southeast Tennessee school district. Ground groups are meetings that students attended once a week in an effort to find the "middle ground" through modeling and observing particular behaviors. The primary hypothesis examined four schools from two separate districts over the course of two academic school years. The first group included schools from southeast Tennessee that incorporated ground groups and was classified as the treatment group. The second group included comparable schools from southeast Tennessee that did not incorporate ground groups and was classified as the control group. The researcher compared the number of students that received office discipline referrals for both groups. The study also examined individual students that met in the ground groups for two consecutive school years from three elementary schools, one middle school, and two high schools. The researcher compared the number of office discipline referrals to determine if there was a statistically significant difference between students that attended ground groups as compared to the same students who previously did not attend. Lastly, students' attendance over the three consecutive years was analyzed using Pearson's product-moment correlation to determine if the number of office discipline referrals could predict student attendance rates. The school wide results indicated ground groups did not have an effect on behavior. The results, however, did indicate students who participated fully in ground groups showed improvement in behavior when comparing office discipline referrals.