School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Beth Ackerman

Primary Subject Area

Education, Administration; Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, General


Academic Performance, Aggression, Specific Learning Disability


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Administration and Supervision


The researcher sought to determine whether an overall low average or a specific learning disability is a better predictor of a student displaying aggression at school. Further, she investigated for any interaction between an overall low average and a specific learning disability. The subjects were students in grades six through eight who attended a traditional middle school in a somewhat rural school district. The subjects had been punished by an out-of-school suspension at least once for an act of aggression during the 2006-2007 school year. Using a multiple regression analysis, the researcher found a negative correlation between overall average and suspensions for the number of aggressive acts displayed at school. As overall average decreased, the number of suspensions for acts of aggression increased. The presence of a specific learning disability label did not significantly correlate with aggression. Neither did the presence of both a low overall average and a specific learning disability label prove to be significant. When both factors were present for a subject, the low overall average was shown to be the more important correlate with aggression. The researcher concluded that an overall low average was a better predictor for the likelihood of a student displaying aggression at school than was a specific learning disability label.