Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. C. Michael Robinson

Second Supervisor

Dr. Mary Coughlin


Disruptive student behavior in elementary school causes problems for the student, the peers in the classroom, and the teacher. There is a lack of research and understanding as to how disruptive student behavior affects other groups in the school community. This phenomenological study examined the experiences of a total of nine elementary school administrators, psychologists, social workers, and counselors to understand how their professional roles were affected by chronic disruptive student behavior. Professional coping strategies were also shared and examined by the participants. Findings reveal that school leaders need to develop formal structures to help themselves and their staff cope with chronic disruptive student behaviors. Results from the data were used to make recommendations for policy and professional development to help constituents in school communities understand the effects of chronic disruptive student behavior and to find ways to alleviate stress caused by disruptive student events. The recommendations of this study include revised school practices to dedicate time for staff to debrief and plan after behavioral events, the inclusion of a behavioral specialist at each elementary building, and continued study of this phenomenon.

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