Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


The impact of classroom behaviors, particularly aggression, on education is an ongoing concern among educators. Aggression includes behaviors formed with the intent to harm an individual physically or verbally. Students with disabilities typically engage in aggressive behaviors more frequently due to elevated levels of stress and anxiety. Further, students with disabilities living in the foster care system are even more at risk for aggressive behaviors due to increased stress and anxiety. Research suggests that cognitive-based interventions, such as Second Step, are effective in changing behavior and reducing aggression. Using an A-B single case design, this study examined the impact of the Second Step program at reducing aggression in students with disabilities living in the foster care system. Participants included one male and two female students attending a non-public school in Central California. A frequency count was used for this study to measure the number of aggressive behaviors. Five pre-selected lessons from the Second Step program were taught as the intervention. Results did not provide substantial evidence of program effectiveness, though some participants showed a decrease in aggression.