Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham

Second Advisor

Lori A. Wolff

Third Advisor

Roy J. Thurston

Relational Format



This dissertation consists of three articles examining the effects of modified lighting on commonly observed behaviors in children diagnosed with behavior-based disabilities. Prior literature has evaluated the effect of lighting on academic skills. Unfortunately, there is an absence of evidence regarding the effect of lighting on behaviors. Taken together these three articles will clearly display the importance of carefully designing lighting in classrooms, specifically in classrooms that include children with behavior-based disabilities. The first article (Chapter 2) evaluates the effect lighting with low level illumination has on the behaviors commonly observed in a child diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The second article (Chapter 3) evaluates the same effect in a child diagnosed with Emotional Disorder (EMD) and ADHD. The third article (Chapter 4) is written with a practitioner focus including recommendation for environmental changes that potentially create a calmer environment. The two studies were conducted using an ABAB design across twenty days in a general education inclusion setting. The researcher requested the general education teacher and special education teacher of record to complete the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Third Edition (BASC-3) to determine behaviors that were most comto the student participants. The Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS) software was used to track frequency of behaviors throughout each phase of the studies. Visual analysis was used and demonstrated change between baseline and intervention phases and sets of data collected by the BOSS software were statistically analyzed by using a nonparametric measure of nonoverlap called Improvement Rate Difference (IRD). The third article consists of a brief literature review, simplified results from articles one and two, a brief case study, and author suggestions for implementation of variable lighting in additional classrooms. Recommendations regarding administrative responsibility in regard to classroom environment improvement are also discussed.

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