Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




College of Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Anthony Setari

Second Advisor

Heather Hagan

Third Advisor

Mary Crenshaw


There has been an increasing number of students being referred to mental health services due to behavioral problems they exhibit at school. Behavioral and social concerns impede academic success for the individual child as well as their classroom peers. Many factors can contribute to challenging behaviors in early childhood students within rural and high-poverty communities, an elementary school in the South-Atlantic region of the United States is experiencing some of those factors. The purpose of this qualitative research study is to investigate some of the possible factors which contribute to challenging behaviors and how those factors impact academic achievement. The goal is to provide resources to aid educators and parents with suggested solutions. This is a significant topic because it will contribute to education by facilitating improvements and gaining more knowledge of children with behavioral and mental health concerns.