Award Date

August 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Christopher Kearney

Second Committee Member

Michelle G. Paul

Third Committee Member

Murray Millar

Fourth Committee Member

Courtney Coughenour

Number of Pages



School attendance/problems are a key focus of educational policy. Critical approaches to educational policy stress the importance of nontraditional methods that are inclusive of the needs of students from marginalized or minoritized groups. Students in these groups are already at an increased risk for school attendance problems due to complex systems interactions, and bolstering protective factors at the school level may be one way to promote inclusivity and equity. MTSS models are well suited to address attendance, and bolstering protective factors on a large-scale would fall under Tier 1 preventative efforts. School climate is one such protective factor that could improve attendance and prevent absenteeism, and may be particularly relevant for marginalized and minoritized students. The present study aimed to inform equitable and inclusive MTSS models by identifying school climate protective factors against SAPs for students of various subgroups based on available demographic factors, including race/ethnicity and IEP status. School climate subscales from the SCAMI were entered into decision trees, including CHAID and CART, to identify predictors of attendance at various cutoffs of school days missed. The <10% cutoff was determined to be the most relevant for interpretation when statistical model performance and applicability to MTSS models was considered. Results revealed that predictors varied among students from various racial/ethnic groups and for students with and without IEPs. The subscale that emerged most frequently across groups as the best predictor of attendance was Physical Safety. Subscales that appeared the least frequently across groups as a predictor of attendance were Parental Involvement and Support and Physical Environment and Resources. Results have implications for educational policy. Schools may wish to consider analyzing subgroup needs when creating and evaluating policy, as needs differ for students from marginalized and minoritized groups.


absenteeism; cart; chaid; climate; decision trees; school



Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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