Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Diane Smallwood PsyD,NCSP

Second Advisor

Katy Tresco PhD

Third Advisor

Rochelle Robbins PhD


This study used archival school data compiled during the 2017-2018 school year to analyze the impact of family income, as determined by student eligibility for free- or reduced-lunch benefits, on several measures of school performance. This study was based upon an investigation of the effects of income on three dependent variables: academic performance, school attendance, and need for behavioral management interventions. Participants included 165 male students in third through fifth grade who attended a single elementary school in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Indicators of school performance were derived from data routinely collected and maintained in students' cumulative school records. Comparative statistics were used to determine the significance of intergroup (i.e., high and low family income) differences on standardized testing, school attendance, and referrals for behavioral management. In summary, the findings related to the three research hypotheses did not support any systematic relationships between family income levels and three measures of school performance. A series of statistical analyses comparing family income, as determined by eligibility for free-/reduced-lunch benefits, with (a) measures of academic performance in reading/language arts and mathematics, (b) school attendance, and (c) need for schoolbased behavioral management services did not show any significant relationships among these variables. Additional comparisons related to school performance showed significant differences between African American and Caucasian students when race was identified as the dependent variable.