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Kent McIntosh - University of Oregon. Eugene, OR, US

Kent McIntosh

Professor, Counseling Psychology and Human Services Department | University of Oregon

Eugene, OR, United-States

Expert in school violence prevention, bullying, school discipline, and racial disparities in school discipline.



Kent McIntosh is an expert in school violence prevention, bullying, school discipline, and racial disparities in school discipline. At the University of Oregon, he is an associate professor in the College of Education and the associate director of Educational and Community Supports. His research examines how effective school and classroom behavior support practices can be implemented to enhance their effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and durability. He is co-investigator on the OSEP National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and founding member of the PBIS-SCP Canada Network.

Areas of Expertise (6)

School Violence Bullying School Discipline Problem Behavior Equity Racial and Ethnic Equity in Education

Media Appearances (1)

Black & White: Racial Disparities In School Discipline

Peoria Public Radio  online


It’s hard to know whether race played a role in the discipline that Paris -- and many other minority students in Springfield -- have experienced. But if you just look at data, well, there’s so much of it, we asked Kent McIntosh to help me figure it all out. McIntosh is an education professor at the University of Oregon, and specializes in this topic.

Reporter: “Tell me, like, the one top indicator I should look for.”

McIntosh: “The most common way to calculate disproportionality in schools is by using something called a risk index or a risk ratio.”

That’s actually pretty easy math. You just take the percent of black students who get a certain type of discipline, and divide it by the percent of white students who get the same discipline. Take in-house suspensions -- that’s where kids are allowed to be in school, but they’re kept out of class. In one middle school I looked at, 22 percent of black kids got in-house, versus 4 percent of white kids.

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Articles (5)

School psychology research and practice in East Asia: Perspectives on the past, present, and future directions of the field School Psychology International


To engage in a comparison of school psychology research and practice in eastern and western countries, the current study sought to identify key themes that have influenced the field of school psychology in East Asian countries. Forty-six leading school psychology professionals in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan provided their perspectives to a six-question survey based on a survey created by McIntosh, Martinez, Ty, and McClain (2013) regarding pivotal ideas and findings related to research and practice in the past 25 years, present, and future that they find particularly exciting. Qualitative thematic analysis, using NVivo software, yielded nine major and 41 minor categories. Across the three time periods (past, present, future), six of the nine major categories (Data-Informed Practices and Their Implementation, Knowledge and Practice of Individual Differences, Theory Development, Technology Development, Development of School Psychology, and Consultation and Collaboration) and seven of the 41 minor categories were present. A comparison between the current study and the McIntosh and colleagues (2013) study suggests that there were many consistencies in major and minor categories. Comparisons between these two studies, along with limitations, future areas for research, and implications for practice, are also discussed.

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A brief measure of staff commitment to school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports Assessment for Effective Intervention


Staff buy-in has been implicated as an important factor in the implementation of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SW-PBIS). However, most evidence related to buy-in is indirect and does not involve systematic measurement of buy-in. The purpose of the present study was to develop and evaluate a six-item measure of staff commitment to implement SW-PBIS. Responses were gathered from 1,218 teachers and staff working in schools at various stages of SW-PBIS implementation. Results showed strong evidence of internal consistency, construct validity, and content validity for the buy-in measure. There was a strong bias toward positive responding on the measure, but there were statistically significant differences that aligned with previous research (e.g., grade level of the school, role of respondents). In terms of concurrent validity, the relation between commitment and fidelity of implementation was as hypothesized, but the low number of schools and limited variability made the findings tentative.

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The relative contribution of subjective office referrals to racial disproportionality in school discipline School Psychology Quarterly


To improve our understanding of where to target interventions, the study examined the extent to which school discipline disproportionality between African American and White students was attributable to racial disparities in teachers’ discretionary versus nondiscretionary decisions. The sample consisted of office discipline referral (ODR) records for 1,154,686 students enrolled in 1,824 U.S. schools. Analyses compared the relative contributions of disproportionality in ODRs for subjectively and objectively defined behaviors to overall disproportionality, controlling for relevant school characteristics. Results showed that disproportionality in subjective ODRs explained the vast majority of variance in total disproportionality. These findings suggest that providing educators with strategies to neutralize the effects of implicit bias, which is known to influence discretionary decisions and interpretations of ambiguous behaviors, may be a promising avenue for achieving equity in school discipline.

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Technical adequacy of the SWPBIS Tiered Fidelity Inventory Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions


Full and durable implementation of school-based interventions is supported by regular evaluation of fidelity of implementation. Multiple assessments have been developed to evaluate the extent to which schools are applying the core features of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS). The SWPBIS Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) was developed to be used as an initial assessment to determine the extent to which a school is using (or needs) SWPBIS, a measure of SWPBIS fidelity of implementation at all three tiers of support, and a tool to guide action planning for further implementation efforts. In this research, we evaluated the psychometric properties of the TFI in three studies: a content validity study, a usability and reliability study, and a large-scale validation study. Results showed strong construct validity for assessing fidelity at all three tiers, strong interrater and 2-week test–retest reliability, high usability for action planning, and strong relations with existing SWPBIS fidelity measures. Implications for accurate evaluation planning are discussed.

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Predicting abandonment of school-wide behavior support interventions Prevention Science


The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which distinct patterns of fidelity of implementation emerged for 5331 schools over a 5-year course of implementing school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS). We used latent class analysis to classify schools based on their likelihood of implementing SWPBIS with fidelity each year, then assessed school and district predictors of classifications. A four-class solution fit the model well, with two patterns of sustained implementation (Sustainers and Slow Starters) and two patterns of practice abandonment (Late Abandoners and Rapid Abandoners). Significant predictors of group membership included grade levels served, enrollment, proportion of schools implementing SWPBIS in the district (“critical mass”), and size of the implementation cohort (“community of practice”). Elementary schools, larger schools, schools in districts with more schools already implementing SWPBIS, and those starting within a larger initial district cohort were more likely to be in the sustaining classes. Results are discussed in terms of understanding patterns of implementation in schools to enhance sustained implementation of school practices.

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