Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Special Education

First Advisor

Dr. Kevin Sutherland

Second Advisor

Dr. Christine Walther-Thomas

Third Advisor

Dr. Katherine Inge

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Barbara Driver


Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present challenges for principals supervising both general and special education teachers. Evidence-based practices designed to address the challenging behavior and academic needs of this population exists, but there are numerous contextual factors that affect the ability of principals to effectively assist their teachers in implementation. The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between principal leader’s demographic characteristics, the influence of contextual factors, and leadership attitudes that affect their development and priorities for their schools. The implementation science framework and collective impact theory was investigated as a conceptual framework to analyze these critical research areas. Elementary principals responded to a researcher-designed survey instrument to identify contextual factors and priorities for development. Information was analyzed using one-way analysis of variance tests (ANOVA) and survey response patterns. Findings will provide direct guidance for principal development and leadership practices.


© Taryn Goodwin Traylor

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Date of Submission