Perceived Effectiveness of Behaviour Control Strategies in Primary School Children Suspended or Excluded from School: The Development and Evaluation of a Scale

Penelope Mackay (). Perceived Effectiveness of Behaviour Control Strategies in Primary School Children Suspended or Excluded from School: The Development and Evaluation of a Scale , School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Penelope Mackay
Thesis Title Perceived Effectiveness of Behaviour Control Strategies in Primary School Children Suspended or Excluded from School: The Development and Evaluation of a Scale
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Supervisor Assoc Prof Annemaree Carroll
Total pages 189
Abstract/Summary Abstract Disruptive behaviour in primary school can predict life-course persistent antisocial behaviour and criminal convictions in adulthood. The longer these behaviours are left untreated the more difficult it becomes to modify this life course trajectory. Discipline strategies such as school suspensions and/or exclusions have proved largely unsuccessful in modifying childhood antisocial behaviour. Evidence suggests that children with antisocial behaviour lack certain social and life skills and behavioural control strategies and it is these skills and strategies that are typically included in interventions targeting this population. One area that has yet to be investigated is whether the children themselves perceive these skills and strategies to be effective in helping them to control their own behaviour. This area represents a gap in our understanding of antisocial behaviour and could potentially lead to improved interventions for these children. The aim of the present research was to develop a scale that could record child ratings of the usefulness of specific strategies that are often used to control the behaviour of children who are at-risk of being suspended and/or excluded from school. The research comprised three studies. Study One involved the development of the measure through a review of the literature on behavioural control strategies and social and life skills and individual interviews with 13 specialist behaviour staff from schools throughout Queensland. Study Two consisted of piloting the scale with 13 students aged 10 to 13 years. An item affectivity and discrimination analysis was conducted to revise and reduce the items of the scale. Study Three provided a validation of the scale using 74 students who had been suspended or excluded from 24 Queensland state schools. Findings revealed the scale had adequate reliability and validity. A factor analysis revealed a four factor underlying structure with Conflict Resolution, Behaviour Management Consequences, Self-Esteem and Empathy outlining the skill areas. Social and conflict resolution skills were rated as the most useful by children to help manage their behaviour in school. The findings of this research are discussed in the context of current understandings of antisocial behaviour. Limitations, clinical implications and directions for future research are highlighted.
Keyword children - education
school exclusion
behaviour control strategies
scale development
school suspension

 
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Created: Wed, 19 May 2010, 22:23:56 EST by Penelope Mackay