Examining classroom influences on student perceptions of school climate: The role of classroom management and exclusionary discipline strategies.
ABSTRACT There is growing emphasis on the use of positive behavior supports rather than exclusionary discipline strategies to promote a positive classroom environment. Yet, there has been limited research examining the association between these two different approaches to classroom management and students' perceptions of school climate. Data from 1902 students within 93 classrooms that were nested within 37 elementary schools were examined using multilevel structural equation modeling procedures to investigate the association between two different classroom management strategies (i.e., exclusionary discipline strategies and the use of positive behavior supports) and student ratings of school climate (i.e., fairness, order and discipline, student-teacher relationship, and academic motivation). The analyses indicated that greater use of exclusionary discipline strategies was associated with lower order and discipline scores, whereas greater use of classroom-based positive behavior supports was associated with higher scores on order and discipline, fairness, and student-teacher relationship. These findings suggest that pre-service training and professional development activities should promote teachers' use of positive behavior support strategies and encourage reduced reliance on exclusionary discipline strategies in order to enhance the school climate and conditions for learning.
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ABSTRACT: Reducing student problem behavior remains a leading concern for school staff, as disruptive and aggressive behavior interferes with student achievement and the school climate. However, the multi-systemic nature of schools makes it difficult for researchers and practitioners to identify factors influencing to students' behavior. The current study examined student problem behavior through an ecological lens by taking into account individual (e.g., gender, ethnicity, prosocial behavior), classroom (e.g., class size, average classroom behavior), and school-level factors (e.g., location, school climate). Using data from 37 elementary schools, 467 classrooms, and 8,750 students, a series of hierarchical linear models was tested. Multilevel analyses revealed that while individual student characteristics had the largest influence on problem behavior, average prosocial behavior and concentration problems of students within the classroom, as well as teacher perceptions of the school climate significantly related to how students behaved. These findings support the use of classroom-based intervention programs to reduce student problem behavior.School Mental Health 06/2014; 6(2):125-136.
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ABSTRACT: Although it is widely recognized that variation in implementation fidelity influences the impact of preventive interventions, little is known about how specific contextual factors may affect the implementation of social and behavioral interventions in classrooms. Theoretical research highlights the importance of multiple contextual influences on implementation, including factors at the classroom and school level (Domitrovich et al., Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 1, 6-28, 2008). The current study used multi-level modeling to empirically examine the influence of teacher, classroom, and school characteristics on the implementation of classroom-based positive behavior support strategies over the course of 4 years. Data were collected in the context of a 37-school randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Multi-level results identified several school-level contextual factors (e.g., school size, behavioral disruptions) and teacher-level factors (perceptions of school organizational health and grade level taught) associated with variability in the implementation of classroom-based positive behavior supports. Implications for prevention research and practice are discussed.Prevention Science 05/2014; · 2.63 Impact Factor