Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Kevin Runions

Abstract

Some of the most influential people in a child's life are the teachers who aid them in their transition into the education system and the complex social environment that it brings (Blancher & Eisenhower, 2006). Children who display externalising behaviours early in childhood often experience greater difficulties than other children when entering school and throughout their education experience (Hinshaw, Lahey & Hart, 1993; Liu, 2004). The student-teacher relationship established within the classroom and the disciplinary measures utilized by the teachers can have a profound impact on the child's development both academically and socially (Galen & Underwood, 1997; Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Interventions focusing on these areas within the classroom can be essential resources in assisting to redirect the externalising behaviour problems displayed by children before more severe disorders develop later in adolescence and adulthood (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990; Moffitt, 1993). Children who display externalising behaviour problems often face difficulties in their academic and social development within the education system. Student-teacher relationships and teacher disciplinary techniques can be essential components of intervention strategies to redirect these externalising behaviours. This study used a crosssectional, correlational design to examine the influence of student-teacher relationships and teacher disciplinary techniques on students' externalising behaviours. Results indicated student-teacher relationships as a significant predictor with closeness/warmth student-teacher relationships and intrinsic disciplinary techniques negatively correlating with externalising behaviours and conflict/negative interaction positively correlating with externalising behaviours. However, extrinsic disciplinary techniques unexpectedly negatively correlated with students' externalising behaviours. Further research is needed on the relationships between student-teacher relationships and teacher disciplinary techniques.

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