Externalising behaviour problems and the influence of classroom environments in the early school years ; student-teacher relationships and teacher discipline: Their relation to the externalising behaviours of kindergarten to year 1 students
Date of Award
Bachelor of Science Honours
School of Psychology and Social Sciences
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
Dr Kevin Runions
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.
Spencer, E. (2007). Externalising behaviour problems and the influence of classroom environments in the early school years ; student-teacher relationships and teacher discipline: Their relation to the externalising behaviours of kindergarten to year 1 students. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/1146