Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Effects on Teachers' Beliefs about Classroom Behavior Management
by Kennedy, Hilarie Fotter, Psy.D., University of Southern Maine, 2019, 63; 13809710
Abstract (Summary)

The aim of this survey research pilot study was to determine if there is a relationship that exists between a teacher’s perceptions about their disciplinary style and early life exposure to adverse experiences. The method consisted of two brief questionnaires (the Adverse Childhood Experience questionnaire and the Behavior and Instruction Management Scale) which was completed electronically by 2,149 teachers (response rate 16.51%) practicing within the state of Maine. The Behavior and Instruction Management Scale (BIMS) is a validated measure of teacher beliefs about their behavioral and instructional management practices in their classrooms and the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) questionnaire is a validated measure of early life exposure to adverse experiences. Previous research using the ACE questionnaire indicated a strong correlation between a high number of adverse experiences in childhood and increased risk of developing later negative health conditions, including depression, obesity and heart disease. Moreover, early adverse experiences can lead to more extreme beliefs in parenting practices including discipline. This current survey research pilot-study determined the percentage of teacher who endorsed high levels of adverse childhood experiences and a possible connection between high levels of early adverse experiences and classroom behavior management.

In this study 14.5% of teachers reported experiencing at least 4 of the 10 categories of adverse childhood experiences, which is over double the expected rate based on the original study. The results of this survey research design were correlated using Spearman’s rho and found a very weak and statistically nonsignificant correlation of r = .010, p = .007, between a teacher’s ACE score and their BIMS score. The significance of this study and implications for future policy and research are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Steege, Mark
Commitee: Fallona, Catherine, Wickard, Garry
School: University of Southern Maine
Department: Education and Human Development
School Location: United States -- Maine
Source: DAI-A 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Teacher education, Psychology
Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences, Classroom management, Discipline, Professional development, Teachers, Trauma
Publication Number: 13809710
ISBN: 978-1-392-00893-5
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