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Teacher Attributions for Behavior Disorders and Their Relationship to Expectations and Self-Efficacy Open Access


Other title
stability attributions
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Fontaine, Jenifer E.
Supervisor and department
Daniels, Lia (Educational Psychology)
Frender, Robert (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Leroy, Carol (Elementary Education)
Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
Struthers, Ward (Psychology - York University)
Klassen, Robert (Educational Psychology)
Frender, Robert (Educational Psychology)
Department of Educational Psychology
Psychological Studies in Education
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Student behavior disorders have emerged as a significant concern within the school environment, having been identified as a major source of occupational stress for teachers and a leading contributor to stress and burnout. Research has suggested that neither general education nor special education teachers feel adequately prepared to address these students’ needs in the classroom environment, and literature highlights calls to improve teacher efficacy and education in this domain. Considerable research has suggested that teachers’ attributions for learning problems are influential in nurturing teacher expectations and self-efficacy in the classroom, however there is a dearth of research exploring the association between these variables in the area of student behavior disorders. In this study of 207 practicing teachers, the influence of teacher attributions for behavior disorders on teacher expectations for classroom-based intervention and teacher self-efficacy was explored. Hierarchical linear regression results indicated that stability attributions about the causes of behavior disorders predict teacher beliefs about their self-efficacy with students who exhibit these disorders through teacher expectations for classroom-based intervention. Teachers’ free responses were also examined for common themes, providing context to the data, and suggesting areas for future research focus. The results of this study support increased pre-service and in-service teacher education in the area of student behavior disorders, and suggest that attribution education may be a critical component of teacher preparation in this domain.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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