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

  • Author / Creator
    Fontaine, Jenifer E.
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.