A comparison of teacher and student responsiveness for students at high and low risk for externalizing behavior problems
Maggin, Daniel Montagne
Students at risk for developing externalizing behavior disorders (EBD) are among the most challenging students to teach. The combination of instructional and behavioral demands that students at risk for EBD place on their teachers increases the likelihood of coercive interactions (Patterson, 1982). This pilot study compared the responsiveness of classroom teachers with students at high and low risk for developing behavior problems. Responsiveness was measured using a unique coding system designed to utilize sequential analytic technology to determine the reciprocity between teacher and student behaviors. Results indicated that the interactions between teachers and students at high risk for EBD did, in fact, differ with those of low risk students. Specifically, teachers were more likely to respond to compliant responses by low risk students with academic instruction and disruptive behaviors of low risk students with reprimands. In addition, high risk students were shown to be more disruptive and less compliant following teacher instruction. Results are discussed in terms of coercion theory.