Conscious Discipline Viewed as Socially Valid Across Three Program Aspects

Caldarella, P., Page, N. W., & Gunter, L. (2012). Early childhood educators’ perceptions of Conscious Discipline. Education, 132(3), 589-599.

This study examines the social validity of Conscious Discipline. Social validity is the extent to which stakeholders consider a program important and acceptable in terms of the goals, procedures and effects of the program. Results revealed that participants viewed Conscious Discipline as socially valid across all three program aspects (goals, procedures and effects).

Type of report: Research report, descriptive/correlational

Study Design:

In this study, researchers surveyed 17 early childhood educators from one preschool. These educators had previously received training in Conscious Discipline and were implementing the program in their classrooms. The survey consisted of 12 items on a five point Likert response scale, and was designed to evaluate perceptions of Conscious Discipline.


The goal of Conscious Discipline is to help individuals manage their emotions in healthy ways and to teach them the skills to do so. When asked whether social- emotional skills should be taught in preschool, all participants agreed that they should. Additionally, almost all participants (76.5%-94%) agreed with the following statements regarding daily use of Conscious Discipline 1) Conscious Discipline should be used daily in the preschool classroom 2) I use Conscious Discipline with children outside of school 3) Conscious Discipline does not take too much time to implement 4) Conscious Discipline is not difficult for me to implement. This indicates an acceptance of the procedures of Conscious Discipline (social validity).

Finally, most participants (76.5%) agreed Conscious Discipline had a positive effect on both themselves and their students.

Researchers also looked the correlation between the social validity ratings and years of experience. They found that teachers with more years of teaching experience and experience using Conscious Discipline rated Conscious Discipline more favorably.

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