Evidence of Positive Effects on the Behavior of Difficult Children

Hoffman, L.L., Hutchinson, C.J., Reiss, E. (2005). Training Teachers in Classroom Management: Evidence of Positive Effects on the Behavior of Difficult Children. Strate Journal, 14(1), 36-43.

Intro brief: Researchers examined the impact of elementary teachers’ Conscious Discipline training on students’ behavior using the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC). This assessment looks at four elements of student behavior: Externalizing Problems, Internalizing Problems, Behavior Symptom Index and Adaptive Skills. Children in classrooms where the teacher received Conscious Discipline training showed statistically significant improvement in all four behavior areas.

Type of report: Quasi-experimental study

Study Design: K-6 teachers from two Florida schools identified disruptive students and 15 student-teacher pairs were randomly selected to enroll in the study, 12 of which participated. Ten pairings were subscribed to a treatment group that received Conscious Discipline training and two to a control that received no training.

Teachers completed the Teacher Rating Scale (TRS) section of the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) to assess the children’s behavior. Researchers administered a baseline test to all 12 teachers before providing Conscious Discipline training to the teachers in the treatment group.

Teachers in the treatment group attended Conscious Discipline workshops once a month for six months. These workshops were intended to change teachers’ perceptions of and responses to conflict and challenging behavior in order to enhance the children’s social-emotional skills. Teachers in the control group did not attend the Conscious Discipline training. At the end of the training, both the treatment group and control group were given a post-test.


Children in classrooms with teachers who attended the Conscious Discipline workshops showed statistically significant improvement in all four behavior areas tested


Results: Children in classrooms with teachers who attended the Conscious Discipline workshops showed statistically significant improvement in all four behavior areas tested with the BASC: Externalizing Problems, Internalizing Problems, Behavior Symptom Index and Adaptive Skills. Children in the control group showed no statistically significant improvement in any areas.

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