Situational and Individual Determinants of Teachers' Reported Use of Behavior Alteration Techniques

Authors

  • PATRICIA KEARNEY,

    1. Patricia Kearney (Ed. D., West Virginia University, 1979) and Timothy G. Plax (Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1974) are professors in the Department of Speech Communication, California State University, Long Beach. Correspondence regarding this manuscript should be sent to Patricia Kearney at 5082 Kings Cross Rd., Westminister, CA 92683. Phone: (714) 897-5262.
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  • TIMOTHY G. PLAX

    1. Patricia Kearney (Ed. D., West Virginia University, 1979) and Timothy G. Plax (Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1974) are professors in the Department of Speech Communication, California State University, Long Beach. Correspondence regarding this manuscript should be sent to Patricia Kearney at 5082 Kings Cross Rd., Westminister, CA 92683. Phone: (714) 897-5262.
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Abstract

Tying together principles applicable to compliance-gaining from both interpersonal and instructional communication theory and research, this investigation focused on situational and individual difference determinants of teachers’ strategy selection in the classroom. Specifically, this study required teachers to focus on student misbehavior scenarios that reflected the situational determinants of misbehavior type (active/passive) and intensity (moderate/severe). Results indicated that teachers’ compliance-gaining message selection was influenced substantially by misbehavior type, and to a lesser extent, misbehavior intensity. Assessments of teachers’ and students’ gender confirmed stereotypic differences for male and female teachers’ reported technique use, but no student gender effect was obtained. These findings are compared with those obtained with prospective teachers (Plax, Kearney, & Tucker, 1986). Results are discussed in terms of cognitive scheme development for classroom management.

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