There are many things involved in behavior management in elementary school. Educators use different strategies of behavior management in schools. Educators can use prevention or intervention techniques, depending on the behavioral problems and the children they are dealing with in the school. Parents have a role to play in the behavior of their children. In the article Parenting Practices and Child Disruptive Behavior Problems in Early Elementary School, the authors test the hypothesis that some parenting practices are associated with children’s disruptive behavior.
The authors used the parents of children with disruptive behavior to conduct their research. They examined the consistency of the parents’ discipline measures and how the parents interacted with their children. They focused on five parenting practices, which included warmth and positive involvement, punitive discipline, inconsistency, spanking, and physical aggression. The authors carried out the research using a diverse and at risk population. They used 631 children, together with their parents. They used a normative sample of 387 children together with their parents. In the study, 49% of the participants were African American, while 51% of the participants were European Americans. Boys were the majority in the research, with 74%. The mean age of the children used in the research was 6.45 years.
The researchers conducted interviews with the parents, to find out the disciplinary measures they used. The results of the research indicated that hyperactivity, aggression, and oppositional behavior were related to increased levels of spanking and punitive discipline. Parents who had children with these kinds of problems found it challenging to discipline their children. Parents who had children with aggressive behavior used physical aggression to discipline them. Parents with oppositional and aggressive children did not have warmth and they were not involved with them.
The study was different from other seemingly similar studies in the past because it included both positive and negative aspects of parenting. The authors tried to equalize the two ethnicities used in the research. They however failed to find the right sex ratio, and this might have affected the results of the study. The researchers did not represent the girls well in the study, yet the authors were conducting research that involved discipline. It would have been important to know how girls and boys from the different ethnic groups responded to the different behavioral techniques applied in the study. The article inspired many ideas, especially in the way that both the teachers and parents approach discipline and behavior management. Parenting practices are fundamental in child discipline and this affects the way that the children will behave in the classroom.
In some cases, parents often accuse the teachers or the school management for failing to find the right way to discipline their children. As the research indicates, the problem comes from the home environment. Parents are usually the first teachers to their children. The way they treat their children in the home, determines the way the children behave in other environments. Parents do not have to result to physical aggression when disciplining their children. There are other alternative methods of disciplining children. Even if the children are aggressive and oppositional, treating them warmly, and being involved with them can change them in a positive manner. This research is useful, as it indicates how people can apply different types of behavior management in different situations. It recognizes the individuality and different temperaments of children, and the need to find the right method to correct or implement behavior.
Stormshak, E. A., Bierman, L. K. McMahon, J. R., & Lengua, J. L. (2000). Parenting practices and child disruptive behavior problems in early elementary school. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology 29, (1), 17-29