Pre-service teachers' understanding of problem behavior


  • Jonathan Chitiyo University of Pittsburgh Bradford 3000 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA,16701
  • Argnue Chitiyo Ball State University
  • Donna Dombek University of Pittsburgh Bradford


Problem behavior is one of the most pressing issues in today’s classrooms. Problem behavior not only interferes with the learning potential of the student exhibiting the behavior but has rippling effects throughout the entire learning environment. Other students who are attempting to engage in the instructional activity may be deprived of that opportunity. Considering the negative consequences of problem behavior, it is crucial for teachers to adopt effective pro-active behavior management practices. The School-wide Positive Behavior Intervention Support model (SWPBIS) is one approach demonstrated to be effective in preventing and reducing the occurrence of problem behavior. The adoption of pro-active behavior management approaches is however, dependent on teacher perceptions of the nature of the problem behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine 29 pre-service teachers’ understanding of the nature and causes of problem behavior. A secondary purpose was to determine their preferred behavior management approach. Results indicated that the majority of preservice teachers believed that the school and classroom environments can contribute to the occurrence of problem behavior. In addition, the majority of students acknowledged that problem behaviors may be a manifestation of a disability. Finally, the majority of participants affirmed the claim that pro-active behavior management practices are most effective in reducing problem behavior. Keywords: problem behavior, behavior management, school-wide positive behavior intervention support

Author Biography

Jonathan Chitiyo, University of Pittsburgh Bradford 3000 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA,16701

Jonathan Chitiyo is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at University of Pittsburgh Bradford


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