Classroom dynamics and middle school students

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Marjorie Montague - Committee Chair


The purpose of this follow-up study was to investigate classroom dynamics as they relate to sixth- and seventh-grade students who were previously identified in kindergarten and first grade as being at risk for the development of emotional and behavioral disorders (AR/EBD) as compared to their not-at-risk peers (NAR). Objectives of this study included examining: (a) teacher attitudes; (b) academic data in math, reading, effort and conduct; (c) teacher-student interactions; (d) academic engaged time; (e) student perceptions of teacher expectations and classroom environment; (f) student self-perceptions; and (g) rate of student absenteeism and tardiness.Using a matched-groups design, results replicated past findings that AR/EBD students experience more negative feedback from teachers and spend less time academically engaged than NAR peers (Lago-Delello, 1998; Montague & Rinaldi, in press). Quantitative assessments also revealed that AR/EBD students' academic and effort scores were significantly below the comparative sample while their rate of absenteeism was higher than the NAR students. However, hypothesized differences between AR/EBD and NAR students were not found for perceptions of teacher expectations, global self-worth, social acceptance, or classroom environment. This study complemented and extended previous research studies by presenting a fourth follow-up study of AR/EBD students' middle-school classroom experiences.


Education, Special

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