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Managing Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021571/00001

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Title: Managing Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood Effect of Theoretical Orientation on Strategy Recommendation
Physical Description: 1 online resource (130 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Anderson, Erin M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: challenging, early, recommended, theoretical
Educational Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: School Psychology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Challenging behaviors in young children are a growing problem that interferes with children's social-emotional and academic development. Within the field of early childhood, experts differ regarding appropriate practices for addressing challenging behavior in young children. This study explores the relationship between experts' theoretical orientations and strategy recommendations for addressing 3 types of challenging behaviors in young children. This study examines whether identifying as a behaviorist or constructivist affects specific strategies recommended for managing physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance in three- and four-year-old children. Participants responded to survey vignettes regarding the likelihood that they would recommend 11 strategies. Theoretical orientation and the behavior presented were found to impact the likelihood of specific strategy recommendation. Implications regarding the impact of such findings on consultative relationships and teacher training is discussed.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Erin M Anderson.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Smith-Bonahue, Tina M.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021571:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021571/00001

Material Information

Title: Managing Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood Effect of Theoretical Orientation on Strategy Recommendation
Physical Description: 1 online resource (130 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Anderson, Erin M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: challenging, early, recommended, theoretical
Educational Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: School Psychology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Challenging behaviors in young children are a growing problem that interferes with children's social-emotional and academic development. Within the field of early childhood, experts differ regarding appropriate practices for addressing challenging behavior in young children. This study explores the relationship between experts' theoretical orientations and strategy recommendations for addressing 3 types of challenging behaviors in young children. This study examines whether identifying as a behaviorist or constructivist affects specific strategies recommended for managing physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance in three- and four-year-old children. Participants responded to survey vignettes regarding the likelihood that they would recommend 11 strategies. Theoretical orientation and the behavior presented were found to impact the likelihood of specific strategy recommendation. Implications regarding the impact of such findings on consultative relationships and teacher training is discussed.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Erin M Anderson.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Smith-Bonahue, Tina M.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021571:00001


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MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD: EFFECT OF
THEORETICAL ORIENTATION ON STRATEGY RECOMMENDATION





















By

ERIN MICHELLE ANDERSON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007


































2007 Erin Michelle Anderson


































To my loving and supportive family









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

My sincerest gratitude goes out to all of those who have supported me throughout the

duration of this project. I express my never-ending appreciation to family, specifically, my

mother and step-father, Shirley and Curt Gilmer, my father, Rodney Anderson, and my brother

and step-sister, Christopher Anderson and Kelli Gilmer, for their continued encouragement,

guidance and love. I owe my accomplishments to them. I thank my friends who have

continuously supported my passions and academic endeavors, and have supported me immensely

over the past seven years. I thank Mary Thomas and Christina Hayes (my friend and part-time

statistical consultant) in particular for always believing in me.

Finally, I express my gratitude to the professionals who have supported me throughout

this project. My dissertation committee, Drs. Nancy Waldron, Hazel Jones, and Kristen Kemple,

as well as those who have served on my committee in the past, Drs. Jennifer Asmus, Maureen

Conroy, Randy Penfield, and Anne Seraphine. They have shared their individual and combined

knowledge and expertise over the years, which have facilitated the completion of this project. I

also thank Dr. David Miller and Dr. Stephen Hooper for the generous assistance with my

statistical analyses. Most importantly, I thank my dissertation committee chair and advisor, Dr.

Tina Smith-Bonahue, for her constant wisdom, encouragement, and guidance. She has

continuously supported and challenged me throughout my academic career, and for that I am

eternally grateful.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ................................................................. ........... ............. .....

LIST O F TA BLE S ......... .... .............. .............................................................. 8

CHAPTER

1 L IT E R A TU R E R E V IE W ......... ..... ............ ........................................ ............................. 10

Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood...................................................................... 10
Increased U se of C hildcare......... ................. ...................................... ........... ..........
Definition of Challenging Behaviors......................................................................... 14
Defining challenging behaviors in relation to their environmental impact .............14
T ypes of challenging behaviors..................................................... ..................... 15
Severity of challenging behaviors ............. ................. ........... ........ ....... 16
Developmental Nature of Challenging Behaviors.............................................16
The Transactional Nature of Challenging Behaviors .................................................18
The Im pact of Challenging B ehaviors..................................... ......................... ......... 21
Challenging behaviors across the life span ................................... ............... 21
Effects of challenging behaviors on social relationships ......................................23
Effects challenging behaviors on academic performance.......................................24
Empirically Supported Strategies for Addressing Challenging Behaviors...........................24
The Role of Theoretical Orientation................................................ 25
Constructivist Perspectives for Managing Challenging Behaviors.................................29
Perspectives regarding management strategies ................................. .. ..................29
Program m atic interventions .............................................................................. 30
Specific constructivist strategies ...................................................... 36
Behavioral Perspectives for Managing Challenging Behaviors................................37
Strategies aimed at enhancing communication skills....................................39
Specific behavioral strategies................................................ ....................... 40
Comparisons Between Constructivism and Behaviorism ............................................44
Im portance of Q quality C hildcare ........................................ .............................................45
Practitioners' N eed for Training ....................................................................... 48
Perceived competence and challenging behaviors................................................51
Perceived com petence and inclusion.................................... ........................ 54

2 M E T H O D S .........................................................................57

P artic ip an ts .........................................................................5 7
Instrum entation ................ .. ........ ..................... .......... .. ..... .......... ....57
The Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education: Professional's Survey........57
D em graphic Q questionnaire ......... ................. ................... .................... ............... 60
P ro c e d u re ..........................................................................6 0
D ata A analysis ................................................... 61









Scoring and Statistical Analyses .................................. .....................................61
R research question ........... .............................................................. .......... ...... 62
H hypothesis ................................................ 62
D ata analy ses ............................................................................................. ....... 62
R e lia b ility ......................................................................................................6 3

3 R E SU L T S .............. ... ................................................................65

D e scrip tiv e S statistic s ................................................................................................. 6 5
Demographic Variables ................................ .......................................66
A g e ................................................................................6 7
Years of experience ................................. ........................... .... ...... 67
A rea of sp ecialization ................................................................................. 6 8
D degree held ................................................................... 68
R ace/ethnicity ..................................................................................................68
Gender .................. .... ..................................... 69
Split-Plot Analysis of Variance (SPANOVA) .............................. ...........69
F o llow -u p A n aly se s................................................................................................... 7 0
Analysis of Open-Ended Responses............................... ................... 71

4 D IS C U S S IO N ........................................................................................................8 6

Relationship Between Strategy and Theoretical Orientation .......................................86
Relationship Between Strategy Recommendation and Types of Challenging
B e h av io r ........................................................................................8 7
P hy sical aggression .............................................................87
Verbal aggression ................................. ............................ .... ...... 88
N oncom pliant behavior .............................................................................88
Trends in Open-Ended Responses ................................................................ .. ...90
Implications of the Findings ......................................... .................. .... ....... 92
Lim stations of the Current Study ........................................ ................................. 95
In te rn a l V a lid ity ......................................................................................................... 9 6
E external V validity ....................................................... 98
F utu re R research ................................................................99

APPENDIX

A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONAIRRE .................................. ............. ... 103

B BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ..................104

C BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES INE ARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION:
PROFESSIONAL'S SURVEY DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE .............................110

D BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES INE ARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION:
PROFESSIONAL'S SURVEY ................. ........ ...... ......... 111

E CONTACT LETTER ............................................................................ ......... ................. 117


6









L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ..................................................................................... ...................118

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ............................................................................... ............... ..... 130









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3.1 Explanation of assignments of numerical values and statistical analyses used for
dem graphic and survey data ............................................... .............................. 64

4-2 A analysis of variance for age ......... ............................................................... ................75

4-3 Analysis of variance for years of experience............................................. ................76

4-4 Analysis of variance for area of specialization............................................................ 77

4-5 A analysis of variance for degree held ............................................................ ...............78

4-6 A analysis of variance for race/ethnicity ............................ .............................. .......... 79

4-7 D escriptive statistics for race/ethnicity ..................................................... ... .......... 80

4-8 T-tests for gender .............................................. ................... ... ........... 81

4-9 M auchley's test of sphericity ....................................................................... 81

4-10 SPANOVA using the Huynh-Feldt correction ...................................... ............... 82

4-11 Marginal means for theoretical orientation by strategy ............................................. 82

4-12 M arginal m eans for strategy by behavior ........................................ ....... ............... 83

4-13 Percentage (%) and number (n) of open-ended categories by theoretical orientation .......84

4-14 Sample of open-ended strategies reported by behaviorists......................................84

4-15 Open-ended strategies reported by constructivists .................................... ............... 85









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD: EFFECT OF
THEORETICAL ORIENTATION ON STRATEGY RECOMMENDATION


By

Erin Michelle Anderson

December 2007

Chair: Tina Smith-Bonahue
Major: School Psychology

Challenging behaviors in young children are a growing problem that interferes with

children's social-emotional and academic development. Within the field of early childhood,

experts differ regarding appropriate practices for addressing challenging behavior in young

children. This study explores the relationship between experts' theoretical orientations and

strategy recommendations for addressing 3 types of challenging behaviors in young children.

This study examines whether identifying as a behaviorist or constructivist affects specific

strategies recommended for managing physical aggression, verbal aggression, and

noncompliance in three- and four-year-old children. Participants responded to survey vignettes

regarding the likelihood that they would recommend 11 strategies. Theoretical orientation and

the behavior presented were found to impact the likelihood of specific strategy recommendation.

Implications regarding the impact of such findings on consultative relationships and teacher

training is discussed.









CHAPTER 1
LITERATURE REVIEW

Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood

Behavior problems have long been a common and troubling problem for educators, with

detrimental side effects both for students and teachers. In fact, challenging behaviors are cited as

one of the greatest challenges faced by preschool teachers and childcare providers each year

(Arnold, McWilliams, & Arnold, 1998). As early as 1980, researchers suggested that as many as

24% of all preschool children demonstrated significant challenging behaviors (Earls, 1980). In

1993, Webster-Stratton found that the incidence of difficult behaviors was steadily increasing.

Although citing a slightly lower prevalence rate, Campbell (1995) suggested that between 10-

15% of preschool children exhibit mild to moderate behavior problems. Willoughby,

Kupersmidt, and Bryant (2001) report startling numbers of preschool children exhibiting

antisocial behaviors -- approximately 40% of preschoolers exhibit at least one, and

approximately 10% of preschools exhibit six or more antisocial behaviors a day. More currently,

Fixsen, Powell, and Dunlap, (2003) suggested that between 8 and 25% of all preschool and

kindergarten children display externalizing behaviors in the classroom. These rates suggest that

challenging behaviors have been present in preschool and childcare settings for a number of

years and remain a significant problem today.

The numerous consequences of such difficult behaviors result in a myriad of problems for

children and teachers. For example, Bryant and colleagues (1999) suggest that coping with

disruptive, aggressive, and noncompliant behaviors in the classroom environment is one of the

biggest concerns for childcare providers and Head Start teachers (Bryant, Vizzard, Willoughby,

& Kupersmidt, 1999). The concern of managing challenging behaviors is becoming increasingly

important to understand as the use of childcare environments is steadily increasing (Buck &









Ambrosino, 2004). Not only are childhood behavioral difficulties problematic for the individual

child and the other children in their classroom, they also are difficult for the childcare providers

serving these young children.

I begin with a general discussion regarding the increased use of childcare, followed by a

discussion of definitions of challenging behaviors and a description of the developmental nature

of challenging behaviors. Subsequently, a discussion regarding the transactional nature of

challenging behaviors, specifically in relation to the childcare environment, will occur.

Additionally, this chapter will describe the impact of challenging behaviors on the individual

child, including an explanation of the effects of challenging behaviors over time, and on social

interactions and academic performance, while emphasizing the importance of early intervention

for remediating such problems.

I then discuss the research regarding effective strategies for managing challenging

behaviors in young children. Specifically, the role of theoretical orientation (e.g., constructivism

and behaviorism) is discussed, and effective strategies that are supported in the literature for both

perspectives are examined; a brief comparative discussion of the two fields follows. The final

section of this paper focuses on the importance of quality childcare, practitioners' need for

training and the impact of level of education and years of experience on practitioners' knowledge

and competence when working with challenging behaviors.

Increased Use of Childcare

Increasingly more families are relying on childcare programs for the care of their young

children today (Buck & Ambrosino, 2004; Markos-Capps & Godfrey, 1999; Peth-Pierce, 1998;

Philips & Adams, 2001). Phillips and Adams (2001) suggested that the majority of children

under three years of age spend a substantial amount of their time in non-parental childcare.

Further, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Early Child









Care Research Network (2004) stated that prior to beginning school the majority of children

living in the United States will receive some form of non-maternal childcare. Such increases in

the reported use of childcare are in part due to an increase in parents' need, particularly mothers'

need, to be employed outside of the home (Wolery, Brashers, & Neitzel, 2002). Further, recent

updates in welfare policies also require recipients of welfare services to either be employed

outside of the home or attend school (Wolery, Brashers, & Neitzel, 2002), which plays a direct

role in the increased reliance on childcare services.

Markos-Capps and Godfrey (1999) estimated that 75% of mothers with young children

were an active part of the workforce, leaving their children to the daily care of childcare

providers. Additionally, findings from the NICHD longitudinal study of early childcare

environments suggest that families who rely more heavily on the mother's income are more

likely to depend on childcare, enroll their children in childcare at an earlier age, and use

childcare environments for longer hours during the day (Peth-Pierce, 1998). In 1991, 52.8% of

preschool children age 3 to 5 were enrolled in center-based early childcare programs, not

including home-based childcare services; in 1995, this percentage rose to 55.1, and in 2001, it

rose to 56.4 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2002). Since these statistics do not include

the use of family-based childcare services, using these numbers as an estimate for the overall

numbers of children in non-parental care may be a gross underestimate.

When examining the use of childcare programs, including family-based programs,

approximately three out of four preschool children were enrolled in some form of childcare in

1995 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2002). This statistic included children whose

mothers were employed outside of the home, as well as those whose mothers where not

employed outside of the home (Hofferth, Shauman, Henke, & West, 1998), as even mothers who









do not work outside of their home rely on the supports of external childcare. In 1995, it was

estimated that more than 6.8 million preschool children were enrolled in childcare (West,

Wright, & Hausken, 1995). Thus, as more frequent and continued reliance on childcare facilities

persists, the importance of understanding and examining this environment increases.

Not only are the sheer numbers of children enrolled in childcare settings increasing, the

diversity of the children also is expanding, as increasing numbers of children with disabilities are

included in regular child care settings (Odom & Diamond, 1998). Specifically, characteristics of

children with disabilities vary along physical, social, academic, and behavioral continuums

(Lieber, et al., 2000). Thus, trends in the demand for childcare have resulted in a stressed system,

as many educators and childcare providers today face the increasing need to accommodate

children from diverse populations, with various needs, in classroom settings (Wilczenski, 1992).

Types of childcare environments vary tremendously: childcare provided by family

members, home childcare environments, and childcare centers (NICHD, 2004). Childcare

provided by family a member, which is most highly relied upon by lower income families, has

been described as care by a relative either in the child's home or the family member's home. The

other type of home-based childcare is described as childcare provided in a home, other than the

child's home, by someone other than a family member, and with other children present (NICHD,

2004). Center based childcare places children in an environment outside the home with other

children present. While there are benefits and limitations of each type of childcare option, Belsky

(1999) notes interesting findings related to children cared for by anyone other than their parents.

Specifically, such children often demonstrate more behavior problems than children cared for by

their parents, including higher rates of aggressive behaviors and less compliance with adult

requests (Belsky, 1999).









Cryer, Hurwitz, and Wolery (2001) suggest that the majority of early childhood programs

serve children with developmental delays or disabilities. Markos-Capps and Godfrey (1999)

found that 65% of childcare centers surveyed were currently serving children with special needs.

However, the percentage of children with special needs actually being served in inclusive

settings is surprisingly low, with only 5% of children with special needs enrolled in childcare

environments. This suggests that while many childcare centers are serving children with special

needs, few children with specific disabilities actually are enrolled in early childcare

environments. Nevertheless, the trend in the education system has been that the use of inclusive

childcare settings will continuously increase.

Definition of Challenging Behaviors

Researchers have developed various definitions of the term "challenging behaviors"

(Boulware, Schwartz, & McBride, 1999; Buck & Amrbrosino, 2004; Doss & Reichle, 1991;

Powell, Fixsen, & Dunlap, 2003; Strain & Hemmeter; 1999). Many have conceptualized

challenging behaviors based upon the immediate impact on the individual child and their

environment, as well as the long-term effects on the individual child. Also, challenging behaviors

can include a wide range of behaviors (e.g., screaming, hitting, kicking, noncompliance) and can

be described in numerous ways (e.g., problem behaviors, behavioral difficulties, behavior

disorders).

Defining challenging behaviors in relation to their environmental impact

Strain and Hemmeter (1999) define challenging behaviors in terms of the effects such

behaviors have on others, suggesting that challenging behaviors are any behaviors that an

individual, such as a teacher or parent, finds to be difficult to manage. On the other hand,

Boulware, Schwartz, and McBride (1999) define challenging behaviors as ones that are unsafe,

impede a child's learning or school functioning, or are considered to be a problem by the family.









The Division of Early Childhood (DEC) supports research suggesting that challenging behaviors

can affect or cause harm to the individual, another child, or the environment (Doss & Reichle,

1991). Further, in defining challenging behaviors, Buck and Ambrosino (2004) focus on the

specific problem behaviors that a child may exhibit including, children who bite themselves or

others and those who are physically aggressive toward other children or adults. Children who

engage in various non-aggressive behaviors, including children who are defiant or non-

compliant, overly active, and impulsive in also are included in their definition of challenging

behaviors (Buck & Ambrosino, 2004).

The Center for Evidence-based Practice: Young Children with Challenging Behaviors (The

Center) is a nationally funded research center that aims to identify and describe appropriate

practices for managing challenging behaviors in young children (Powell, Fixsen, & Dunlap,

2003). The Center defines challenging behavior as any continuous pattern of behavior, or

perceptions of that behavior, which interferes with, or may potentially interfere with, favorable

learning and social outcomes. The Center's definition identifies challenging behaviors in terms

of the effects such behaviors have on others and the environment; these behaviors may include,

yet are not limited to, physical and verbal aggression, destructive behaviors, noncompliance, and

withdrawal (Powell, Fixsen, & Dunlap, 2003).

Types of challenging behaviors

Cullinan (2002) separates various types of emotional and behavioral problems in terms of

seven descriptors: defiance and aggression, hyperactivity, socialized deviance, anxiety,

depression, relationship problems, and learning disorders. Further, Cullinan (2002) suggests that

the majority of these descriptors fall under two major categories: those that place the individual

in conflict with his/her environment, labeled environmental conflict, and those that interfere with

an individual's personal development, labeled personal disturbance. These two descriptive









categories align closely with the commonly used definitions of externalizing and internalizing

behaviors. Externalizing behaviors are behaviors that are more apparent to observers and include

physical and verbal aggression (e.g., fighting, destructiveness, and disobedience) (Campbell,

2002; Campbell, 1995). On the other hand, internalizing behaviors are those that are not as easily

observed by others and include behaviors such as withdrawal, unhappiness, anxiety, or

noncompliance (Campbell, 1995; Campbell, 2002; Reynolds & Sattler, 2002).

Severity of challenging behaviors

In addition to describing the morphology of problem behavior, terminology used to

describe behavior problems attempts to classify the severity of behaviors encompassing a broad

spectrum ranging from mild problems (i.e., behavior difficulties) to more severe ones (i.e.,

behavior disorders). Interestingly, Keenan and Wakschlag (2002) point out the lack of consensus

regarding the conceptualization of such behavioral problems. For the purpose of the current

paper, the term challenging behaviors will be used when discussing problematic preschool

behavior. The term behavior disorders will be used in reference to diagnosed behavior disorders

in preschool children (i.e., Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant

Disorder, etc.) or with more extreme behavior problems (i.e., violence, stealing) often associated

with severe disabilities or diagnoses with the adolescent population. To develop a definition of

challenging behaviors for the purpose of this paper, aspects of a number of these definitions were

combined. To that end, challenging behaviors is defined in the following way: challenging

behaviors are behaviors that others' view as difficult to manage and interfere with the child's

social and academic development.

Developmental Nature of Challenging Behaviors

Campbell's (2002) work suggests that some behaviors adults find difficult to manage in

young children often are typical, even developmentally appropriate, depending on the children's









age (i.e., aggression in 3 year-old boys). Additionally, Campbell purports that some behavior

problems evident in preschool children on the whole will become less common, and in fact,

decrease with age and development as children attempt to develop a more mature sense of self

(Campbell, 2002; 1995). Keenan and Wakschlag (2000) support this view, suggesting that many

of the challenging behaviors (e.g., tantrums, aggression, noncompliance, etc.) exhibited by

preschool children are normal behaviors at this age. For example, research by Earls (1980), and

Richman, Stevenson, and Graham (1982) suggests that many parents of 4-year-old children have

difficulties with non-compliant behavior, poor sibling interactions, and inadequate self-control.

Additionally, this research indicates that these mothers repeatedly describe their children as

overactive, restless, hard to control, and as often engaging in attention seeking behaviors,

implying that such behaviors are normal for young children. Nonetheless, while occasional

noncompliance with parental requests and aggressive behaviors may be normal, pervasive and

continual behaviors are not (Keenan & Wakschlag, 2002). Further, the effectiveness with which

typical, yet challenging behaviors are managed by parents and teachers during the preschool

years has a role in determining whether these behaviors persist or worsen.

The developmental perspective presumes that the occurrence of challenging behaviors in

early childhood generally results from the child's desire for independence, and frustration from

continued limit setting by parents and caretakers (Keenan & Wakschlag, 2000). During the

preschool years, children endure significant social, behavioral, and cognitive changes, including

the development of self-control and self-regulation and increased frustration tolerance. Tremblay

(2000) suggests that most young children engage in some forms of aggressive and noncompliant

behaviors prior to the development of such aforementioned changes; it is with such social,









behavioral, and cognitive changes that children learn to inhibit inappropriate behaviors, and

develop means of compensating for their frustrations (Tremblay, 2000).

Determining which behaviors are merely developmental and which are problematic, which

behaviors are troublesome and which are pathological present challenges to care providers as

well as researchers (Campbell, 1995). Research in this area has been unable to systematically

decipher if challenging behaviors that are obvious extremes of behavior are more likely to persist

(Campbell, 2002). Also, Keenan and Wakschlag (2002) noted that determining whether a

behavior is typical or atypical in young children is extremely difficult due to continual

developmental changes. Understanding the intensity, frequency, and inflexibility of such

behaviors is necessary to distinguish developmentally appropriate acting out from truly

pathological behaviors (Keenan & Wakschlag, 2002). Therefore, without an adequate

understanding of the way in which behavior problems manifest, it is difficult to accurately define

behavior problems. In other words, definitions of challenging behaviors are complicated due to

the developmental nature of behavior regulation (Campbell, 2002).

The Transactional Nature of Challenging Behaviors

As previously described, while behavior problems are common among young children,

they can have serious consequences for all involved. While some challenging behaviors are

actually developmentally appropriate, others may be related to the child's characteristics or other

disabling conditions. Whatever the origin of the behavior problem, the extent to which

challenging behaviors become a disability depends in large part on the way in which the

behaviors are managed. Thus, although it is important to understand the way in which behavior

problems develop, also important to understand are the key factors that influence the

development of a behavior problem. Often, behavior problems develop as a result of numerous









environmental factors including peer and family relationships, and the reciprocal interactions

between environmental factors and the child.

Sameroff and Chandler's (1975) transactional model of development provides a useful

framework for understanding the development of young children, as well as the development of

problem behaviors. Probably the most widely accepted theory in the field of child development

(Chase-Lansdale, 1998), Sameroff and Chandler's theory proposes that all behaviors, including

challenging ones, are a product of the interaction between the child and his/her environment over

time (Sameroff & Fiese, 1990; 2000). Additionally, all components of a child's typical daily

interactions are based upon multifaceted and reciprocal interactions between the child and his/her

environment; each aspect of the child's environment, including his/her parents, siblings, peers,

and childcare providers are influential figures. These individuals play an integral part in the

child's development as they shape the everyday behaviors of the child (Sameroff & Fiese, 1990;

2000).

Sameroff s (1993) theory also suggests that while the environment impacts the child, the

child has an impact on the environment -- thus, the child is a determining factor of the child's

current experiences. In other words, as children influence their environment, the environment

subsequently influences children (Sameroff & Fiese, 1990; 2000). In order for a true transaction

to occur, the environment, which includes the behaviors of parents and other adults in the child's

life, must react to the child in a manner unique to the specific situation (Sameroff, 1993). This

can be explained by examining parent-child interactions. A parent must respond uniquely to the

child solely because of the behavior initiated. If a parent's "predominant interaction style is not

changed by the behavior of the child, a genuine transaction has not occurred" (Sameroff, 1993,









p.7). This understanding of true transactions and their impact on the individual child also holds

true for other components of the child's environment.

For example, in addition to the child's home environment, the childcare environment is a

critical component in the transactional nature of a child's development, as children today spend

much of their time in such a setting. Transactions between a child and a childcare provider occur

throughout a child's day, and by the very definition of a transaction, subsequently impact both

the child and the childcare provider equally. Basic daily interactions between a child and a

childcare provider influence the child's environment and cultivate the child's behavior over time.

More specifically, the strategies used by childcare providers to manage challenging behaviors are

yet another part of such an environment, which impacts a child's daily behavioral functioning, as

well as their overall development.

For this reason, factors influencing the relationship between a child and a childcare

provider should be examined; childcare providers' strategies for managing challenging behaviors

are just one of these factors. To ignore the transactional nature of challenging behaviors and the

strategies used to manage challenging behaviors in young children, and simply describe such

behaviors based upon the child's overt actions, would fail to account for the context in which

specific behaviors are exhibited. By engaging in such a narrow view of early childhood

challenging behaviors a child may be punished for behaviors that are likely regarded as

appropriate in certain settings. As a result of this importance, this study will focus on the less

commonly examined environment of childcare centers, specifically the daily behavioral practices

of childcare providers.









The Impact of Challenging Behaviors

Challenging behaviors across the life span

Research suggests that behavior problems evident in the preschool years are suggestive of

future conduct problems, including antisocial behaviors and juvenile delinquency (Fox, Dunlap,

& Cushing, 2002; Masse, & Tremblay, 1999; Stormont, 2002; Webster-Stratton, Reid, &

Hammond, 2001; White Moffit, Earls, Robins, & Silva, 1990). Without effective prevention and

intervention efforts, challenging behaviors evident in early childhood are a predictive factor in

the development of behavior problems at various points in time. To use Sameroff and Chandler's

language, the transactions between preschool children and their environment (e.g., parents,

childcare providers) may develop into patterns of behavior that can follow the child throughout

their life. For example, children who display problems with overactivity and peers in preschool

are likely to have future problems through age eight (Richman, et al., 1982).

Through a thorough review of the literature, Bryant and colleagues provide powerful

evidence supporting the importance of identifying challenging behaviors early (Bryant, Vizzard,

Willoughby, & Kupersmidt, 1999). For example, they report White, Moffit, Earls, Robins, and

Silva's (1990) research suggesting that challenging behaviors exhibited in early childhood

settings is one of the most powerful indicators of delinquent behavior at age eleven. White and

colleagues' (1990) research that claims various characteristics of preschool children were

indicative of antisocial behaviors at age eleven. This research suggested that 70% of the children

identified as "antisocial" at age eleven were accurately identified during preschool as antisocial,

based on parent ratings of their behavior, and that behavioral problems in children as young as

five years of age can predict conduct problems in the future. Additionally, Bryant and colleagues

site research, which suggests that children who have behavior problems during preschool are

more likely to be arrested by the age of fourteen (Patterson & Yoerger, 1993).









A large body of empirically supported research consistently supports the assertion that

challenging behaviors evident in early childhood can be predictive of problems later in life

(Campbell, 1995; Hartup & Moore, 1990; Parker & Asher, 1987; Richman, et al., 1982).

Aggressive behavior patterns, along with other challenging behaviors, present in early childhood

are highly correlated with difficulties in the individual's future (Parker & Asher, 1987). For

example, Stormont (2001) indicates that older children who demonstrate significant behavior

problems have often had histories of behavior difficulties that were present as early as their

preschool years. Challenging behaviors present in early childhood, more specifically

externalizing behaviors such as aggression, not only affect peer relationships during the early

childhood years, but also may persist and lead to problems in the child's future development.

Specifically, Stormont (2001) suggests that children with stable behavior problems, or behavior

problems evident between 3rd and 6th grade, were rated as more active and intense during their

preschool years.

Research contends that the relationship between challenging behaviors and later problems

extends beyond childhood. For example, a relationship has been identified between externalizing

behaviors in preschool and conduct problems in adolescence (Richman, et al., 1982). Campbell

(1995) states that approximately 50% of 3-4 year old preschool children labeled "hard-to-

manage" are likely to have difficulties throughout adolescence. Research conducted with older

students supports Campbell's (1995) findings that behavior problems have numerous effects on

the individual. For example, Moffit (1990) found that children, who engaged in seriously

disruptive behavior in adolescence, displayed a long-standing history of behavior problems that

originated during the preschool years. Clearly, challenging behaviors present in young children

can have detrimental effects in adolescence as well.









Not only are early childhood challenging behaviors predictive of behavioral difficulties in

adolescence, behaviors described as difficult to manage in the early years are highly predictive of

future behavior problems in later adulthood (Katz & McClellan, 1997; Webster-Stratton, 1997).

Specifically, aggression may be one of the most reliable indicators of later adult social

maladjustment (Hartup & Moore, 1990). As aforementioned, children who engage in aggressive

behaviors in preschool often are likely to engage in deviant behaviors in middle school; the early

onset of aggressive behaviors is the single biggest predictor of future inappropriate and

disruptive behaviors and later adult social maladjustment (Hartup & Moore, 1990). Due to the

future problems stemming from early behavior difficulties, it is imperative to understand and

eliminate factors that may contribute to the future development of behavior disorders and

difficulties.

Effects of challenging behaviors on social relationships

Boulware, Schwartz, and McBride (1999) state that challenging behaviors displayed by

young children can affect many domains of functioning including social skills, communication,

and play. Young children who demonstrate challenging behaviors in classrooms, playgroups or

other social environments are at risk for a number of later difficulties, including social exclusion

from peers, and in some extreme cases, social isolation for the child (Doss & Reichle, 1991; Katz

& McClellan, 1997). Additionally, research suggests that children who continued to have

problems until the age of nine rated themselves and were rated by their mothers as being less

socially competent, hyperactive, and aggressive (Ewing, as cited in Campbell, 1995). Also,

difficult behaviors, specifically aggression and impulsivity, are associated with other more

deviant behaviors. As a result, there is an increased likelihood that peers will dislike the

individual child exhibiting disruptive behaviors (Hartup & Moore, 1990).









Effects challenging behaviors on academic performance

While externalizing behaviors often present themselves as children age, such difficulties

often are comorbid with academic difficulties and internalizing problems as well (Campbell,

1995). Regnier (1998) found that seventh grade students with behavior disorders are not only

more frequently absent and tardy than their non-behavior disordered counterparts, but also are

less likely to complete their homework and more likely to earn failing grades. Furthermore,

adolescent students with behavior disorders are more likely to exhibit inappropriate behaviors in

the classroom and in turn are discussed more often at team meetings (Regnier, 1998). While this

research focused on adolescents diagnosed with behavior disorders, previous research has

supported the link between early childhood challenging behaviors and adolescent behavior

disorders (Campbell, 1995; Hartup & Moore, 1990; Richman, et al., 1982). Therefore, this

research suggests that challenging behaviors in the preschool years adversely impacts children's

learning: by extension, such problems seem likely to result in difficulties in the child's future.

Moreover, McGee, et al., (1984) report that children who displayed attention and behavior

problems and were generally regarded as "hard-to-manage", continued to demonstrate behavioral

as well as academic difficulties in elementary school. It also has been suggested that children

exhibiting challenging behaviors may have difficulties learning new skills (DEC, 1999).

Richman, et al., (1982) found that young boys who displayed behavioral difficulties until age

eight, were more likely to perform lower on measures of reading ability and general intelligence;

however such deficits were not noted in girls.

Empirically Supported Strategies for Addressing Challenging Behaviors

The impact challenging behaviors have on children, their environments, and their future

has been well documented. Long standing research suggests that early intervention is not only

beneficial, but also imperative for diminishing the future possibility that behavior problems in









young children will continue to manifest. The benefits of early intervention and prevention have

been extensively supported in the research as effective for decreasing disruptive behavior in

young children (Eddy, Reid, & Curry, 2002; Feil, Severson, & Walker, 2002). Furthermore, it

has been suggested that the preschool period provides a unique opportunity to address various

behaviors evident in young children, as this period can be seen as a critical time in which future

behavior difficulties can be eradicated (Feil, Severson, & Walker, 2002).

The Role of Theoretical Orientation

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Division

of Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) are the two major

governing organizations in the fields of early childhood and early childhood special education,

respectively. Much discussion regarding the diversity between these two fields has occurred over

the years. One major area of such discussion has been on the theoretical orientation and

subsequent recommended practices of each field (McLean & Odom, 1993).

The field of early childhood education, or ECE, has a longstanding history dating back to

the early 1900s and attempts to establish general practices for educating young children have

been noted since this time (McLean & Odom, 1993). On the other hand, the field of early

childhood special education, ECSE, has a much shorter history only dating back to the 1960s

(McLean & Odom, 1993). Researchers have suggested that the birth of ECSE emerged

simultaneously with the development of federal laws such as the Handicapped Children's Early

Education Act passed in 1968, and the field continued its growth as P1-94-142 and PL -457

emerged in mid 1970s and 1980s, respectively (McLean & Odom, 1993).

While each field's theoretical and practical beliefs focus on the care and betterment of

young children, their differences do not solely stop at their origination. The field of ECE focuses

on the quality childcare of all young children. Despite the field's inception in the early 1900s, it









wasn't until the early 1980s, when NAEYC developed an accreditation system that included

standards of care in early childhood programs (Bredekamp, 1993). Furthermore, these standards

only incorporated one specification for young children with special needs in early childhood

programs. NAEYC's standards proposed that "modifications are made in the environment, when

needed, for children with special needs" (National Association for the Education of Young

Children [NAEYC], 1984, p. 11).

Conversely, the field of ECSE has focused more heavily on the inclusion of young children

with special needs in early childhood environments. In response to NAEYC's standards, DEC

developed a position statement in 1993 on the inclusion of children with disabilities in all early

childhood settings (Bredekamp. 1993). This statement advocated for necessary guidelines for

educating young children with special needs that were not explicitly stated in NAEYC's

standards (Carta, Atwater, Schwartz, & McConnell, 1993). Such topics incorporated into DEC's

position statement included the use of multidisciplinary outcome-based and individualized

interventions, transitioning, collaboration, progress monitoring, and family involvement and

empowerment (Carta, Atwater, Schwartz, & McConnell, 1993).

While differences exist between these two fields, researchers have suggested that such

differences are warranted as the population each field primarily serves is quite different (McLean

& Odom, 1993). Wolery, Strain, and Bailey (1992) suggest that the NAEYC's standards

represent the way in which education of all young children should be conducted; however, they

suggest that these recommendations may not be sufficient for the education of many children

with special needs. On the contrary, McLean and Odom (1993) suggest that DEC's

recommended practices would not be a "useful match" for most typically developing children in

early childhood programs. Therefore, it can be stated that these two distinct fields can play









complimentary roles in the education of all young children. Nevertheless, others have suggested

that it is the differences in pedagogy that prevent a closer, more collaborative relationship

between the two fields (Bredekamp, 1993).

Over the years, generalizations regarding two diverse schools of thought within early

childhood have been noted. Specifically, research has suggested that distinct philosophical

differences also are evident between the fields of ECE and ECSE: constructivism and

behaviorism, respectively (Bredekamp, 1993; Duncan, Kemple, & Smith, 2002). These two

contrasting perspectives were developed out of the two distinct fields within early childhood

(Wolery & Wilbers, 1994). Ultimately, early childhood has roots in constructivist psychology

whereas; the field of early childhood special education has its foundations in behavioral

psychology (Duncan, Kemple, & Smith, 2002; Wolery & Bredekamp, 1994).

The constructivist perspective, or that of early childhood educators, purports that a child

"constructs" his or her environment in order to gain knowledge. Specifically, under the

constructivists' perspective, children take an active part in the process of learning by selecting

and interpreting information from their environment (Miller, 1999). According to this theory,

children must actively explore their learning environments in order to create meaning and

facilitate their development and learning (Edwards, 2005). Constructivist theories are closely

aligned with the maturational view of child development. Conversely, the behavioral perspective,

or the perspective of early childhood special educators, purports that the origin of all behaviors

exhibited by young children can be accredited to their environment (Duncan, Kemple, & Smith,

2000). Specifically, children's behavior is promoted and maintained, and their learning is

facilitated and developed by both positive and negative environmental experiences.









Much scrutiny over the practices within early childhood education and early childhood

special education has occurred. Some have suggested that the practices within each field, which

are based upon their respective theoretical orientations, are innately incompatible (Wolery &

Wilbers, 1994). However, others assert that the practices within each field should be viewed as

complimentary rather than contradictory (Appl, 1995). Further, Wolery and Bredekamp (1994)

suggest that both disciplines, early childhood education and early childhood special education,

have mixed empirical support for the practices in which they boast. Some practices in each field

have strong empirical bases for their use, while other practices have little empirical support for

their use with young children (Wolery & Bredekamp, 1994).

Understanding the differences between these two fields plays a critical role in the current

study. Particularly, the theoretical orientation to which practitioners ascribe influences their use

of various behavioral management strategies. Further, the theoretical orientation of experts in

various fields related to the education of young children is highly likely to be influential in the

strategies they recommend; these strategies may be closely aligned to theoretical orientation.

While DEC and NAEYC are two of the national associations within early childhood,

representing two different perspectives within the field of early childhood, both fields are

distinctly different from one another. Furthermore, there is the possibility of significant

variability in individuals' perspectives within each association. In other words, it is likely that

not all members of NAEYC are constructivist and not all members of DEC are behaviorists;

there is some variation in theoretical orientation of the members within each group, and some

individuals are members of both groups. Nevertheless, the two associations are most

representative of the two perspectives, early childhood and early childhood special education,









available. As a result, the current study is targeting these two associations in hopes of sampling

the best representation of constructivists and behaviorists.

Constructivist Perspectives for Managing Challenging Behaviors

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) outlines

developmentally appropriate practices for managing the behavior of young children in early

childhood environments (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Specifically, NAEYC suggests that early

childhood educators should promote appropriate social interactions, self-control and self-

regulation, and provide children with ample opportunities to develop social skills; NAEYC

suggests the use of positive guidance techniques in accomplishing such goals (Bredekamp &

Copple, 1997). Additionally, NAEYC recommends that childcare providers enforce clear and

consistent consequences for inappropriate behavior, develop unambiguous rules for social

interactions and conflict resolution, redirect children to appropriate activities, and meet with a

child having problems and/or with the child's parents. Further, NAEYC also describes

inappropriate practices, which includes inhibiting children from engaging in social interactions

and not intervening with problems between children when necessary (Bredekamp & Copple,

1997).

Perspectives regarding management strategies

Various researchers have described perspectives for managing challenging behaviors. For

example, Scarlett (1998) divides management strategies for challenging behaviors such as

aggression, inattention, and noncompliance into three categories: guidance tactics, prevention

tactics, and control tactics. Each of the three categories of tactics has associated goals. For

example, the purpose of guidance tactics is to promote more mature behavior in young children,

prevention tactics aim to avoid unnecessary conflict, and control tactics focus on gaining

immediate control of the situation. Examples of guidance tactics as defined by Scarlett (1998)









would include logical consequences; examples of prevention tactics would include

distracting/redirecting and ignoring inappropriate behaviors, and examples of Scarlett's (1998)

control tactics would include implementing negative consequences for inappropriate behaviors.

Porter (2000) outlines an additional framework for classifying strategies to manage

challenging behaviors in young children. Specifically, Porter (2000) describes two general

methods of managing challenging behaviors: guidance and control. The beliefs behind this view

suggest that guidance is a more optimal approach to managing young children's behavior than is

control. The foundation of guiding disciplinary strategies is respect; children are respected as

individuals. The purpose of guidance techniques is to teach children more appropriate ways of

managing behaviors, while control strategies attempt to do just that: manage behavior. Porter

(2000) suggests that guidance techniques, if implemented correctly, are sufficient for managing

challenging behaviors, and advises against the use of the control component.

In managing challenging behaviors, both Scarlett (1998) and Porter (2000) deemphasize

the use of control tactics and strategies respectively. However, Porter (2000) takes a stronger

approach and describes control strategies as immediate means for exerting power over children.

Both Porter and Scarlett's perspectives regarding managing challenging behaviors provide useful

organizing frameworks. For the practitioner, however, understanding the specific strategies

comprising these two perspectives is of utmost importance.

Programmatic interventions

Much of the research related to early intervention for managing challenging behaviors is

examined from a programmatic standpoint that is, little information is available for specific

techniques not part of a comprehensive early intervention program. Of the sources providing

information regarding the components of effective early intervention programs and techniques,

similar strategies are reported for various types of challenging behaviors. For example, utilizing









positive guidance techniques, engaging in preventative efforts, implementing behavioral

interventions, and obtaining consultative services from outside sources are empirically supported

management strategies for all challenging behaviors (DEC, 2001; 1999); nevertheless, these

techniques are not specific to particular types of challenging behaviors (i.e., aggression,

noncompliance). Of particular concern is that, although numerous strategies and interventions

have been described as effective, few guidelines are available to help determine the efficacy of

one strategy over another in preventing and remediating challenging behaviors (Kern & Dunlap,

1999).

Three major components of successful early intervention programs are consistently

supported throughout the research: parent involvement, comprehensiveness (i.e., early

implementation and thoroughness), and structure of the program (Ramey & Ramey, 1998).

Ramey and Ramey (1998) claim that the most effective interventions for young children begin

early in life, are thorough and structured, and deal with the needs of both the children and

families involved. Campbell (2002) reviews several research studies regarding the effectiveness

of early intervention for challenging behavior in preschool children, and through this review,

studies consistently have supported the involvement of parents, the utilization of a variety of

services over time, and a structured curriculum (Andrews. et al., 1982; Lazar & Darlington,

1982).

Lazar and Darlington (1982) examined the long-term effects of 12 early intervention

programs on the cognitive development of the children enrolled. All of the programs studied

consisted of a structured curriculum and low child-adult ratios. The findings from this study

suggest that when controlling for economic background, children from low-income families that

were enrolled in comprehensive early intervention programs were less likely to repeat a grade in









school and to be placed in special education classes. Although this study did not find long-term

improvements in children's IQ, children's perceived competence in addition to parents' goals for

their children were enhanced simply by their enrollment in the program. Overall, Lazar and

Darlington's (1982) findings stress the importance of high quality, comprehensive early

intervention programs for young children, and although this research is somewhat outdated, it

clearly demonstrates that the importance of high quality and comprehensive early intervention

has been recognized for many years.

Parent involvement has been identified as a critical factor in successful early intervention

programs for many years as well. Andrews and colleagues (1982) evaluated the long-term

effectiveness of infant early intervention programs that emphasized maternal involvement; gains

made by the infants enrolled were examined during their preschool years. Components of the

interventions incorporated a detailed curriculum for mothers that covered topics such as child

rearing, health and development, and home management. Positive learning experiences for the

children and support for the mothers also were integral elements of the intervention programs. At

follow-up, mothers involved in the programs were more positive and sensitive, and less

restrictive with their children. Additionally, enrolled mothers used more effective language and

teaching strategies with their children. Findings from this study found improvements in cognitive

functioning for the children, and more positive and more verbal interactions with their mothers;

some of the gains found initially were maintained after one year. As a result of this study, the

involvement of parents, particularly mothers, has played a crucial role in early intervention

programs since this time.

For example, Reynolds and Temple (1998) examined the effects of the Child Parent

Centers (CPC) in Chicago public schools on 3- and 4-year-old children who participated in the









program for one to two years. The primary goal of the program was to promote school readiness,

while paying particular attention to enhancing participants reading and language skills, and

parental participation was required. Results found significantly higher reading achievement, and

significantly fewer grade retentions and special education placements for participants (Reynolds

& Temple, 1998). Additionally, Ehlers and Ruffin (1990) examined parents' participation in

early intervention though the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program. Their work suggests that

children who participated in the program demonstrated advanced language and problem-solving

skills, in additional to improved coping skills and positive relationships with adults when

compared to control groups (Ehlers & Ruffin, 1990). While, the studies by Lazar and Darlington

(1982), Andrews (1982), Reynolds and Temple (1998), and Ehlers and Rufiin (1990) do not

specifically address the remediation of challenging behaviors in young children, they do

emphasize the importance of various factors in the early intervention and remediation of other

problematic behaviors, as well as in the improvement of academic skills.

A study by Shelton and Woodruff (2003) maintains the importance of familial support in

managing challenging behaviors specifically. Particularly, these authors conducted a study that

examined the effects of the Project Mastery program, which is a family centered approach to the

delivery of services to children with challenging behaviors enrolled in Head Start. Project

Mastery is described as a developmentally supportive program that incorporates the use of

empirically sound behavior management strategies, and parent and teacher support and training,

while attempting to increase the skill of the children enrolled. This study found that both parent

and teacher ratings of externalizing behaviors significantly decreased for the children involved in

the Project Mastery program at evaluations conducted at the end of the children's Head Start

year. Significant decreases in aggressive behaviors, as rated by both parents and teachers also









were found at the end of the children's Head Start year, in addition to follow-up at the end of the

children's kindergarten year (Shelton & Woodruff, 2003).

The Incredible Years is a comprehensive group intervention program consisting of parent,

teacher, and child training used to decrease aggressive behaviors and conduct problems in

children ages 4 through 8 years (Reid & Webster-Stratton, 2001). This program aims to promote

the social competence of young children through videotaped examples of common behavioral

difficulties experienced by parents, teachers, and children; discussions of effective and

ineffective ways in which to manage such behaviors follow. Homework and practice activities

also are necessary components of this program for all participants. Topics included in the 44 to

48 hour parent training program include, but are not limited to, natural consequences,

encouragement, limit-setting, tangible reinforcement, and time-out. The importance of teacher

praise and attention, decreasing inappropriate behavior through limit setting and time-out, the

importance of parent-teacher collaboration, as well as proactive strategies to decrease

challenging behaviors are a few of the topics covered in a 4 day long teacher training program

conducted throughout the school year (Reid & Webster-Stratton, 2001).

The effectiveness of the Incredible Years has been well documented (Webster-Stratton,

Reid, & Hammond, 2001; Webster-Stratton & Reid, 1999). For example, in a study of parents

and teachers of 4-year-old children enrolled in a Head Start program, significant decreases in

conduct problems were noted. Children who displayed the highest levels of aggressive and

noncompliant behaviors showed most significant declines in such behaviors when compared to a

control group, following participation in a 12-week long Incredible Years parent and teacher

training program (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2001). Webster-Stratton and Reid

(2003) reviewed a paper presented in 1999 examining multiple combinations of the Incredible









Years training program, and found that preschool teachers participating in the training were less

harsh, critical, and inconsistent, and more nurturing than teachers who did not participate in the

training (Webster-Stratton & Reid, as cited in Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2003). Furthermore,

children involved in any combination of the training program (i.e., teacher and child training,

parent and teacher training) were less aggressive both at home and at school. Additionally,

participation in this particular teacher training program was found to improve teachers' overall

classroom management skills (Webster-Stratton & Reid, as cited in Webster-Stratton & Reid,

2003).

In a recent article discussing ways to manage oppositional and defiant behaviors in a

classroom setting, Salend and Sylvestre (2005) also stress the importance of collaboration

between a child's home and school. Home-school collaboration and communication is

emphasized in this article due to the belief that demonstrating a shared commitment to the child

is imperative. Further, Salend and Sylvestre (2005) provide additional, more specific,

information about the type of parent involvement necessary to ensure a child's success.

Specifically, it is suggested that understanding the strategies families use at home, and

determining how these strategies may be used in the classroom is essential. Salend and Sylvestre

(2005) also suggest the use of collaborative interventions, such as a school to home contract in

improving a child's oppositional and defiant behaviors. Zigler, Taussig, and Black (1992), and

Sandall, McLean, and Smith (2000) also suggest that early intervention efforts should

incorporate collaboration between home and school. Without such cooperation, the likelihood of

truly remediating challenging behaviors is significantly decreased and the generalizability of

more appropriate behaviors is thought to be questionable.









Specific constructivist strategies

Research has been conducted on the use of strategies such as positive guidance techniques

for addressing young children's needs in a variety of developmental domains (Porter, 2000).

Positive guidance techniques include numerous management strategies such as redirection,

modeling, limit setting, and implementing consequences for inappropriate behaviors. Redirection

has been described as providing other activities for the child to engage in instead of the difficult

behavior they are exhibiting (Porter, 2000); however, the use of this technique has not been

empirically supported. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the pilot study suggests that

redirection is a strategy frequently used for children engaging in various challenging behaviors.

Preventative efforts are widely acclaimed as important aspects of managing challenging

behaviors. For example, arranging the classroom environment, and providing a sufficient amount

of toys/activities in the classroom to decrease the occurrence of young children exhibiting

challenging behaviors has been repeatedly recommended (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Sandall,

McLean, & Smith, 2000). Additionally, Tomlinson (2002) suggests that creating a classroom

environment with challenging, yet age appropriate, and meaningful educational experiences is

essential in establishing an environment that will motivate a child to succeed. Some advocate for

providing children with choices in order to decrease power struggles and improve overall

functioning in the classroom. For example, Cook-Sather (2003) contends that allowing a child to

make choices, both academic and behavioral in nature, can enhance a child's self-esteem.

Moreover, Cook-Sather (2003) purports that assisting a child to understand the consequence of

their choices is necessary.

An additional strategy suggested in the literature as effective in decreasing challenging

behaviors in a classroom environment, is the management of transitions (Downing & Peckham-

Hardin, 2001; Salend & Sylvestre, 2005). Salend and Sylvestre (2005) suggests that when









children are able to predict their daily routine, and anticipate transitions, they are more likely to

feel as though they are in control of their environment, which will increase the likelihood that

behavioral difficulties associated with transitions will dissipate. Downing and Peckham-Hardin

(2001) suggests that establishing a regular routine can improve a child's learning and behavioral

functioning. Furthermore, the importance of decreasing unexpected changes in the classroom is

especially important for children who tend to exhibit oppositional and defiant behaviors (Hall,

Williams, & Hall, 2000). Salend (2005) suggests that transitions can increase overall levels of

frustration in children who exhibit oppositional and defiant behaviors regularly, and may lead to

more challenging behaviors at such times. Nevertheless, while professionals in the field suggest,

and many early childhood educators report the use of the aforementioned strategies for managing

challenging behaviors, no identifiable published studies have systematically examined the

efficacy of such strategies for decreasing early childhood behavior problems; future research in

this area is necessary to increase understanding of the effectiveness of such strategies.

Behavioral Perspectives for Managing Challenging Behaviors

The Division of Early Childhood (DEC) has developed two position statements regarding

the identification of and potential interventions for challenging behaviors exhibited by young

children: the Position Statement on Interventions for Challenging Behavior and the Concept

Paper on Identification of and Intervention with Challenging Behavior (DEC, 2001; 1999). These

position statements suggest that many types of interventions and services exist to address

challenging behaviors. Specifically, DEC (2001; 1999) and Sandall, McLean, and Smith (2000)

propose that altering the environment in ways that will decrease the opportunity for children to

engage in inappropriate behaviors, using behavioral modifications that address the function of

the behavior, adopting curricular accommodation strategies that assist in the development of

learning new, acceptable classroom behaviors, and providing external supports for staff members









(i.e., consultation and technical assistance) as needed are effective ways to manage various

challenging behaviors.

Sandall, McLean, and Smith (2000) describe five characteristics of effective interventions;

DEC's position statement on the identification of and interventions for challenging behaviors

also support these assertions (DEC, 1999). First, Sandall and colleagues (2000) recommend that

a comprehensive approach to managing challenging behaviors should be taken, as one

intervention technique alone likely will be insufficient in eradicating challenging behaviors.

Additionally, it is recommended that intervention plans be personalized to the individual child.

Every child is different, as are their behavioral responses; therefore, it is necessary to tailor

interventions to the child's particular needs (Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000). Individualization

of interventions is an integral constituent to the success of effectively managing challenging

behaviors.

Multidisciplinary consultation and collaboration also are essential as specialists in various

fields can assist uniquely in managing children's behavior, and children exhibiting challenging

behaviors may be more likely to respond positively to interventions that consider various

perspectives (Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000). Another component of effective early

interventions that Sandall, McLean, and Smith (2000) recommend is data-based interventions.

Data-based interventions are interventions based upon reliable and valid data regarding

children's behavior; specifically, information including, but not limited to frequency, intensity,

and duration. Interventions that are data-based rely upon such systematic information to assist in

creating a clear picture of children's behavior prior to and following the implementation of

specific interventions (Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000).









The next component, positive programming, is described as intervention techniques that

focus on positive aspects of children's behavior, as challenging behaviors exhibited by young

children often elicit strong, negative responses by adults (Neilson, Olive, Donovan, & McEvoy,

1998). Positive programming may incorporate teaching children more acceptable social skills,

self-evaluation techniques, and alternative forms of communicating their needs to decrease the

frequency of problem behaviors and is vital as many children lack necessary skills to engage in

appropriate behavior (Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000).

Strategies aimed at enhancing communication skills

Over the years, research has implied a strong link between challenging behaviors and

children's inability to communicate effectively with others (Goldstein & Woods, 2002).

Particularly, challenging behaviors such as tantrums and aggression, exhibited by young children

have been viewed as a means of communicating with individuals within their environment

(Goldstein & Woods, 2002). However, these behaviors are deemed as inappropriate means of

communication. Therefore, intervention strategies that are aimed at improving children's

communication skills subsequently decrease challenging behaviors. Such strategies require

teaching young children alternative and more appropriate ways of communicating their needs to

others (Goldstein & Woods, 2002).

Teaching children more appropriate means of communication is likely to ameliorate

challenging behaviors. Empirical research regarding the efficacy of communication skills

training with young children exhibiting challenging behaviors has proven effective in the

reduction of such behaviors (Davis, Brady, Williams, & Hamilton, 1992). Intervention strategies

that aim to decrease challenging behaviors by improving communication skills may involve

various steps. Nonetheless, initially identifying the function of the child's challenging behavior is

imperative. Doing so provides significant and necessary information, which allows the child to









be taught specific communication skills that serve the same function as the challenging behavior

(Goldstein & Woods, 2002).

Young children whose challenging behaviors develop resulting from communication

deficits may be taught to use language to mediate both their verbal and nonverbal behaviors

(Goldstein & Woods, 2002). Specifically, verbal reminders and self-talk strategies are an

effective means of self-control for young children (Sainato, Goldstein, & Strain, 1992).

Examples of such interventions include reminding oneself to stay seated and how to interact in a

socially appropriate manner with peers. In addition, teaching children more appropriate ways of

communicating their needs with others and not reinforcing inappropriate means of

communication has been supported as an effective way to decrease challenging behaviors in the

classroom environment (Schwartz, Garfinkle, & Davis, 2002). Further, teaching children more

appropriate language for meeting their needs can decrease frustration and resulting behavioral

disruptions (Goldstein & Woods, 2002).

Specific behavioral strategies

Empirical research has been conducted regarding specific behavioral intervention

strategies for managing challenging behaviors in children. For example, Davis and Reichle

(1996) conducted a study examining the effectiveness of high probability request sequences, or

simple requests given to a child prior to the typical occurrence of the targeted challenging, with

four children 4 5 years of age who were identified as having emotional-behavioral disorders.

Due to previous research supporting the utility of high probability request sequences for reducing

non-compliant behaviors in children of various ages (Davis, Brady, Hamilton, McEvoy, &

Williams, 1994), Davis and Reichle (1996) used this behavioral intervention technique with

children exhibiting physical aggression, and noncompliant and socially avoidant behaviors.









Findings from this study suggest that high probability request sequences are effective in

decreasing challenging behaviors in children with emotional-behavioral disorders.

Another common technique for decreasing problem behaviors in children has been the use

of non-contingent reinforcement (NCR). Non-contingent reinforcement relies upon the more

regular use of reinforcers that are found to maintain challenging behaviors in hopes of decreasing

the likelihood that challenging behaviors maintained by such reinforcement are necessary (Lalli,

Casey, & Kates, 1997). Specifically, Lalli, Casey, and Kates (1997) used NCR with three

children, ages 3, 7 and 9, all of whom displayed some level of disruptive behaviors. In this study,

the 3 year old participant engaged in physically aggressive behaviors, such as hitting, kicking,

biting, scratching, pulling hair, and throwing objects at peers; with the use of NCR the incidents

of physical aggression decreased even as the time between the presentations of reinforcers

increased.

The use of a functional behavior assessment (FBA) to assist in managing challenging

behaviors is a rapidly growing trend (Chandler, Dahlquiest, Repp, & Feltz, 1999; Kamps, et al.,

1995; Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002; OSEP, 2005). An FBA is a described as a

systematic assessment of the factors which produce and support challenging behaviors (O'Neill,

et al., 1997). An FBA is advantageous in that it maximizes the effectiveness and efficiency of

behavioral supports, as it assists in making confident predictions for the context in which the

targeted behavior is likely to occur. Following this assessment, positive, individualized

intervention plans that alter environmental variables contributing to challenging behavior, and

simultaneously provide support for appropriate behavior that achieves the same function as the

challenging behavior can be implemented (Munk & Repp, 1994).









Ingram, Lewis-Palmer, and Sugai (2005) examined the impact of intervention plans

developed from functional behavior assessment on two 6th grade students. Specifically, in this

study, FBAs were conducted to determine the function of non-engagement and off-task

behaviors; subsequent function-based interventions were implanted, as were non-function based

interventions. Results of this study showed that classroom behavior problems were significantly

decreased as a direct result of the function-based interventions (Ingram, Lewis-Palmer, & Sugai,

2005). Though this research was conducted with middle school students, it suggests the

significant impact and underscores the importance of conducting FBAs and implementing

subsequently developed intervention plans on various inappropriate classroom behaviors. As a

result, these findings suggest that function-based interventions also should be implemented at the

preschool level.

Understanding its importance, Kamps, et al. (1995) examined the use of functional

behavior assessments on ten children between 4 years and 6 years of age who were identified as

demonstrating "behavioral risks". Children who were considered "at-risk" for aggression on the

Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist- Teacher Report Form were included in this study and the

targeted behaviors included noncompliance to teacher requests, negative comments towards

others, aggression toward others, and out of seat behavior. Direct observations, teacher

interviews, and consultation were used to gather information regarding the function of the

targeted behaviors and interventions, such as praise, visual reinforcement, decreased attention for

inappropriate behavior, were effective when implemented based upon such findings. Results of

the study found increases in social interactions and compliance, and decreases in inappropriate

behaviors (Kamps, et al., 1995).









Further, Chandler, Dahlquist, Repp, and Feltz (1999) examined the impact of a functional

behavior assessment and intervention approach on preschool classrooms for at-risk and special

needs children was examined; functional behavior assessments were conducted, and intervention

techniques developed as a result of the FBA were implemented. Subsequently, engagement in

classroom activities, peer interactions, and challenging behaviors were examined using the

Observer Rating of Ecobehavioral Variables Scale (OVERS). Results from this study suggested

that challenging behaviors exhibited by children in the at-risk and special needs classrooms

decreased during the intervention phase of this study. Further, incidence of challenging behaviors

remained low at the four-week follow-up (Chandler, Dahlquiest, Repp, & Feltz, 1999).

A proactive approach to increasing appropriate and decreasing inappropriate, or

problematic, behaviors that has become more widely utilized in school settings in recent years is

positive behavior supports, or PBS (OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral

Interventions & Supports [OSEP], 2005). Positive behavior support programs are described as

school-wide prevention and intervention programs designed to promote appropriate behaviors of

school children. There are four major components of positive behavior support systems, which

include identifying and defining expected appropriate behaviors, teaching children the expected

behavior through the use of techniques such as modeling and role playing, supporting or

acknowledging when the expected behavior has occurred, and finally, correcting problematic

behaviors in a positive manner (OSEP, 2005).

Critical components of a successful positive behavior support programs include the use of

direct instruction of the expected behaviors, prompting, positive reinforcement of expected

behaviors, and data-based decision-making (Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002).

Additionally, positive behaviors support programs incorporate more supportive services, such as









modifications to the classroom or school environment, social skills training and opportunities to

practice the skills learned, for small groups of children who are deemed "at-risk" and in need of

additional support in order to experience success (Lewis & Sugai, 1999). And finally,

comprehensive interventions, including the use of functional behavior assessments, for children

who continue to exhibit problematic behaviors are utilized (Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer,

2002).

Overall, positive behavior support programs have been found very effective with school

age children. For example, Lewis, Powers, Kelk, and Newcomer (2002) examined the efficacy of

a PBS program implemented during recess and targeting several behaviors, including physical

and verbal aggression, for children in kindergarten through 6th grade. A school-wide PBS system

was developed and the intervention phase of this study included teaching playground rules,

routines, and desired behaviors, as well as token reinforcement system. As a result of the PBS

intervention, the frequency of problem behaviors exhibited during recess decreased (Lewis,

Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002). Although research on implementing schoolwide PBS at the

elementary and secondary levels has been conducted, less research has focused on its use in

preschool settings (Stormont, Lewis, & Beckner, 2005). However, as previously believed with

FBAs, the utility of such strategies with older children suggests the impacts such strategies may

have in an early childhood environment.

Comparisons Between Constructivism and Behaviorism

Though some research suggests an incompatibility between the constructivists' and

behaviorists' perspectives (Wolery & Wilbers, 1994), the current review of supported strategies

suggests a more complimentary relationship. For example, research from both camps, support

and encourage, the use of a comprehensive support system for children exhibiting challenging

behaviors. From the constructivist perspective, comprehensiveness is described in terms of









intervening early, long-term and thorough (Ramey & Ramey, 1998; Andrews, 1982; Lazar &

Darlington, 1982); within the behaviorist perspective, a comprehensive approach to managing

challenging is necessary as one intervention technique likely will be insufficient (Sandall,

McLean, & Smith, 2000). Further, both perspectives stress the significance of modifying the

classroom environment in order to decrease the likelihood that challenging behaviors will occur

(Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000). Additionally, both perspectives

take a positive approach to managing challenging behaviors: positive guidance techniques

(Bredekamp & Copple, 1997) and positive programming (Neilson, Olive, Donovan, & McEvoy,

1998).

These noted similarities raise further questions regarding the actual distinctions between

the two fields. Thus, the question as to whether true differences in perspectives exist is raised:

Are similarities between the fields foundational, while specific strategies purported by each field

may be slightly different? Or, are such differences merely a result of semantics or do true

distinctions between intervention approaches exist?

Importance of Quality Childcare

The significance of quality childcare has been extensively researched and its importance is

evident (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Campbell & Ramey, 1994; Clarke-Stewart, 1988; Cost,

Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995; McCartney, Scarr, Phillips, & Grajek, 1985;

NICHD, 2003; 2005; Peisner-Feinberg, et al, 1999). High quality childcare encompasses many

factors including a developmentally appropriate curriculum, support services for children

focusing on their health, nutrition, and social development, an environment of respect that is

supportive of diversity, and most importantly, knowledgeable and well-trained staff (NAEYC,

2000).Bredekamp and Copple (1997) suggested that high quality early childhood programs help

to encourage the social-emotional, intellectual, and physical development of young children by









providing them with a secure and nurturing environment. Quality childcare has been linked with

positive social-emotional and intellectual development of all young children (Cost, Quality &

Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). Moreover, improvements in social and cognitive outcomes

were evident in low-income children who experienced higher quality childcare (Cost, Quality &

Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). Additionally, higher quality childcare predicts better

performance on measures of cognitive and linguistic functioning (NICHD Early Child Care

Research Network, 2002) and is associated with more complex play, increases in positive affect,

decreases in hostile behavior, and improvements in peer relationships in infants and toddlers

(Clarke-Stewart, 1988). Children enrolled in high quality childcare centers were more likely to

have greater receptive language and pre-mathematics skills, as well as more advanced social

skills when compared to children enrolled in lower quality childcare settings (Cost, Quality &

Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995).

The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development is the most

comprehensive study examining the relationship between children's development over their first

ten years of life and their early childcare experiences (NICHD Early Child Care Research

Network, 2003). Specifically, the NICHD study examined the family and childcare variables in

relation to child developmental outcomes, including cognitive, linguistic, achievement, physical,

health and social emotional outcomes, of families at ten sites across the country (NICHD Early

Child Care Research Network, 2003). The NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1998)

suggested that higher quality childcare (e.g., positive talk to the child, stimulation of

development) predicted fewer behavior problems as reported by mothers and caregivers at age

two, as well as improved social competence, as reported by mothers. Further, at age 3, higher









quality childcare was associated with increased compliance with mother requests, and fewer

behavior problems reported by caregivers (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1998).

Though quality childcare has been found to be an integral component in the overall

development of young children, quality childcare is especially important for at-risk children;

such children are more sensitive to the negative effects of poor quality childcare and are likely to

benefit more from higher quality childcare. For example, in a study by McCartney, Scarr,

Phillips, and Grajek (1985) the effect of high quality childcare on low-income children was

examined. Findings from this study suggested that high-quality childcare mitigates against

decreases in cognitive and language development that are found when children from low income

families do not attend childcare programs. In this study, high quality childcare was associated

with improvements in cognitive and language development, attention and adaptive behavior.

Further, Campbell and Ramey (1994) found that center-based programs of high quality

enhance cognitive development and academic achievement in low-income children through age

twelve. Longitudinal findings from the Cost, Quality, and Outcomes Study suggested that quality

childcare is even more important for children of less highly educated mothers (Peisner-Feiberg,

et al., 1999). Specifically, this study found that higher quality childcare was related to improved

math skills, and decreased behavior problems through the second grade (Peisner-Feiberg, et al.,

1999). Further, children enrolled in Early Head Start programs of high quality displayed lower

levels of behavior problems and aggressive behaviors (NICHD, 2003).

On the other hand, preschool age children who did not participate in high quality childcare

have more problems with behavioral adjustment in kindergarten, poor social competence and

less positive emotions in third grade (Clarke-Stewart, 1988). Further, children who did not

participate in high quality childcare, specifically, children who participated in childcare









environments with high levels of problem behaviors and low levels of teacher-child closeness,

were rated as more aggressive and disruptive in the second grade (Peisner-Feinberg, et al, 1999).

While this research emphasizes the importance of quality childcare for young children,

there are a surprisingly large number of childcare facilities that do not provide quality care for

children enrolled. Specifically, the quality of childcare in typical childcare environments across

the country is well below what the field of early childhood recognizes as high quality (CQO

Study Team, 1995). For example, the Cost, Quality, and Child Outcomes Study Team (1995)

conducted a study across four states (e.g., California, Colorado, Connecticut, and North

Carolina), which examined the number and characteristics of quality childcare programs.

Findings from this study suggest that 86% of childcare centers provide "mediocre-to-poor quality

care". Further, this study suggested that only one out of seven childcare settings provides

developmentally appropriate childcare, and that children's school readiness, development, and

learning may be comprised as a result of enrollment in mediocre or poor quality settings (Cost,

Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). Consequently, understanding the importance of

quality childcare, the gravity of the current status of childcare, and examining the factors that

contribute to quality childcare becomes extremely important.

Practitioners' Need for Training

Given the significant stress placed upon childcare providers and preschool teachers, the

need for additional support and training in early childhood classrooms is essential (Willoughby,

Kupersmidt, & Bryant, 2001). Overall, a growing number of researchers assert that teacher

training is an integral constituent in quality childcare, as the quality of childcare impacts a child's

social-emotional and cognitive development (Cost, Quality, & Child Outcomes Study Team,

1995; NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2003; Webster-Stratton, 1997). Shonkoff and

Phillips (2000) claim that quality childcare consists of quality transactions between childcare









providers and the children for which they care. Specifically, the key factors in quality childcare

and quality transactions are predicated upon the specific skills of the childcare providers (i.e.,

attention, support, sensitivity) (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000).

Additionally, quality childcare is related to higher staff-to-child ratios, staff education,

administrators' prior experience, and specialized training of staff (Cost, Quality & Child

Outcomes Study Team, 1995). The National Association for the Education of Young Children

(NAEYC) also suggests that adequate teacher training is an essential component of quality

childcare (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Moreover, self-reported education and training are

associated with quality care; research suggests that both formal education and specialized

training in child development are associated with quality childcare (Lamb, 1998).

The NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1996) reported that infants and toddlers

receive greater quality care when childcare providers are more highly educated. Further, the

Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team (1995) recommends that in order to ensure that

high quality childcare is available to all children, increased emphasis on the training of childcare

staff is imperative. For example, three year olds in childcare displayed fewer behavior problems

and better language comprehension and school readiness when the childcare centers in which

they were enrolled had smaller teacher-child ratios and group sizes, as well as higher levels of

teacher training and education (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2003).

Phillips, Mekos, Scarr, McCartney, and Abbott-Shim (2000) conducted a multi-site study

regarding factors influencing quality childcare environments, including teacher training and level

of education. Through interviews with administrators and teachers, and lengthy observations of

classroom practices using various childcare environment rating scales (e.g., Early Childhood

Environment Rating Scale [ECERS], Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale [ITERS]),









childcare quality was examined. Findings from this study suggest that quality childcare is

directly associated with better training and higher education levels of childcare providers. These

findings confirm previous findings, which suggest that teacher training is a vital component of

quality childcare environments (Phillips, et al., 2000).

Additional studies have examined the impact of teacher training on childcare providers'

beliefs and behaviors. For example, Cassidy, Hicks, Hall, Farrran, and Gray (1998) conducted a

study in which individuals working with young children participated in a four-week long training

on early childhood education and child development, in addition to various childcare issues. Pre-

and post-training evaluations were conducted; additional evaluations were conducted after the

first year following training. This project found significant increases in knowledge regarding

child development, as well as significantly more developmentally appropriate beliefs and

practices following participation in the training. Such gains were maintained at one-year follow

up, suggesting a long-term impact of training on childcare providers' beliefs and subsequent

practices (Cassidy, Hicks, Hall, Farrran, and Gray, 1998).

In addition, Cassidy, Buell, Pugh-Hoese, and Russell (1995) examined the effects of

community college level training on childcare teachers. Participants in this study enrolled in

early childhood education or child development degree programs, and received 12-20 credit

hours of community college coursework in early childhood education methods (e.g., Materials

and Activities for Young Children) or child related outcomes (e.g., Child Development,

Exceptional Children). Participants' beliefs and behaviors were examined using interviews and

structured classroom observations, using the ECERS and the ITERS. Results found that

participants held more developmentally appropriate beliefs and more frequently engaged in









developmentally appropriate practices when compared to childcare providers who did not attend

community college classes (Cassidy, Buell, Pugh-Hoese, & Russell, 1995).

Rhodes and Hennessy's (2000) study examined the effects of 120-hours of preschool

training, including direct teaching and classroom observation, on childcare providers' behavior

towards the children for which they cared and the children's overall development. In this study,

50 hours of training specific to child development, developmentally appropriate practices,

children with special needs, and behavior management was provided. Pre- and post-training

observations were conducted; pre-and post-observations were examined, as were comparisons to

a control group of childcare providers who did not receive the training. Results from this study

suggest that childcare providers who received such training demonstrated a significant increase

in positive relationships with children and a significant decrease in levels of detachment from the

children. In addition, the children whose childcare providers received the training exhibited

higher levels of social and cognitive play (Rhodes & Hennessy, 2000). In order to improve the

quality of childcare that young children receive, increasing childcare providers' levels of

education will be essential (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2005).

Perceived competence and challenging behaviors

As described previously, behavior problems are one of the most common problems present

in childcare settings today (Campbell, 2002). Yet, research suggests that early childhood

educators lack knowledge and skills when working with children demonstrating challenging

behaviors including children with disabilities, and children with emotional and behavioral

problems. Additionally, challenging behaviors are one of the greatest difficulties faced by

preschool teachers and childcare providers each year (Arnold, McWilliams, & Arnold, 1998).

For example, Reichle, et al., (1999) suggests that professionals working with preschool children

may have limited knowledge, expertise, and more importantly confidence, in working with









children exhibiting challenging behaviors. Specifically, implementing strategies to address

challenging behaviors in young children is an area in which practitioners may feel less

adequately prepared (Reichle, et al, 1999). Webster-Stratton (1997) supports these findings and

asserts that frequently children who have problems with behavior spend a great deal of time in

childcare facilities with inadequately trained practitioners, which makes meeting the specific

emotional needs of these children extremely difficult. An explanation for child care providers'

lack of skills and confidence in addressing children's challenging behaviors can be explained by

the fact that most early childhood educators receive little to no formal training in early childhood

special education (Duncan, Kemple, & Smith, 2000).

Brennan, Bradley, Ama, and Cawood (2003) outlined several practices necessary for

incorporating children with emotional and behavioral difficulties in inclusive childcare

environments. Of these practices, promoting the professional development of childcare

administrators and staff was noted as essential. Specifically, providing training and information

regarding the inclusion of children with emotional and behavioral challenges in childcare

settings, including, but not limited to, successful inclusive practices, safety issues, and the use of

mental health consultation was highlighted (Brennan, Bradley, Ama, & Cawood, 2003). Though

this research is aimed at inclusive early childhood environments, the emphasis and understanding

of the importance of training related specifically to children with emotional and behavioral

challenges proves its importance.

Buscemi, Bernett, Thomas, and DeLuca (1995) stated that early childhood educators report

a need for further training in order to feel appropriately prepared to handle disruptive or

challenging behaviors in the classroom environment. Consequently, it is imperative for preschool

teachers and childcare workers to be well trained in child development and behavior









management when working with children exhibiting challenging behaviors (Webster-Stratton,

1997; Campbell-Whatley, Obiakor, & Algozzine, 1995; Markos-Capps & Godfrey, 1999). The

more training and education early childhood practitioners receive, the more likely they are to

provide quality childcare and the more prepared they are to assist children in achieving their

potential (CQO Study Team, 1995). Further, well trained early childhood practitioners

demonstrate an increased likelihood of communicating and establishing better relationships with,

in addition to, meeting the needs of parents (Kagan & Neuman, 2000).

In addition to specific training in appropriate strategies for managing children's

challenging behaviors, perceived competence in managing challenging behaviors is influenced

by several factors, such as organizational structure (Leiber, et al., 2000), previous years of

experience in the field and educational degree (Campbell-Whatley, et al., 1995). This suggests

that, not only is the environmental structure (i.e., where the practitioner works) important to the

practitioners' ability to adequately meet the needs of young children, but previous experiences

and training also are critical factors in this process. In other words, practitioner training in areas

that will increase perceived competence (e.g., child development, challenging behaviors) would

only enhance outcomes for all children.

In a review of the literature, Odom (2000) reports that early childhood practitioners often

express concerns regarding appropriate ways in which challenging behaviors should be managed,

as well as their perceived lack of competency to provide appropriate services for these children.

As result of this research, it is imperative that childcare providers' knowledge and understanding

of best practices when working with children exhibiting challenging behaviors improves. Clearly

the problem of perceived competence is closely tied to practitioner training: those practitioners

who receive better training feel more competent in managing challenging behaviors. Overall,









these researchers suggest a strong relationship between adequate preparation for childcare

providers and feelings of competence.

Perceived competence and inclusion

Another area of research, which emphasizes the importance of training childcare providers

to adequately meet the needs of children with challenging behaviors, is inclusion. As

aforementioned, challenging behaviors are a common and troubling problem in early childcare

settings, are detrimental to children's later adjustment, and described by childcare providers as

difficult to manage. Gettinger and colleagues (1999) conducted survey research with parents of

young children enrolled in inclusive early childhood settings and individuals working with the

field of early childhood (i.e., students in training, early childhood professionals) regarding their

beliefs about inclusion. This research focused specifically on the management of challenging

behaviors in inclusive settings.

Results from Gettinger et al (1999) study suggested that parents believe professionals'

competence when working with children demonstrating challenging behaviors and attentional

problems is lower than their competence in other areas (i.e., performance assessment, working

with families). Furthermore, university-based trainers also believed that practitioner competence

when working with challenging behaviors and attentional problems was lower than their

competence in areas, such as consultation and interdisciplinary teaming (Gettinger, et al., 1999).

It is important to note, however, that in this study university level trainers of early childhood,

special education, social work, and school psychology students also felt that competencies for

managing challenging behaviors and attentional problems was of least importance (Gettinger, et

al., 1999). While the perception of university level trainers of school psychology students may be

different at present due to the current trend and legislative push for response-to-intervention

(Fuchs & Fuchs, 2005), in this study, parents, professionals, and pre-service students placed









great importance on being competently trained to work with young children displaying

challenging behaviors and attentional problems. Respondents stated training "to handle

disruptive behaviors of children with special needs in regular education classrooms" was

extremely necessary (Gettinger, et al., 1999, p. 49).

Childcare providers who lack the necessary skills and do not feel competent in their

abilities to manage challenging behaviors are less likely to successfully participate in inclusive

settings (Stoiber, Gettinger, & Goetz, 1998). In addition, research has suggested that teachers'

perceived competence is integral in the success of childcare or preschool classrooms, specifically

inclusive settings (Campbell-Whatley, et al., 1995). Therefore, teachers' attitudes regarding their

levels of comfort play a central role in their abilities in the classroom, particularly when working

with children with disabilities and challenging behaviors.

Professional training and staff development are important components of an inclusive early

childhood program and also are the key factors related to effective inclusion (Odom & Diamond,

1998; Wang, Vaughan & Dytman, 1985). Therefore, the advancement of staff development and

preparation is imperative as childcare providers significantly impact the lives of numerous

students each year. Taking such information collectively, childcare providers' ability to meet the

needs of young children exhibiting challenging behaviors will directly impact the child's future,

as well as the future of society as a whole.

Overall, the aim of the current project is to begin addressing such concerns by gaining a

better understanding of the most highly recommended strategies used to manage challenging

behaviors, and to provide a foundational understanding of specific areas for future training. The

primary goal of the current study is to examine which strategies are most often recommended for

managing specific challenging behaviors by experts in the field of early childhood (or









constructivists) and by experts in the field of early childhood special education (or behaviorists).

In other words, does strategy recommendation when faced with children exhibiting physical

aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliant behaviors vary as a function of theoretical

orientation? Specifically, are experts in the field of early childhood more likely to recommend

particular strategies when managing physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance?

And similarly, are experts in the field of early childhood special education more likely to

recommend particular strategies for managing challenging behaviors such as physical and verbal

aggression, and noncompliance?

The overarching goal of the current project is to provide information regarding the most

highly recommended strategies for managing challenging behaviors, in hopes of adding to the

research base in the fields of early childhood and early childhood special education. Therefore,

additional research questions will be addressed if findings from the aforementioned research

questions are not found significant, and are the secondary focus of this study. Specifically,

examining whether there are more highly recommended strategies for managing challenging

behaviors in general while still considering theoretical orientation, and whether there are more

highly recommended strategies for physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance

irregardless of theoretical orientation is in question. In other words, are particular strategies

recommended more frequently to manage general challenging behaviors by behaviorists and

constructivists? And do experts in general more frequently recommend specific strategies for

physical aggression, verbal aggression and noncompliance?











CHAPTER 2
METHODS

Participants

Experts in the fields of early childhood (i.e., early childhood, early childhood special

education) were recruited for participation in the current project. Recruiting lists were compiled

using the association and journal review board members for the national organizations

representing the fields of early childhood and early childhood special education, the National

Association for the Education of Young Children and Division of Early Childhood, respectively.

Specifically, the journals selected for use were those associated with Early Childhood Research

Quarterly and Young Children and the Journal of Early Intervention and Young Exceptional

Children. Forty participants were randomly selected from each group (i.e., early childhood and

early childhood special education), using a random numbers table (Shavelson, 1996), from the

editorial board and lists of reviewers provided in each of the selected journals, as well as the

association board members during the academic year 2006 2007. Given the low number of

responses, recruitment continued until all members of the targeted population were contacted.

Individuals who served on editorial boards or were association board members for in both fields,

in addition to members from the researcher's home university, were excluded from the sample

list to avoid conflicts of interest. Each participant was assigned a participation number so that all

the information received remained confidential as to the extent guaranteed by law.

Instrumentation

The Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education: Professional's Survey

The Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education: Professional's Survey (BCECE:

PS) was developed based on responses to a survey in a previously conducted pilot study,









Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education or BCECE (See Appendix A). The

previous survey focused on the types of challenging behaviors (e.g., physical aggression, verbal

aggression, noncompliance, inattention, and withdrawal) faced by direct service providers and

administrators working in childcare settings, the strategies utilized to manage such behaviors,

and what additional supports or training would be beneficial in managing such behaviors more

effectively. For the current study, the reported strategies used to manage externalizing behaviors

(e.g., verbal and physical aggression, and noncompliance) were of particular interest.

Particularly, the strategies generated from the BCECE served as a guideline for the current

survey. The strategies previously reported to manage challenging behaviors were categorized in

the aforementioned study for each challenging behavior targeted (i.e., physical aggression, verbal

aggression, noncompliance, withdrawal and inattention). Each set of strategies was compiled into

list based upon the challenging behavior in which they were associated. For the current survey,

the strategies associated with physical and verbal aggression and noncompliance served as the

foundation for the Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education: Professional's Survey

(BCECE: PS) (See Appendix B).

On the BCECE, participants were asked to describe what strategies they would use for

particular behaviors. However, no specific description of the identified behavior was provided

allowing for individual interpretation of each identified behavior including the severity, intensity,

and frequency of occurrence. As a result, the current study utilized case studies, or vignettes, in

attempts to control for individual interpretations of each behavior. Respondents were presented

with two vignettes that described each of the three targeted behaviors, for a total of six case

studies. The two vignettes describing the same behavior included only subtle differences (e.g.,

gender of child, age of child, focus of challenging behavior, etc.) to ensure an accurate









description and representation of the targeted behavior. Respondents were asked to rate each

subsequent strategy using a Likert scale (i.e., 1 = never, 6 = always) in regards to how often they

would recommend the particular strategy to manage the behavior described in the vignette; the

type of behavior being described in the vignette was not explicitly stated. Following completion

of the Likert scale, respondents also were given the opportunity to list additional strategies they

may recommend and asked to complete an open-ended question regarding what factors (i.e.,

child, teacher, or environmental) may have influenced their recommendation.

The BCECE: PS was piloted with experts affiliated with a local university (e.g., research

professors, practitioners at university based clinics, graduate students, etc.) from each of the two-

targeted fields to examine the validity and reliability of the survey. A focus group was conducted

with 10 volunteers to solicit feedback regarding the relatedness of each vignette to the behavior it

was intended to represent. The primary purpose of this review process was to guide revisions that

would assist in the ease of comprehension and completion of the survey. Additionally, this

process helped to determine if the survey adequately addressed the research questions. During

the focus group, a rating scale was completed and opened-ended feedback was gathered;

information gained during this process was used to guide the modification of each vignette. The

purpose of this process served to enhance the specificity and accuracy of the vignettes. Feedback

was reviewed and incorporated as necessary prior to distributing the survey for experimental use.

Following necessary modifications, test-retest reliability analyses were conducted to

examine the reliability of the rating of strategies in response to each vignette. Using SPSS 10.0,

the test-retest reliability for each of the six vignettes was examined. The Pearson product

correlation for each vignette, one through six, was above .80, and was .879, .876, .859, .821,









.820, and .848, respectively. Following this process, the BCECE: PS was uploaded to a survey

website (www.surveymonkey.com) for participants to complete via the internet.

Demographic Questionnaire

The current survey asked questions regarding the participant's personal and professional

demographics, their training, theoretical orientation and experience. A copy of the demographic

questionnaire can be found in Appendix C.

Procedure

Potential participants were randomly selected using a table of random numbers (Shavelson,

1996). Editorial board members from the selected journals and association board members were

compiled into one list per field, early childhood and early childhood special education, for a total

of two sample lists. Once the lists were compiled, participants were sorted alphabetically by last

name, and assigned a number based on their position in the list; again, those individuals on both

lists were removed to avoid a conflict of interest and ensure a clean sample of perspectives. This

allowed for an approximately equal number of participants from each field: 83 in the early

childhood population and 92 in the early childhood special education population. A preliminary

list of 40 names from each field was randomly selected. Once the preliminary participant list was

determined, each potential participant received an introductory email describing the current study

and survey, as well as a link to the survey online (See Appendix D). Consent to participate in the

study was assumed upon completion of the survey. In the introductory email, the researcher's

contact information was provided in order to allow potential participants to decline participation.

Additionally, a direct link to decline participation was included in the introductory letter. For

those who did not decline participation, regular reminders, every 3 weeks, regarding completion

of the survey was provided to the participants via email. If a participant did not respond, either

by completing the survey or declining, after 3 reminder emails were sent, their names were









removed from the sample list and a replacement participant was sent an introductory email.

Replacements also were chosen using the table of random numbers (Shavelon, 1996). Of the

total 185 potential participants, only 37 successfully completed the online survey, for a

participation rate of 20%. Given the low rate of response, participation requests were sent to the

entire target population.

Data Analysis

Scoring and Statistical Analyses

Participants responded to two questions regarding their theoretical orientation. First,

participants identified their theoretical orientation as behaviorism or constructivism using a

forced-choice format question. Participants then rated themselves regarding how often they

considered each theoretical orientation, behaviorism or constructivism, when working with

young children using a Likert scale (i.e., not at all, very little, somewhat, very much, always).

For the ease of data collection and analysis, participants were sorted according to the population

with which they were originally identified, which served as the grouping variable. No

participants' response to the forced-choice question was inconsistent with the group to which

they were originally assigned.

Once data collection was completed, responses were exported from

www.surveymonkey.com into an excel spreadsheet. The data was entered by challenging

behavior, and the strategy recommendation scores for each behavior were of particular interest.

The mean strategy recommendation score was calculated by assigning a numerical value, one

through six, to each of the response options, never, hardly ever, occasionally, often, almost

always, and always, respectively. Mean scores for each strategy across the two vignettes

designed for each behavior was calculated; given that the numbers were automatically imported

into excel, averages were calculated systematically.









To examine whether certain strategies are more frequently recommended for managing

each target behavior (e.g., physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance),

exploratory analyses were conducted. The research questions and statistical analyses to address

such questions are described below. For a further explanation of data derived from the survey

and the statistical analyses used, see Table 1.

Research question

For each of the three types of behavioral problem vignettes (e.g., physical aggression,

verbal aggression, and noncompliance), are experts of two different theoretical orientations (e.g.,

constructivism, behaviorism) more likely to recommend particular strategies to manage such

behaviors?

Hypothesis

It is believed that strategy recommendation will differ based upon behavior problem

vignette; however, it is believed that theoretical orientation will not significantly impact which

strategies are recommended for a particular behavior.

Data analyses

Preliminary data analyses examining group differences in demographic data was

conducted. Specific group comparison were made across gender using a t-test, and across area of

specialization, degree held, gender, race/ethnicity, chronological age, and years of experience

using one-way analysis of variance for each variable. No significant group differences or main

effects for any demographic variable in its entirety were found, as determined by a p < .05 level;

however, one level (i.e., African-American) of one factor (i.e., race/ethnicity) was found

significant for one strategy (i.e., suspensions/expulsion) likely as a result of Type I Error; as a

result, this variable did not serve as a covariate.









Following the preliminary group comparisons, a two group (i.e., theoretical orientation) by

three behavior problem vignettes (i.e., physical aggression, verbal aggression, and

noncompliance) by eleven strategy (i.e., ignore, redirect, verbal instruction, time-out, fix-it,

responsibilities, modeling, talk with parents, reinforcement, suspension/expulsion, prevention)

split-plot analysis of variance, or SPANOVA, was conducted. The average recommendation

rating for each strategy by group was used as the outcome variable. Again, given no significant

group differences across all levels of the demographics were noted, it was unnecessary to control

for such factors.

The primary outcome of interest from the SPANOVA was the presence of an interaction

between theoretical orientation groups and the behavior problem vignettes for each of the 11

strategies. Main effect and interaction effects from the SPANOVA results were examined. Given

the significant interaction findings, examination of marginal means was necessary to determine

the direction of such interactions.

Reliability

Following each vignette, an open-ended question was presented to the participants: If there

are other strategies you would recommend, please describe here. The responses to this were

coded according to natural themes present. Specifically, after the responses were read and

themes were determined and categories were identified; the responses were then coded

accordingly. Two coders independently coded 20% of the responses. If there was a discrepancy

in a coded response, discussions were held until consensus was reached. Consensus codes were

used as the standard against which the reliability of the data was determined. Percent of overall

agreement was calculated by dividing the number of agreements by the number of agreements

plus disagreements. Based on this process, the overall interrater reliability was 82.3%.









Table 1: Explanation of assignments of numerical values and statistical analyses used for
demographic and survey data


Demographic data
Categorical variables
Areas of specialization

Educational degree

Ethnicity

Gender

Continuous variables
Years of experience


Age


Numerical assignment

A number was assigned to represent each group
(e.g., 1, 2)
A number was assigned to represent each group
(e.g., 1, 2)
A number was assigned to represent each group
(e.g., 1, 2)
A number was assigned to represent each group
(e.g., 1, 2)

Groups were defined based upon the pre-identified
groups. A number will then be assigned to
represent each group.
Groups will be defined based upon a natural break in
the range of years provided. A number will then be
assigned to represent each group.


Statistical
analyses

ANOVA

ANOVA

ANOVA

T-test


ANOVA


ANOVA


Survey data
Independent variable
Theoretical orientation

Dependent variable
Strategy
recommendation score


Numerical assignment


Participants will be assigned to groups based upon
their response to the forced-choice question.

Response categories (i.e., never, hardly ever,
occasionally, often, almost always, always) will be
assigned a number 1 6, with never equal to 1. A
mean score for the two vignettes per target behavior
will be calculated.


Statistical
analyses

N/A


SPANOVA









CHAPTER 3
RESULTS

The purpose of the current study is to examine whether experts' theoretical orientation

predicts strategy recommendation for managing physical aggression, verbal aggression, and

noncompliance in preschool aged children. Specifically, the following questions were addressed:

1) Does strategy recommendation differ based upon behavior problem? and 2) Does theoretical

orientation impact which strategies are recommended for a particular behavior? This chapter

presents the results of the study as follows: (a) description of the study participants; (b) statistical

examination of demographic variables using one-way analysis of variances (ANOVAs) or t-tests

for each demographic variable; (c) split-plot analysis of variance (SPANOVA) for strategy and

theoretical orientation for each behavior to address the aforementioned research question; and (d)

follow-up analyses of significant findings.

Descriptive Statistics

Table 4-1 displays descriptive statistics of the 37 participants in the study based upon their

responses on the demographic survey. Most (68%) of the participants were female. Sixteen

percent held masters' or specialists' degrees, while 84% held doctoral degrees. With regards to

race/ethnicity, 34 participants (92%) identified themselves as Caucasian, two participants (5%)

identified themselves as African-American, and one participant (3%) identified themselves as

Asian-American. Participants also were asked to identify the field with which they most closely

aligned. Thirty-eight percent of the participants identified themselves as professionals in the field

of early childhood, 51% identified themselves early childhood special education professionals,

and 11% responded to the "other" category; responses in the other category included, but were

not limited to school psychology, child development, early intervention, and pediatric

occupational therapy.









Participants ranged in age from 27 years to 63 years. The ages within this range were listed

and the number of participants at each age was totaled, and participants were subsequently

grouped by age according to natural breaks in the distribution. As a result, three age groups were

identified, 27-39 years, 40-50 years, and 51-63 years, with 8 participants (22%), 13 participants

(35%), and 16 participants (43%) in each group, respectively. Another continuous demographic

variable examined was years of experience. Participants were asked to select one of five options

regarding their years of experience within their particular field of study: 0-2 years, 3-5 years, 6-8

years, 9-11 years, and 12 years and above. These categories were determined prior to the

beginning of the study and were chosen based upon their usage in a pilot study. In the current

study, 14% of participants had 6-8 years of experience, 5% had 9-11 years of experience, and

78% had 12 or more years of experience. One participant did not respond to this question.

Given the greater number of participants found in particular levels of the demographic

variables (i.e., 72% with 12 or more years of experience, 92% Caucasian), it was necessary to

examine whether significant group differences existed within each demographic variable. In

other words, it was necessary to understand whether the study findings were a result of the

particular area of interest (i.e., theoretical orientation and challenging behaviors) or whether

group differences in the demographic variables were affecting the results. The omnibus

hypothesis was tested at a = .05.

Demographic Variables

A one-way ANOVA was conducted for each of the following demographic variables: age,

years of experience, area of specialization, degree held, and race/ethnicity. A t-test was

conducted for gender. For each analyses (t-test or ANOVA), the demographic variable served as

the independent variable, or the factor. A mean score for each participant was calculated across









all behaviors (i.e., physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance) for how likely

participants were to recommend each strategy. This score served as the outcome variable.

Age

Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy

were analyzed, with age serving as the explanatory variable. As presented in Table 4-2, no main

effects were observed for the following variables by age group: ignore main effect, F(2, 34) =

.984, p = .384; redirection main effect, F(2, 34) = .267, p = .767; verbal instruction main effect,

F(2, 34) = .095, p = .910; time-out main effect, F(2, 34) = .540, p = .588; fix-it main effect, F(2,

34) = .330, p = .721; responsibilities main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.450, p = .249; modeling main

effect, F(2, 34) = .784, p = .465; talk with parents main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.282, p = .290;

reinforcement main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.202, p = .313; suspension/expulsion main effect, F(2, 34)

= 1.920, p = .162; and prevention main effect, F(2, 34) = .328, p = .723.

Years of experience

Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy

were analyzed, with years of experience serving as the explanatory variable. As presented in

Table 4-3, no main effects were observed for the following variables by years of experience:

ignore main effect, F(3, 33) = .225, p = .878; redirection main effect, F(3, 33) = .062, p = .979;

verbal instruction main effect, F(3, 33) = 1.191, p = .328; time-out main effect, F(3, 33) = .477, p

= .700; fix-it main effect, F(3, 33) = 1.447, p = .247; responsibilities main effect, F(3, 33) = .677,

p = .572; modeling main effect, F(3, 33) = .154, p = .927; talk with parents main effect, F(3, 33)

=.488, p = .693; reinforcement main effect, F(3, 33) = .318, p = .812; suspension/expulsion main

effect, F(3, 33) = 1.756, p = .175; and prevention main effect, F(3, 33) = 1.129, p = .352.









Area of specialization

Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy

were analyzed, with area of specialization serving as the explanatory variable. As presented in

Table 4-4, no main effects were observed for the following variables by are of specialization:

ignore main effect, F(2, 34) = .217, p = .806; redirection main effect, F(2, 34) = .991, p = .382;

verbal instruction main effect, F(2, 34) = 2.539, p = .094; time-out main effect, F(2, 34) = .159, p

= .854; fix-it main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.357, p = .271; responsibilities main effect, F(2, 34) =

1.812, p = .179; modeling main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.145, p = .330; talk with parents main effect,

F(2, 34)= .549, p = .582; reinforcement main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.390, p = .263;

suspension/expulsion main effect, F(2, 34) = 2.842, p = .072; and prevention main effect, F(2,

34) = .206,p =.815.

Degree held

Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy

were analyzed, with degree held serving as the explanatory variable. As presented in Table 4-5,

no main effects were observed for the following variables by degree held: ignore main effect,

F(1, 35) = .062, p = .805; redirection main effect, F(1, 35) = .007, p = .934; verbal instruction

main effect, F(1, 35) =.936,p = .340; time-out main effect, F(1, 35) 3.094,p = .087; fix-it

main effect, F(1, 35) = .005, p = .947; responsibilities main effect, F(1, 35) = 1.599, p = .214;

modeling main effect, F(1, 35) = .599, p = .444; talk with parents main effect, F(1, 35) = 1.212, p

= .279; reinforcement main effect, F(1, 35) = .006, p = .939; suspension/expulsion main effect,

F(1, 35) = .965,p = .333; and prevention main effect, F(1, 35) = .001,p = .970.

Race/ethnicity

Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy

were analyzed, with race/ethnicity serving as the explanatory variable. As presented in Table 4-6,









no main effects were observed for the following variables by race/ethnicity: ignore main effect,

F(2, 34) = .214, p = .809; redirection main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.437, p = .252; verbal instruction

main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.221, p = .308; time-out main effect, F(2, 34) = .352, p = .706; fix-it

main effect, F(2, 34) =.156, p = .856; responsibilities main effect, F(2, 34) = 2.154, p = .132;

modeling main effect, F(2, 34) = .215, p = .807; talk with parents main effect, F(2, 34) = .460, p

=.635; reinforcement main effect, F(2, 34) = .400, p = .673; and prevention main effect, F(2,

34) =.566, p = .573. However, the main effects for suspension/expulsion, F(2, 34) = 4.507, p =

.018, was statistically significant with the mean for African American being higher, with a mean

score of m = 1.5 (see Table 4-7).

Gender

Using an independent samples t-test, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each

strategy were analyzed, with gender serving as the explanatory variable. As presented in Table 4-

8, the differences between the two gender groups were not statistically significant for any of the

strategies: ignore, t(35) = -1.071, p = .292; redirection, t(35) = -.404, p = .688; verbal instruction,

t(35) = -.776, p = .443; time-out, t(35) = 1.375, p = .178; fix-it, t(35) = 1.111, p = .274;

responsibilities, t(35) = -.032, p = .974; modeling, t(35) = -.911, p = .368; talk with parents, F

t(35) = -1.625, p = .113; reinforcement, t(35) = .654, p = .518; suspension/expulsion, t(35) = -

.028, p = .977; and prevention, t(35) = -.536, p = .596.

Split-Plot Analysis of Variance (SPANOVA)

It was expected that strategy recommendation would differ based upon the behavior

problem vignette presented. It also was expected that theoretical orientation would not

significantly impact which strategies were recommended for a particular behavior.

When examining the data, Mauchley's Test of Sphericity was significant for strategy,

behavior, and strategy by behavior interaction at a = .05 (see Table 4-9). As a result, the Huynh-









Feldt correction was used to examine the within-subjects effects; hypothesis testing was

conducted a = .05.

As presented in Table 4-10, the results of a 2 x 3 x 11 split-plot ANOVA indicated that

there was a significant main effect for strategy, F(7.715) = 76.031, p = .000, as well as a

significant interaction for strategy by theoretical orientation, F(7.715) = 2.255, p = .026, and

strategy by behavior, F(6.217) = 8.420, p = .000. The following analyses were not statistically

significant: behavior main effect, F(1.735) = 2.263,p = .119; behavior by theoretical orientation

interaction, F(1.735) = 1.169, p = .209; and strategy by behavior by theoretical orientation

interaction, F(6.217) = .721, p = .638.

Follow-up Analyses

Given the significant interaction for strategy by theoretical orientation and strategy by

behavior further examination of the marginal means was required to determine the specific areas

of significance; see Tables 4-11 and 4-12, respectively. The marginal means for the strategy by

theoretical orientation interaction are as follows. For behaviorism: ignore, m = 2.341; redirection,

m = 4.778; verbal instruction, m = 3.889; time out, m = 2.389; fix-it, m = 2.476; responsibilities,

m = 3.897; modeling, m = 5.127; talk with parents, m = 4.786; reinforcement, m = 5.087,

suspension/expulsion, m = 1.444; and prevention, m = 5.238. For constructivism: ignore, m =

2.198; redirection, m = 4.698; verbal instruction, m = 4.552; time out, m = 2.396; fix-it, m =

2.521; responsibilities, m = 3.885; modeling, m = 5.604; talk with parents, m = 4.969;

reinforcement, m = 3.885, suspension/expulsion, m = 1.333; and prevention, m = 5.021.

The marginal means for the strategy by behavior interaction are as follows. For ignore:

physical aggression, m = 1.544; verbal aggression, m = 2.387; and noncompliance, m = 2.878.

For redirection: physical aggression, m = 4.548; verbal aggression, m = 5.035; and

noncompliance, m = 4.631. For verbal instruction: physical aggression, m = 4.213; verbal









aggression, m = 4.395; and noncompliance, m = 4.054. For time-out: physical aggression, m =

2.830; verbal aggression, m = 2.387; and noncompliance, m = 1.961. For fix-it: physical

aggression, m = 2.618; verbal aggression, m = 2.599; and noncompliance, m = 2.279. For

responsibilities: physical aggression, m = 3.711; verbal aggression, m = 3.630; and

noncompliance, m = 4.332. For modeling: physical aggression, m = 5.068; verbal aggression, m

= 5.526; and noncompliance, m = 5.502. For talk with parents: physical aggression, m = 5.192;

verbal aggression, m = 4.802; and noncompliance, m = 4.638. For reinforcement: physical

aggression, m = 4.182; verbal aggression, m = 4.615; and noncompliance, m = 4.662. For

suspension/expulsion: physical aggression, m = 2.018; verbal aggression, m = 1.102; and

noncompliance, m = 1.047. And for prevention: physical aggression, m = 4.649; verbal

aggression, m = 5.356; and noncompliance, m = 5.383.

Analysis of Open-Ended Responses

The open-ended question, "If there are other strategies you would recommend, please

describe here", was presented following each of the six vignettes, twice for each behavior.

Participants responses were coded according to six categories: Functional Behavior

Assessment/Behavior Intervention Plan (FBA/BIP), Teaching Skills, Improve the Teacher-Child

Relationship, Gather More Information, Prevention, and Other. Despite prevention being a

category in which participants responded to using the Likert scale, numerous responses included

a preventative component, and as a result, prevention also was included as a category when

coding the open-ended question. Each of the 37 participants had two opportunities to provide

additional strategy recommendations for each behavior; one for each of the vignettes addressing

each behavior (i.e., physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance). Refer to Table

4-13.









Of the 74 total opportunities for participants to recommend additional strategies for

managing physical aggression, 50 open-ended responses were provided. When examining the

responses for physical aggression, 36% of respondents recommended FBA/BIP, 36%

recommended Teaching Skills, 16% recommended Improve the Teacher-Child Relationship,

20% recommended Gather More Information, 22% recommended Prevention, and 14%

recommended other strategies.

Forty-one responses were provided for verbal aggression, for a response rate of 55%.

When examining the responses for verbal aggression, 29% of respondents recommended

FBA/BIP, 54% recommended Teaching Skills, 5% recommended Improve the Teacher-Child

Relationship, 12% recommended Gather More Information, 29% recommended Prevention, and

17% recommended other strategies.

Forty responses were given for noncompliance, for a response rate of 54%. When

examining the responses for physical aggression, 33% of respondents recommended FBA/BIP,

38% recommended Teaching Skills, 5% recommended Improve the Teacher-Child Relationship,

10% recommended Gather More Information, 58% recommended Prevention, and 18%

recommended other strategies.

When examining the open-ended responses by theoretical orientation, the response rates

varied. Specifically, behaviorists recommended the use of an FBA/BIP 47% of the time, while

constructivists recommended the use of an FBA/BIP 16% of the time. For Teaching Skills

constructivists recommended this strategy 43% of the time, and behaviorists recommended this

strategy 41% of the time. Further, both behaviorists (14%) and constructivists (15%) were as

likely to recommend strategies that fell in the Gather More Information category. Constructivists

were more likely to recommend Improve the Teacher-Child Relationship (20%) and Prevention









(41%) than behaviorists, with behaviorists supplying responses that fell within these categories

1% and 30% of the time, respectively. Behaviorists provided responses in the Other category

11% of the time, while constructivists responses were in this category 21% of the time. For a

table of open-ended provided by behaviorists and constructivists see Tables 4-14 and 4-15,

respectively.










Table 4-1. Demographic variables
Demographic variables
Gender Male
Female


Degree


Race


Areas of specialization


Age


Years of experience


BA
MA/EdS
PhD
Caucasian
African American
Asian
EC
ECSE
Other
27-39
40-50
51-63
0-2 years
3-5 years
6-8 years
9-11 years
12 years and up
No response


Total N
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37
37


Percentage
32%
68%

16%
84%
92%
5%
3%
38%
51%
11%
22%
35%
43%
14%


5%
78%
3%









Table 4-2. Analysis of variance for age
Source


Ignore


Redirect


Verbal instruction


Time-out


Fix-it


Responsibilities


Modeling


Talk with parents


Reinforcement


Suspen/Expulsion


Prevention


Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total


SS
1.809
31.270
33.080
.517
32.891
33.408
.276
49.463
49.739
1.264
39.805
41.069
.762
39.289
40.051
3.668
43.007
46.676
1.624
35.216
36.840
4.315
57.205
61.520
5.626
79.579
85.205
.178
1.573
1.751
.490
25.405
25.895


MS
.905
.920

.259
.967

.138
1.455

.632
1.171

.381
1.156

1.834
1.265

.812
1.036

2.157
1.682

2.813
2.341

8.884E-02
4.627E-02

.245
.747


F
.984


.267


.095


.540


.330


1.450


.784


1.282


1.202


1.920


.328


Sig. ofF
.384


.767


.910


.588


.721


.249


.465


.290


.313


.162


.723









Table 4-3. Analysis of variance for years of experience


Source
Ignore


Redirect


Verbal instruction


Time-out


Fix-it


Responsibilities


Modeling


Talk with parents


Reinforcement


Suspen/Expulsion


Prevention


Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total


SS
.663
32.417
33.080
.188
33.220
33.408
4.858
44.881
49.739
1.707
39.362
41.069
4.657
35.394
40.051
2.707
43.969
46.676
.507
36.333
36.840
2.615
58.905
61.520
2.397
82.808
85.205
.241
1.510
1.751
2.409
23.486
25.895


MS
.221
.982

6.263E-02
1.007

1.619
1.360

.569
1.193

1.552
1.073

.902
1.332

.169
1.101

.872
1.785

.799
2.509

8.034E-02
4.575E-02

.803
.712


F
.225


.062


1.191


.477


1.447


.677


.154


.488


.318


1.756


1.129


Sig. ofF
.878


.979


.328


.700


.247


.572


.927


.693


.812


.175


.352









Table 4-4. Analysis of variance for area of specialization


Source
Ignore


Redirect


Verbal instruction


Time-out


Fix-it


Responsibilities


Modeling


Talk with parents


Reinforcement


Suspen/Expulsion


Prevention


Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total


SS
.418
32.662
33.080
1.840
31.567
33.408
6.463
43.276
49.739
.380
40.689
41.069
2.960
37.091
40.051
4.496
42.179
46.676
2.326
34.515
36.840
1.926
59.594
61.520
6.439
78.766
85.205
.251
1.500
1.751
.309
25.586
25.895


MS
.209
.961

.920
.928

3.232
1.273

.190
1.197

1.480
1.091

2.248
1.241

1.163
1.015

.963
1.753

3.219
2.317

.125
4.412E-02

.155
.753


F
.217


.991


2.539


.159


1.357


1.812


1.145


.549


1.390


2.842


.206


Sig. ofF
.806


.382


.094


.854


.271


.179


.330


.582


.263


.072


.815









Table 4-5. Analysis of variance for degree held
Source df


Ignore


Redirect


Verbal instruction


Time-out


Fix-it


Responsibilities


Modeling


Talk with parents


Reinforcement


Suspen/Expulsion


Prevention


Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total


SS
5.836E-02
33.022
33.080
6.719E-03
33.401
33.408
1.295
48.444
49.739
3.336
37.734
41.069
5.196E-03
40.046
40.051
2.039
44.636
46.676
.619
36.221
36.840
2.058
59.461
61.520
1.430E-02
85.191
85.205
4.697E-02
1.704
1.751
1.067E-03
25.894
25.895


MS
5.836E-02
.943

6.719E-03
.954

1.295
1.384

3.336
1.078

5.196E-03
1.144

2.039
1.275

.619
1.035

2.058
1.699

1.430E-02
2.434

4.697E-02
4.868E-02

1.067E-03
.740


F
.062


.007


.936


3.094


.005


1.599


.599


1.212


.006


Sig. ofF
.805


.934


.340


.087


.947


.214


.444


.279


.939


.965


.970









Table 4-6. Analysis of variance for race/ethnicity
Source df


Ignore


Redirect


Verbal instruction


Time-out


Fix-it


Responsibilities


Modeling


Talk with parents


Reinforcement


Suspen/Expulsion


Prevention


Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total
Between groups
Within groups
Total


SS
.411
32.669
33.080
2.604
30.804
33.408
3.332
46.406
49.739
.834
40.235
41.069
.364
39.687
40.051
5.249
41.427
46.676
.460
36.380
36.840
1.621
59.899
61.520
1.958
83.247
85.205
.367
1.384
1.751
.835
25.060
25.895


MS
.205
.961

1.302
.906

1.666
1.365

.417
1.183

.182
1.167

2.624
1.218

.230
1.070

.811
1.762

.979
2.448

.183
4.070E-02

.417
.737


F
.214


1.437


1.221


.352


.156


2.154


.215


.460


.400


4.507


.566


Sig. ofF
.809


.252


.308


.706


.856


.132


.807


.635


.673


.018


.573










Table 4-7. Descriptive statistics for race/ethnicity


Std.
Mean Deviation


Ignore


Redirect



Verbal instruction



Time-out


Fix-it


Responsibilities


Modeling


Talk with parents


Reinforcement


Suspen/Expulsion


Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total
Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total


2.4362
2.2500
1.8300
2.4097
4.7265
5.5000
6.0000
4.8027
4.1559
4.0850
6.0000
4.2019
2.2488
1.5850
2.1700
2.2108
2.4759
2.9150
2.5000
2.5003
3.9156
4.9150
5.8300
4.0214
5.4259
5.1700
6.0000
5.4276
4.7259
4.9150
6.0000
4.7705
4.6226
4.4150
6.0000
4.6486
1.0638
1.5000
1.0000
1.0857


.9847
.8202

.9586
.9583
.7071

.9633
1.1643
1.2940

1.1754
1.0995
.5869

1.0681
1.0964
.1202

1.0548
1.0881
1.5344

1.1387
1.0427
.7071

1.0116
1.3205
1.5344

1.3072
1.5396
2.2415

1.5384
.1880
.4667


Std. Error
.1689
.5800

.1576
.1643
.5000

.1584
.1997
.9150

.1932
.1886
.4150

.1756
.1880
8.500E-02

.1734
.1866
1.0850

.1872
.1788
.5000

.1663
.2265
1.0850

.2149
.2640
1.5850

.2529
3.224E-02
.3300


.2205 3.625E-02


95% Confidence
Interval for Mean
Lower Upper
Bound Bound
2.0926 2.7797
-5.1196 9.6196


2.0901
4.3921
-.8531

4.4815
3.7497
-7.5412

3.8100
1.8652
3.6881

1.8547
2.0933
1.8350

2.1486
3.5359
-8.8712

3.6417
5.0621
-1.1831

5.0903
4.2651
-8.8712

4.3347
4.0855
-15.7243

4.1357
.9982
-2.6930


2.7293
5.0608
11.8531

5.1239
4.5621
15.7112

4.5938
2.6324
6.8581

2.5669
2.8585
3.9950

2.8519
4.2953
18.7012

4.4010
5.7897
11.5231

5.7649
5.1866
18.7012

5.2064
5.1598
24.5543

5.1616
1.1294
5.6930


1.0121 1.1592









Table 4-7. Continued


Prevention


Caucasian
African American
Asian
Total


Table 4-8. T-tests for gender


Mean Std. error
difference difference


Std.
Mean Deviation
5.4115 .8295
4.9150 1.5344
6.0000
5.4005 .8481


Std. Error
.1423
1.0850

.1394


90% Confidence
interval of the
difference
Lower Upper


95% Confidence
Interval for Mean
Lower Upper
Bound Bound
5.1220 5.7009
-8.8712 18.7012

5.1178 5.6833


Sig.
t df (2-tailed)


Ignore
Redirection
Verbal instruction
Time-out
Fix-it
Responsibilities
Modeling
Talk with parents
Reinforcement
Suspen/Expulsion
Prevention


-.3597
-.1384
-.3222
.5094
.4103
-1.3100E-02
-.3245
-.7297
.3560
-2.2333E-03
-.1611


Table 4-9. Mauchley's test of sphericity


Mauchly's Approx. chi-
W square


Strategy
Behavior
Strategy* Behavior


.041
.765
.000


100.279
9.112
567.563


df
54
2
209


Sig.
.000
.011
.000


Epsilon
Greenhouse- Huynh
Geisser -Feldt
.608 .771
.810 .867
.254 .311


.3360
.3423
.4151
.3705
.3692
.4056
.3561
.4490
.5446
7.854E-02
.3008


-.9274
-.7168
-1.0236
-.1167
-.2135
-.6983
-.9261
-1.4883
-.5642
-.1349
-.6694


.2079
.4399
.3791
1.1355
1.0341
.6721
.2772
2.886E-02
1.2762
.1305
.3472


-1.071
-.404
-.776
1.375
1.111
-.032
-.911
-1.625
.654
-.028
-.536


.292
.688
.443
.178
.274
.974
.368
.113
.518
.977
.596


Lower-
bound
.100
.500
5.000E-02









Table 4-10. SPANOVA using the Huynh-Feldt correction
Source df SS MS F Sig. ofF
Strategy 7.715 2039.848 264.417 76.031 .000
Strategy*Theoretical orientation 7.715 60.491 7.841 2.255 .026
Error(Strategy) 270.008 939.020 3.478
Behavior 1.735 2.694 1.553 2.263 .119
Behavior*Theoretical orientation 1.735 1.927 1.111 1.619 .209
Error(Behavior) 60.725 41.657 .686
Strategy*Behavior 6.217 114.513 18.420 8.420 .000
Strategy*Behavior*Theoretical orientation 6.217 9.802 1.577 .721 .638
Error(Strategy*Behavior) 217.592 476.001 2.188





Table 4-11. Marginal means for theoretical orientation by strategy
95% Confidence Interval
Theoretical orientation Strategy Mean Std. Error Lower Bound Upper Bound


Behaviorism


Constructivism


Ignore
Redirection
Verbal instruction
Time-out
Fix-it
Responsibilities
Modeling
Talk with parents
Reinforcement
Suspen/Expulsion
Prevention
Ignore
Redirection
Verbal instruction
Time-out
Fix-it
Responsibilities
Modeling
Talk with parents
Reinforcement
Suspen/Expulsion
Prevention


2.341
4.778
3.889
2.389
2.476
3.897
5.127
4.786
5.087
1.444
5.238
2.198
4.698
4.552
2.396
2.521
3.885
5.604
4.969
3.885
1.333
5.021


.179
.208
.240
.260
.225
.260
.219
.276
.301
.151
.219
.205
.239
.275
.298
.257
.298
.250
.317
.345
.173
.251


1.978 2.705
4.355 5.201
3.401 4.377
1.861 2.917
2.020 2.932
3.368 4.425
4.683 5.571
4.225 5.347
4.477 5.698
1.137 1.752
4.794 5.682
1.782 2.614
4.213 5.183
3.993 5.111
1.791 3.001
1.999 3.043
3.280 4.491
5.096 6.112
4.326 5.611
3.186 4.585
.981 1.686
4.512 5.530









Table 4-12. Marginal means for strategy by behavior
95% Confidence Interval
Strategy Behavior Mean Std. Error Lower Bound Upper Bound
Ignore Physical aggression 1.544 .124 1.291 1.797
Verbal aggression 2.387 .176 2.030 2.744
Noncompliance 2.878 .216 2.440 3.316
Redirection Physical aggression 4.548 .217 4.107 4.988
Verbal aggression 5.035 .164 4.701 5.369
Noncompliance 4.631 .210 4.206 5.056
Verbal instruction Physical aggression 4.213 .199 3.809 4.616
Verbal aggression 4.395 .203 3.982 4.808
Noncompliance 4.054 .231 3.586 4.522
Time-out Physical aggression 2.830 .252 2.319 3.340
Verbal aggression 2.387 .197 1.987 2.786
Noncompliance 1.961 .196 1.563 2.358
Fix-it Physical aggression 2.618 .185 2.243 2.993
Verbal aggression 2.599 .198 2.197 3.001
Noncompliance 2.279 .217 1.839 2.719
Responsibilities Physical aggression 3.711 .252 3.200 4.223
Verbal aggression 3.630 .236 3.151 4.109
Noncompliance 4.332 .215 3.896 4.768
Modeling Physical aggression 5.068 .191 4.680 5.457
Verbal aggression 5.526 .170 5.181 5.871
Noncompliance 5.502 .172 5.152 5.852
Talk with parents Physical aggression 5.192 .195 4.795 5.589
Verbal aggression 4.802 .234 4.327 5.277
Noncompliance 4.638 .246 4.139 5.137
Reinforcement Physical aggression 4.182 .229 3.717 4.646
Verbal aggression 4.615 .255 4.098 5.133
Noncompliance 4.662 .246 4.163 5.161
Suspen/Expulsion Physical aggression 2.018 .313 1.382 2.654
Verbal aggression 1.102 .047 1.006 1.197
Noncompliance 1.047 .030 .987 1.107
Prevention Physical aggression 4.649 .334 3.970 5.327
Verbal aggression 5.356 .140 5.071 5.641
Noncompliance 5.383 .162 5.054 5.712









Table 4-13. Percentage (%) and number (n) of open-ended categories by theoretical orientation
%(n)
Strategy Behaviorists Constructivists
FBA/BIP 47(33) 15(9)
Teaching of skills 41(29) 43(26)
Improving the teacher-child relationship 1(1) 20(12)
Gather more information 14(10) 16(10)
Prevention 30(21) 41(25)
Other 11(8) 21(13)



Table 4-14. Sample of open-ended strategies reported by behaviorists
Strategy Open-ended response
FBA/BIP Functional Behavior Assessment, that is some level of data collection
to more fully understand the contexts (including prior
behaviors/events and consequences) the behavior of focus occurs.
Conduct a functional assessment and develop an assessment-based
behavior support plan that includes prevention, instruction, and
response strategies.
Conduct a functional analysis to help understand what is maintaining
the challenging behavior.
Teaching of skills Instruction of skills that serve the same function, positive
reinforcement in the form of verbal, descriptive praise.
Differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior.
Social skills training, teach communication skills, and social stories.
Instructing the other children
Ensure immediate feedback and reinforcement (shaping).
Improve the teacher- Teaming with families should always occur, but talking with parents
child relationship is not a strategy for behavior management
Gather more To adequately assess the situation more information would be needed.
information Is this a new behavior or has this been going on for sometime? Does
she exhibit the behavior in other settings home? community?
Find out the strengths of child & what works at home.
Conduct preference assessments to determine reinforcers.
Prevention Activity schedules with clear indications of which children assume
which roles.
Proactive (signaling) strategies
Select activities that require cooperation between children to set the
occasion for the target behavior ("sharing").
Provide multiples of favorite toys,
Other Behavioral contract at age appropriate level.









Table 4-15. Open-ended strategies reported by constructivists
Strategy Open-ended response
FBA/BIP Functional Assessment of Behavior and an intervention plan based on
that information
I would request a functional behavioral analysis to determine the
function of the challenging behaviors.
Teaching of skills Group lessons illustrating positive problem solving techniques.
Teach an alternative behavior, such as communication skills.
Social stories to help him learn appropriate behaviors and expectations;
facilitate small group play experiences.
Acknowledging and labeling feelings and emotions. Using a curriculum
such as Second Step to encourage development of empathy and
sensitivity to feelings and emotions of others.
Enabling other children to tell her to stop yelling.
Improve the teacher- Working on building a positive relationship with the child.
child relationship Making sure teachers spend time connecting and conversing with him
at times other than transitions, connecting with parents and
acknowledging feelings.
Work on trust relationships.
Gather more Are there external factors that could influence her behaviors at this
information time (i.e., too much sensory stimulation)?
Ask parents or caregivers to complete developmental screen; ask about
hearing testing and does the children have enough time to complete
activities?
Make sure expectations are developmentally appropriate (i.e., how
long is group time? Is there a saving shelf or some way for him to
come back to the structure he was building? Does he have adequate
time to build?)
Prevention Shadow child to intervene before aggression occurs.
Developing an environment that is analytical in set up and preventive in
nature.
Picture schedules and individualized one-step instructions. Make sure he
has opportunities to make choices in his environment.
Be somewhat flexible on transitioning; make sure the next activity is
very attractive.
Other Visit with a child psychologist because persistent and high level
aggression at this age is sometimes the beginning of an unfavorable
trajectory for the child.
Behavioral contracting









CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION

The field of early childhood has experienced significant growth over the past decade, with

increasing numbers of young children participating in group care and early education. With this

increase has come greater attention to effective management in early childhood settings.

Although experts agree that managing young children's challenging behavior is critically

important in providing supportive early learning environments, a wide range of practices are

recommended and implemented across different settings. The current study explored factors that

influence strategy recommendations by experts in the fields of early childhood education and

early childhood special education. Specifically, experts were asked to identify which strategies

they would recommend for three different challenging behaviors: physical aggression, verbal

aggression, and noncompliance. The study investigated whether strategy recommendation differs

depending on the behavior problem presented and/or the theoretical orientation of the expert. In

other words, a statistically significant interaction between strategy and behavior problem was

expected, while a statistically significant interaction between strategy, behavior problem, and

theoretical orientation was not expected. These hypotheses were supported, and a relationship

between theoretical orientation and strategy recommendation also was found.

Relationship Between Strategy and Theoretical Orientation

The findings from the current study suggest significant group differences between experts

who ascribe to behavioral versus constructivist orientations regarding recommendations for

addressing challenging behaviors. At the same time, while the groups differed, some of the most

popular strategies were recommended by both behaviorists and constructivists. For example, the

strategies most frequently recommended by experts who identified themselves as behaviorists

included redirection, talking with parents, modeling appropriate behavior, providing









reinforcement, and implementing preventive efforts in that order. The most popular strategies

identified by constructivists were redirecting the child, providing verbal instruction, talking with

parents, modeling appropriate behaviors, and prevention again in that order. While both

constructivists and behaviorists are most likely to recommend redirection, talking with parents,

modeling, and prevention some significant differences between behaviorists and constructivists

exist. Specifically, constructivists are also likely to recommend the use of verbal instruction,

while this is not one of the strategies likely to be recommended by behaviorists. Further,

behaviorists are more likely to recommend the use of reinforcement, while constructivists are

not.

Relationship Between Strategy Recommendation and Types of Challenging Behavior

A second finding from the study relates to the relationship between the particular strategies

recommended for managing physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliant behavior

regardless of theoretical orientation. Modeling appropriate behaviors and preventing challenging

ones are the strategies that are most likely recommended for all three types of challenging

behavior, while the use of suspension or expulsion is least likely to be recommended when

addressing each of the behaviors independently. A description of the significant findings related

to each challenging behavior follows.

Physical aggression

When specifically examining physical aggression, experts from both theoretical

orientations are least likely to recommend ignoring the behavior. The strategies which are most

likely to be recommended include talking with parents, modeling appropriate behavior,

prevention, redirection, verbal instruction, and reinforcement in that order.









Verbal aggression

When considering children who are exhibiting verbally aggressive behaviors, the least

likely behavior which experts recommend is suspension/expulsion. On the other hand, experts of

both theoretical orientations are most likely to recommend the use of modeling, prevention,

redirection, talking with parents, reinforcement, and verbal instruction to address verbal

aggression.

Noncompliant behavior

As with verbal aggression, experts are least likely to recommend suspension/expulsion for

noncompliant behaviors; however, they also are unlikely to recommend giving the child a time-

out when addressing such behaviors. Experts from both groups are most likely to recommend

modeling appropriate behavior, employing preventative measures, providing reinforcement,

talking with the child's parents, redirection, providing them with additional classroom

responsibilities, and verbal instruction.

The results of this study provide information that is meaningful both clinically and

practically. Despite limited research supporting some of the strategies recommended for

managing challenging behaviors, experts are more significantly likely to recommend particular

strategies for physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance. At the same time,

experts are less likely to recommend certain strategies, such as time-out and suspension or

expulsion for noncompliant behaviors, for example. Overall, the current findings suggest that

experts are unlikely to recommend the use of suspension or expulsion when addressing physical

aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliant behaviors; however, experts are more likely to

recommend the use of suspension or expulsion when addressing physical aggression. Despite the

decreased likelihood that experts would regularly recommend suspension or expulsion, expulsion

is a common practice in early childhood setting, and preschools in particular (Gilliam, 2004).









Based on the current findings, it can be stated that while the use of suspension and

expulsion is not generally recommended, it is more likely to be recommended for children who

are physically aggressive. This difference is likely due to the increased risk of injury to other

children in the classroom when a child is being physically aggressive; thus suggesting that when

a child becomes severely physically aggressive, they are at greater risk of being suspended or

expelled. However, it's difficult to justify expelling a very young child for several reasons. For

example, the school will have to deal with the child eventually, and expelling a child from

preschool will just facilitate the development of even more difficult behaviors. Similarly,

suspending is a remarkably bad idea as it doesn't "teach" appropriate behaviors; generally the

only function is to give the adults in the setting a break from the child, which is inconsistent with

educational law as an educational intervention.

Nevertheless, Gilliam (2004) found that the national expulsion rate for pre-kindergarten

students was 6.7 for every 1,000 enrolled, while the national expulsion rate for students in grades

K-12 was 2.1 for every 1,000 enrolled. The expulsion rate at the pre-kindergarten level is more

than three times greater than that at the school age level. Further, 4-year-olds are approximately

5% more likely to be expelled than 3-year-olds (Gilliam, 2004). This suggests that children

exhibiting challenging behaviors at very young ages are being expelled at alarming rates with

very little empirical support for the efficacy of such a practice. This research taken with the

findings from the current study, suggests the importance of bridging the research to practice gap,

and incorporating the most and least likely strategies to be recommended into preservice and

inservice training for early childhood professionals. Presumably, experts' opinions reflect

significant knowledge of empirical research and literature, yet the recommended practices are

not necessarily reflected as practice in early childhood settings.









Another interesting finding is that providing a child with additional classroom

responsibilities is more often used for a child who is noncompliant as opposed to a child

exhibiting aggressive behaviors. Again, although there is little documented evidence to support

the effectiveness of this strategy, it was often recommended for managing noncompliant

behaviors and occasionally recommended for physical and verbal aggressions. It can be

hypothesized that the recommendation of this strategy is in hopes that the additional

responsibility when ultimately increase a child's compliance, or possible participation in the

appropriate classroom activity.

Trends in Open-Ended Responses

Participants also were asked to identify additional strategies they would recommend for

managing each of the identified challenging behaviors, if they believed necessary strategies were

omitted, and several trends for each specific behavior were noted. Of the 25 participants who

chose to respond to this question regarding physical aggression, teaching the child additional

skills and the use of a functional behavior assessment were identified as critical strategies. The

described focus of an FBA was to determine the function of the physical aggression, and

subsequently develop and implement interventions to serve the same purpose in hopes of

replacing the physically aggressive behaviors. However, the focus of the responses indicating

that teaching the child additional skills was necessary, was not quite as narrow. Such responses

ranged from direct instruction of communication and/or social skills to the reinforcement of

alternative behaviors or of appropriate behaviors exhibited by the identified child's classmates.

Nevertheless, this category of responses implies that a physically aggressive child lacks specific

skills necessary to behave appropriately in the classroom.

Interestingly, several of the responses within the teaching skills category included teaching

more appropriate classroom behaviors that also served the same function of the physically









aggressive behavior. However, first identifying the function of the behavior may or may not have

been included in the individual responses; therefore, identifying the function may have served as

a preliminary step in skill instruction. In other words, these two categories are not mutually

exclusive as participants could have provided strategies that fell into both the FBA and teaching

skills categories, and as a result, they should not be viewed as distinct intervention strategies, but

rather as complimentary in nature.

A somewhat different pattern of responding was observed when examining the open-ended

responses for verbal aggression. The use of an FBA was reported by 29% of the participants

electing to respond to this item; however, teaching skills was reported by 54% of those

responding. This suggests that while participants believe the use of an FBA may be beneficial

when working with children who are verbally aggressive, it is not as important as teaching the

child specific skills or more acceptable classroom behaviors. Further, the use of an FBA does not

appear to be as important for managing verbal aggression as it is for managing physical

aggression. Additionally, preventative strategies were seen equally as important as determining

the function of verbal aggression. Particular responses that were preventative in nature include

the use of visual schedules and providing the child with choices.

These same three categories, FBA, teaching skills, and prevention, were also frequently

recommended for addressing noncompliant behaviors. However, of the three, prevention was

reported most commonly. It is important to note that many of the responses that were categorized

as preventative focused more on the classroom environment than on the child. For example,

creating an engaging classroom environment and offering "attractive" classroom activities, in

addition to allowing the child flexibility in participating were recurrent trends reported.









When examining the open-ended responses by theoretical orientation, interesting trends

emerge. Specifically, behaviorists are more likely to emphasize the importance of an FBA when

managing challenging behaviors, while constructivists are more likely to stress the use of

preventative strategies and improving the teacher-child relationship; both behaviorists and

constructivists are equally as likely to recommend teaching skills. This pattern likely reflects the

training experiences of those within each respective field, and may play out similarly in the

childcare environment or classroom setting. More specifically, childcare providers trained in the

field of early childhood may more frequently rely upon prevention and improving the teacher-

child relationship, while practitioners trained in the field of early childhood special education

may more frequently examine and implement interventions based upon the function of the

presenting challenging behavior.

Currently, the use of a Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Positive Behavior

Supports (PBS) are widely regarded as "best practice" in addressing behavioral difficulties in

children of all ages. While neither strategy was included in the study, as they were not identified

in the pilot study, which was completed in 2002, as commonly used in the childcare setting,

participants were asked to provide additional strategies that they believed were omitted from the

study. Interestingly, only 47% of behaviorists and 15% of constructivists responded to the open-

ended questions by recommending the use of an FBA. Given the growing trend in the field, it is

particularly surprising that a greater number of participants did not recommend the use of this

strategy when given the opportunity to do so.

Implications of the Findings

Willoughby, Kupersmidt, and Bryant (2001) report startling numbers of preschool children

exhibiting antisocial behaviors; approximately 40% of preschoolers exhibit at least one, and

approximately 10% of preschoolers exhibit six or more antisocial behaviors a day. Further,









Arnold, McWilliams, and Arnold (1998) suggest that disruptive behaviors are the greatest

challenges faced by preschool teachers and childcare providers each year. Given the over-

stressed nature of childcare providers and preschool teachers, there is a significant need for

additional support and training in early childhood classrooms (Willoughby, Kupersmidt, &

Bryant, 2001).

Consultation between teachers and special educators or school psychologists is a common

practice for addressing difficulties in school age children, and the use of mental health

consultation in early childhood settings is a rapidly growing trend (Buysse & Wesley, 2005).

Specifically, mental health consultation is an intervention strategy frequently used to address

challenging behaviors in young children, and providing specific recommendations for managing

such behaviors often is the focus of consultative relationships. While Alkon, Ramler and

MacLennan (2003) found that mental health consultation in childcare settings can improve the

overall quality of the childcare environment, Raver and Knitzer (2002) also suggest that the use

of mental health consultation in early childhood settings can significantly decrease both

internalizing and externalizing behavior problems in young children.

Despite support regarding the effectiveness of mental health consultation in early

childhood environments less is known about the, specific factors influencing the efficacy of this

intervention strategy. While Green, Everhart, Gordon, and Gettman (2006) found that although

the personal and professional characteristics of the mental health consultant, such as

race/ethnicity and education level, do not directly impact the effectiveness of consultation, they

do suggest that the effect of a mental health consultant's degree, or area of study, may be a

critical factor to examine. Given such information, the current study provides insight into various

factors influencing the consultative relationship, including the consultant's theoretical orientation









and the behavior in which they are addressing. Of particular interest is the effect a consultant's

theoretical orientation may have on the consultative relationship.

According to Duncan (2000), preservice teachers in early childhood training programs are

more likely to hold beliefs similar to a constructivist perspective, while preservice teachers in

early childhood special education and combined ECE and ECSE teacher preparation programs,

or Unified training programs, are more likely to hold beliefs similar to that of behaviorists. Given

such information, it is likely that childcare providers and general education teachers are more

likely to ascribe to a constructivist perspective, while mental health consultants and school

psychologists are more likely to ascribe to a behaviorist perspective. Further, the current study

suggests that recommendations for managing challenging behaviors differ as a function of

theoretical orientation, suggesting that dissonance between a consultant's strategy

recommendation and the consultee's belief in that particular strategy may exist, which may

adversely impact the consultative relationship.

In a similar vein, it is not only critical to consider theoretical orientation in relation to

mental health consultation, but also in regards to the preservice and/or inservice training of

childcare providers. High quality childcare has been linked to numerous benefits for young

children (Campbell & Ramey, 1994; NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1998;

Peisner-Feiberg, et al., 1999). Specifically, high quality childcare helps to encourage the social-

emotional, intellectual, and physical development (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997), as well as the

receptive language, academic, and social skills of young children (Cost, Quality & Child

Outcomes Study Team, 1995).

Of particular importance to the current study is the impact high quality childcare has on the

behavioral functioning of young children. The NICHD Early Child Care Research Network









(1998) found that high quality childcare was directly related to fewer behavior problems and

improved social competence at age two, in addition to increases in child compliance and

decreases in behavior problems at age three. Furthermore, teacher training has been identified as

an integral component of high quality childcare and is directly linked to better cognitive and

emotional outcomes in low-income children (Burchinal, Peisner-Feinberg, Bryant, & Clifford,

2000).

It is well documented that childcare provider training is an essential constituent of a quality

childcare environment (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study

Team, 1995; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). However, an individual's theoretical orientation can

influence the perception of a strategy's effectiveness (Guralnick, 1993), and subsequently, the

receptiveness with which training is received and utilized. Preservice and inservice training for

childcare providers are the primary means for continuing education. While the results of the

current study do not advocate for one particular way in which quality training is received (i.e.,

preservice or inservice), it certainly emphasizes the importance of trainers developing an

awareness of the impact their theoretical orientation may have on trainee's receptiveness to

information. Specifically, it is essential that trainers not only have an understanding of the

theoretical orientation of their audience, but also how their personal beliefs may impact the

likelihood that the information and suggestions presented will be used.

Limitations of the Current Study

Despite the significance of the current findings, the limitations of the study also must be

considered. While this research provides important information, some limitations effect the

interpretation and generalizability of the findings. Specifically, consideration of the potential

threats to internal and external validity is essential









Internal Validity

Internal validity relates to the extent to which the study outcomes result from the direct

manipulation of the independent variables rather than the influence of confounding variables. In

other words, are the research findings a direct result of the particular variables of interest, the

variables manipulated or measured (Shavelson, 1996). Threats to internal validity impact

whether there is a cause and effect relationship between the independent and dependent

variables. The following discussion relates to the current study's threats to internal validity.

The BCECS: PS included behavioral vignettes and specific strategies for which

respondents were asked to select how likely they were to recommend each strategy to address the

behaviors presented. Vignettes were used to provide a clear picture of the identified behavior and

to control for participants' prior experience and knowledge. The construct validity of each

vignette was examined to ensure that that it accurately reflected the targeted behavior. However,

despite such attempts is it likely that participants' responses were influenced by previous

experiences and knowledge, and their conceptualizations of each behavior likely were broader

than that which was presented in the vignette.

On the other hand, while the vignettes were closely examined prior to their usage (e.g.,

construct validity, test-retest reliability), the strategies themselves were not. Instead the strategies

listed were based upon their identification from a pilot study as being used in childcare setting

for managing challenging behaviors. Some of the strategies listed in the current survey included

examples or brief descriptions, while some did not; participants were expected to respond based

upon such descriptions, if provided, as well as their prior knowledge of the strategy presented.

The potential vagueness, or lack of specificity, of the strategies presented and the

allowance for individual interpretation could have caused for discrepant understanding of their

meaning. For example, the strategies "talk with parents" and "time-out/removal from activities"









can be interpreted in many ways. Talking with parents could include talking with parents in order

to have them correct the situation, to determine what works best for managing their child's

behavior at home, or simply to inform them of the situation occurring. While the strategy "time-

out" included a brief description (i.e., take child away from the class) of its meaning, it too could

be interpreted in various ways. Specifically, whether the respondent interpreted this strategy to

mean an in-class or out-of-class time out is unclear. Furthermore, the exact understanding of the

respondents' interpretation and subsequent endorsement of such strategies becomes particularly

important when attempting to transfer study findings to the "real world" classroom environment

may be more difficult; this limitation also impacting the external validity of the current study.

A critical threat to internal validity relates to the way in which participants were grouped.

When completing the demographic questionnaire, respondents self-selected their area of

specialization, as well as the theoretical orientation with which they were most closely affiliated.

Specifically, respondents were asked to identify their primary and secondary areas of

specialization (i.e., early childhood, early childhood special education, other), their theoretical

orientation (i.e., behaviorism, constructivism), and to what degree they considered each

theoretical orientation when working with young children. Nevertheless, participants were

identified as belonging to either the early childhood or the early childhood special education

group based upon their affiliation with national association (i.e., NAEYC or DEC) within each

field. While the method used provides a clear delineation of groups, and essentially was chosen

by the participants when they joined their respective associations, considering an individual's

perspective, particularly in regards to what degree they considered each theoretical orientation,

also may have been beneficial given that theoretical association is not directly linked to

association affiliation. In other words, by basis of the way in which participants were grouped,









the current study assumed that the two groups, members of NAEYC and DEC, are dichotomous.

While the results of the study suggest an effect of orientation, a true dichotomy may not exist.

External Validity

External validity relates to the extent to which study results can be generalized to situations

outside of those observed in the study (Shavelson, 1996). In other words, questions regarding

external validity examine whether research findings can be generalize to the "real world". One

of the primary limitations of the current study, and a threat to the external validity, relates to the

survey developed, and utilized, solely for the purpose of this study.

One of the primary threats to external validity relates to the sample size of the current

study. Despite requesting participation from the entire target population, only 20% chose to

participate. The total sample of 37 participants was then divided into two groups, behaviorists

(n=21) and constructivists (n=16), resulting in even smaller groups used for data analysis. With a

larger sample size, additional statistically significant results may have been found. Further, it can

be stated that the current study's results may not accurately reflect the beliefs of the entire target

population. In other words, the results may not accurately reflect what all experts in the field's of

early childhood and early childhood special education would recommend for managing physical

aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliant behavior.

Another threat to the study's external validity, relates to the lack of information regarding

participants geographic location; both knowledge of the geographic location of the current job, as

well as the geographic location of their graduate training may have been beneficial. Such

information could have provided insight as to whether the strategies recommended varied as a

function of the area in which participants were trained or practice. Further, this information could

offer insight as to whether current trends, or what is considered "best practice", are influenced by

geographic location.









Future Research

While the current study provides meaningful information, both clinically and practically,

additional areas of research are necessary. One critical area of research relates to the more recent

trend of using functional behavior assessments (FBA) and positive behavioral supports (PBS) in

order to effectively address challenging behaviors (Chandler, Dahlquiest, Repp, & Feltz, 1999;

Kamps, et al., 1995; Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002; OSEP, 2005). While the use of

an FBA and PBS is a growing trend, these strategies were not included in the pilot study, which

served as the foundational research for the current study. Specifically, the pilot study solicited

information from childcare providers regarding how challenging behaviors were managed in the

classroom. Subsequently, the strategies which were reported in the pilot study served as the

strategies examined in the current study; neither FBAs nor PBS were reported. However, given

the length of time between the pilot study and the current study, it is likely that the findings from

the current study do not accurately represent what experts in the fields of early childhood and

early childhood special education are most likely to recommend as "best practices". Even though

participants were able to submit additional strategies which they would recommend, many may

not have chosen to do so despite believing the use of an FBA is essential.

As a result, in order to provide the most accurate information regarding what is viewed as

best practice would require systematic examination of more current strategies, such as FBA and

PBS. The field would benefit from future research examining whether childcare providers are

reporting the use of an FBA and PBS, as well as whether experts would recommend these

specific strategies for managing physical and verbal aggression and noncompliant behavior.

While it is known that such strategies are generally recommended, examining whether they are

being recommended in childcare settings and other early childhood academic environments,









whether they are more likely to be recommended by experts of various theoretical orientations,

and whether this varies as a function of the identified behavior problem is essential.

Further, the current study examined the impact theoretical orientation has on strategy

recommendation, and significant results in this regard were found. However, questions can be

raised as to whether the language used when presenting the strategy plays a role in participants'

responding. For example, since reinforcement is a strategy more frequently recommended by

behaviorists, does the word itself play a role in its recommendation? Given the theoretical beliefs

of constructivists, is a word, such as "reinforcement" likely to carry a negative connotation and

subsequently decrease the likelihood that this strategy is recommended? Such questions suggest

that additional research in this regard is essential. Specifically, presenting strategies in theory

neutral language, or presenting strategies both in terms that are associated with behaviorism and

terms that are associated with constructivism and subsequently comparing the frequency of their

recommendation will assist in further determining whether fundamental theoretical differences

exist, or if semantics are playing a larger role.

Given this significant impact theoretical orientation has on strategy recommendation,

another interesting question which may benefit from further examination is raised. Gathering

information as to whether theoretical orientation, not only impacts which strategies are being

recommended, but also impacts what strategies are actually implemented in the classroom may

be beneficial. Although it is likely that most childcare providers ascribe to a constructivist

perspective, this research would offer insight as to whether a childcare provider's response to

challenging behaviors varies as a function of their theoretical orientation and background

regardless of what is considered "best practice".









An additional area of research which would contribute to the field relates to strategy

recommendation for older children in an early childhood educational environment. More

specifically, the vignettes utilized in the study presented children with behavioral difficulties that

were either three- of four years of age. Extending this age range to older children (i.e., 5 and 6

year olds) may provide unique information as to whether the current findings are meaningful for

children of different ages. On a similar vein, extending both the current and the pilot study to

different settings, for example in both public and private kindergarten classrooms, would not

only offer interesting information as to strategy usage in such settings, but also to whether

strategy recommendation would vary according to the setting in which education is being

provided.

The current study examined what strategies experts recommend for managing challenging

behaviors. Given that the educational environment of focus was one designed for children 3 and

4 years of age, and future research should examine these findings in relation to older children in

school settings, additional research examining what is recommended by professionals working in

such environments will also be essential. Specifically, surveying school psychologists to

examine what particular strategies they recommend to preschool and kindergarten teachers for

managing children who are physically and verbally aggressive and noncompliant, would provide

meaningful information regarding what is occurring in school environments today.

Further, most research regarding challenging behaviors has focused on the efficacy of

behavioral interventions. Given that significant differences between the strategies recommended

by behaviorists and constructivists exist, additional research regarding the validity of the

interventions recommended by constructivists is imperative. Constructivists are significantly

more likely to recommend the use of verbal instruction for addressing challenging behaviors than









behaviorists. Consequently, further research to determine whether this strategy is likely to

decrease the occurrence of challenging behaviors is necessary. Given that this is commonly

recommended, additional information regarding the effectiveness of verbal instruction would

allow for more tailored training and consultation regarding the management of challenging

behaviors.

Despite the several areas of additional research described that would provide insightful,

new research to the field, one area that should be the primary focus of the current study's results

is addressing and bridging the potential research-to-practice gap. Taking the findings from this

study and comparing the specific strategies recommended by experts to the strategies being used

for managing challenging behaviors, as reported the pilot study, would provide critical

information as to whether service providers are using strategies that are recommended as being

"best practice". Such comparisons would provide information regarding discrepancies between

what strategies are being used and what strategies should be used, as well as how this is differs

based upon specific behaviors. Determining such differences would allow for training target to

specific areas of need for early childhood professionals (e.g., childcare providers) working with

children exhibiting challenging behaviors on a daily basis.









APPENDIX A
DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONAIRRE


1. What is your job title?

2. How long have you worked at your current job?

3. How long have you worked in child care?

4. How would you describe the population you serve?
Urban Suburban

Low income Middle income

Other descriptors

5. What is your highest educational degree? (Circle)
12th grade (or less)

GED

High School Diploma

Child Development Associate (CDA)

Other Associates' Degree

Bachelor's Degree: Major:

Master's Degree: Major:

Other advanced degree (Please specify)

6. What is your age?

7. How would you describe your ethnicity?
Caucasian African

Native American Asian

Latino: Puerto Rican Mexican
Cuban Other


Years

Years


Rural

Upper middle/upper


merican









APPENDIX B
BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

STRUCTURED INTERVIEW

PURPOSE: The purpose of this survey is three-fold:
1) To determine whether providing services for young children with or at-risk for
behavior disorders is a problem for child care programs;
2) To determine the extent to which such children are identified and receive special
education services; and
3) To identify the characteristics of child care programs that facilitate successful
inclusion of children at risk for behavior disorders.

1. As far as you know, have any of the 2 and 1/2 to 6 year old children currently enrolled at your
center been diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability?


IF YES: What type of disability or delay?


Developmental delay

Motor impairment


SSpeech / Language impairment

SVision / hearing impairment


Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder


Behavioral disorder


ADHD


Other: Specify


IF YES: How was the diagnosis made and by whom?








2. As far as you know, do any of the preschool children currently enrolled at your center receive
special services such as Early Intervention, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy,
physical therapy, or counseling?


IF YES: What type of services? Where does the child go for services?













IF YES: Who provides the services (e.g., private therapy, school district)


3. Do any of the preschool children in your center take medication on a daily basis to help
regulate their behavior?


If yes,
How many?


For what kinds of problems?




4. Currently, are there children who have behaviors or characteristics that are difficult to serve in
your center?



Please describe the child/children? (Interviewer: if why the behavior is difficult to
manage is unclear, ask "What about these behaviors/characteristics makes it difficult?)



How does your program deal with these behaviors?





"Now I'd like to talk about specific behaviors that other people have told us are difficult to deal
with in child care programs.

A. The first behavior is aggression."

a. How does your center deal with verbal aggression (for example, yelling or profanity)
directed at staff or other children?









What support or training might help your program deal with these behaviors more
effectively?


b. How does your center deal with physical aggression (for example, hitting, kicking,
biting)?


What support or training might help your program deal with these behaviors more
effectively?





B. The next behavior is noncompliance. How does your center deal with children who
refuse to follow classroom rules or teacher requests?





What support or training might help your program deal with these behaviors more
effectively?






C. The next behavior relates to problems with attention. How does your program deal
with children who have a harder time sitting still than other children their age, or who can't play
with one toy or activity for very long?









What support or training might help your program deal with these behaviors more
effectively?






D. How does your program deal with children who are withdrawn -- for example, prefer
to play by themselves almost all of the time, or sit alone not playing with toys?





What support or training might help your program deal with these behaviors more
effectively?





E. How does your program deal with children who have language problems -- have a
hard time expressing themselves or don't seem to understand when others speak to them?





What support or training might help your program deal with these behaviors more
effectively?





6. In the past year, how many preschool children have left your center because of behavior
problems? (If answer is '0', skip to item 7. If there is more than one
child, ask each of the following questions for each child.)



IF YES: What kind of problems?









Please talk a little about how the decision for the child to leave was
made.



Did the child attend other childcare centers after leaving yours?


Did the child receive any additional services? (Probe here for special
education placements or services, referrals to mental health centers, etc.)



What supports would you have needed to serve the child?




7. How familiar are you with the special education services for 3 to 5 year olds offered by the
school system? (Circle 1.)

Very familiar

Somewhat familiar

Aware that services exist, but unfamiliar with them

Did not know that services are available


8. When you have concerns that a young child is not developing language or motor skills at the
same rate as other children his/her age, what do you do?



9. When you are concerned about a young child's behavior, what do you do?





10. Have you ever referred a 3 to 5 year old child for special education services?


Yes


No


IF YES: What was the concern?










Are there other reasons you would refer a preschool child for special education services?


IF NO: Would you consider referring a 3 to 5 year old for special ed services?
Yes No

IF YES: What reasons?


IF NO: Why not?


11. How would you refer a 3 to 5 year old for special education services?



How did you learn this information?


12. Other comments?












APPENDIX C





Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education: Professional's Survey
Demographic Questionnaire

P I..1 I l- i ir ..l l.:I ,.: .iri I.l t e i I 1.:-ll .,4.-, .-. ,ie-r,.:,,ji p-hi i: .i.e--tii:.rriii e-
T Ie T.-.I I.-.. 4 r..i -I j ti.-.r.-. 411 1-.( 1 i. er t 7r"t nrd T'.e rc. 1.11 ti.r. 7 i.ir' e ir..

These questions refer to your area of specialization and theoretical orientation.

1. What is your primary area of specialization?(Please choose one of the following)
1Early childhood 1Early childhood special education QOther(please specify):


2. What is your secondary area of specialization? (Please choose one of the foll owing)
OEarly childhood 0 Early childhood special education ON one
QOther (please specify):

3. Wht is your primary theordical orrient ion? BBehaviorism Q Constructivism

4. On a scale from one to five, to what degree do you consider the following theoretical orientation when
working with young children?(e.g., 1 being very little Ike; 5 being most Ike)

B ehaiorism? 1 2 3 4 5

Constructivism? 1 2 3 4 5


These questions refer to your years of experience, training, and current job.

5. H owi manyyears have you been working in your primaryfield?(Please choose one of the following)
00-2 years 03-5 years 6-8years 09-11 years 012 years& over

6. What is your highest educational degree?(Please choose one ofthefollowling)
1AA OBA2B1S Ol tA/MS OSpecialist ODoctorate

7. What is your job title?


8. H ow manyyears have you been atyour currentjob? __years

9. What are your job responsibilities?(Please choose all that ap p ly)
QAd ministration OResearch OTeaching Direct service (one- on-one intervention
0 Inservice training 0 Preservice training consultation with childcare providers'
QOther (please specify):

If teaching is one of your job responsibilities, what level do you teach?_


If direct service is one of your job responsibilities, please describe.


These questions ask aboutyou.

10. What is your age? years

11. What is your racefethnicity?(Please choose one of the following)
OC aucasian QAfrican American 0 Asian
OPuerto Rican OMexican OCuban


0 Native American
OOther (please specify):


@ 2004 Erin Anderson












APPENDIX D





Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education: Professional's Survey
T ill'. .I .J .. ill 1 l[ I I l rr i .:ir 11t., it tl i..'. :i '..: -1i ...'Ill i Ii ll ril ri 1
S' r .- iil ,.i)j' r in iirj hl i .i- Pie -. t e t m ir-,r'l i T,: r.- I 1e -ri r-1- r r i
-lu ,J d.. l ld I r I .: :.:.,r l-ti,?1. th I -.: li .I r l I'. -.... -l I r:.ll.:o1 ,.....l| j iu ti i: -i

Janie is atypically developing three-and-a-half year old girl currently enrolled in a preschool program.
She has been observed to hit other children and bite them when she is unableto get her way. After being
scolded for biting a playmate, she vws seen pulling the same child's hair. Janie also has been seen
taking toys that other children are playing vth, and then purposefully throng the toys at her
classmates. According to Janie's teacher, she rarely uses her words to problem solve, and engages in
aggressive behavior at least fourtimes a day, usually during free play.

Janie's teachers do not knowhowto handle these behaviors and have come to you for help.

HOW OFTEH WOULD YOU RECOIMEHD THIS STRATEGY TO MANAGE THIS PARTICULAR BEHAVIOR?

Never Hardly Ever occasionally Often Almost A!ways
Al vays
Ignoring the behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Redirection (help them find words; give 1 2 3 4 5 8
alternatives to inappropriate language)
Verbal Instruction (explain thv the 1 2 3 4 5 6
behavior is not appropriate)
Time-out/Removal from activities (take 1 2 4 5 6
child away from the class)
Making the child "fi" the problem (child
puts ice on the wound; have the child 1 2 3 4 5 6
apologize)
Giving the child responsibilities or
alternative activities (being line leader, 1 2 3 4 5 6
letthem participate in other activities)
Modeling appropriate behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Talking aith parents 1 2 3 4 5 6
Positive reinforcement of
appropriate behaviors (praise. 1 2 3 4 5 6
stickers)
Suspension or Expulsion 1 2 3 4 5 6
Preventative Efforts to decrease the
probability of problem behaviors (more 1 2 3 4 5 6
than one teacher in the room; have
enough toys)

If there are other strategies you would recommend, please describe here:





Please think aboutyour responses to the vignettes in general. Below, please describe whatfactors influenced your
responses?

Child factors (gender, classroom rna academic performance)?


Teacher factors (beliefs, expectations)?


Environmental factors (classroom support, resources)?


@ 2304 Erin Anderson
















Case Two


Ryan is a four-year-old boy in center-based childcare program. Ryan'steachers have observed him
shoving children off the savings during recess and kick ing classmates vihtile they we re playing during
centers when he did not get his vay. Also, when Ryan is not the first person in line, he has been seen
pushing classmates out of line so that he can be first. His teachers report that the minor aggressive acts
(e.g., pushing in line) occur several times a day; the more serious acts (e.g., kicking and shoving a child
offthe swng) occur at least three times per day.

Ryan's teachers do not knowhowto handle these behaviors and have come to you for help.

HOW OFTEN WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS STRATEGY TO MANAGE THIS PARTICULAR BEHAVIOR?

Never Hardly Ever Occasionally Often Almost Aliays
Al vwys
Ignoring the behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
R direction (help them find words; give 1 2 3 4 5 6
alternatives to inappropriate language)
Verbal Instruction (explain why the 1 2 34 5 8
behavior is not appropriate)
Time-out/Removal from activities (take 1 2 3 4 5 8
child away, from the class)
Making the child "f the problem (child
puts ice on the wound; have the child 1 2 3 4 5 6
apologize)
Giving the child responsibilities or
alternative activities (being line leader, 1 2 3 4 5 6
letthem participate in other activities)
Modeling appropriate behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Talking with parents 1 2 3 4 5 6
Positive reinforcement of
appropriate behaviors (praise. 1 2 3 4 5 6
stickers)
Suspension or Expulsion 1 2 3 4 5 6
Preventative Efforts to decrease the
probability of problem behaviors (more 1 2 3 4 5 6
than one teacher in the room; have
en ou gh toys)


@ 2004 Erin Anderson


Please think aboutyour responses to the vignettes in general. Below, please describe whatfactors influenced your
responses?

* Child factors (gender, classroom rra academic performance)?


* Teacher factors (beliefs, expectations)?


* Environmental factors (classroom support, resources)?















Case Three


Michael just turned three and is attending preschool forthe first time; he has no cognitive or
developmental delays. However, in class Michael frequently is confrontational vith histeachers. He has
yelled at histeachers and other adults in the dassroom vrhen he is askedto do various tasks (e.g., help
pick up his crayons) or followsimple requests (e.g., wait his turn in line). These behaviors occur even
vhen Michael is given ample warning that such requests are going to occur. In dass, Michael also
responds by swearing and using derogatory phrases (e.g., "I hate you", 'You're stupid'"towards his
teachers in response to their questions and prompts. Michael yells outs several times an hour, vhich at
best last several seconds and at worst last for several minutes.

M ichael'steachers do not knowhowto handle these behaviors and have come to you for help.

HOW OFTEH WOULD YOU RECOMMEHD THIS STRATEGY TO MANAGE THIS PARTICULAR BEHAVIOR?

Never Hardly Ever Occasionally Often Almost AlIays
Al ways
Ignoring the behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Redirection (help them find words; give 1 2 3 4 5 6
alternatives to inappropriate language)
Verbal Instruction (explain whv the 1 2 3 4 5 6
behavior is not appropriate)
Time-out/Removal from activities (take 1 2 3 4 5 6
child aware from the class)
Making the child "fi' the problem (child
puts ice on the wound; have the child 1 2 3 4 5 6
apologize)
Giving the child responsibilities or
alternative activities (being line leader, 1 2 3 4 5 6
letthem participate in other activities)
Modeling appropriate behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Talking with parents 1 2 3 4 5 6
Positive reinforcement of
appropriate behaviors (praise. 1 2 3 4 5 6
stickers)
Suspension or Expulsion 1 2 3 4 5 6
Preventative Efforts to decrease the
probability of problem behaviors (more 1 2 3 4 5
than one teacher in the room; have
enough toys)


@ 2004 Erin Anderson


Please think aboutyour responses to the vignettes in general. Below, please describe whatfactors influencedyour
responses?

* Child factors (gender, classroom rna academic performance)?


* Teacher factors (beliefs, expectations)?


* Environmental factors (classroom support, resources)?















Case F our

Kate istypically developing four-year-old preschooler. Kate'steachers state that vhen she and her
class ates are playing vth toys, they often hear Kate calling them inappropriate nam es (e.g., "dum mmy").
One time vhile Kate was playing with the other children during free time, she was seen taking avay a
stuffed animal from a classmate without asking; vhen the child attempted to take the toy back, Kate
yelled at the child, causing the child to cry. While, the precipitating events differ, Kate yells at her
class ates several times a day. Kate also has been seen making rude comments to peers vwhen they
ask to borrower share an item vith her.

Kate's teachers do not knowhowto handle these behaviors and have come to you for help.

HOW OFTEN WOULD YOU RECOMuEND THIS STRATEGY TO MANAGE THIS PARTICULAR BEHAVIOR?

Never Hardly Ever Occasionally Often Almost Alwys
Al ways
Ignoring the behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Redirection (help them find words; give 1 2 4 5
alternatives to inappropriate language)
Verbal Instruction (explain why the 1 2 3 4 5 6
behavior is not appropriate)
Time-out/Removal from activities (take 1 2 3 4 5
child away from the class)
Making the child '" h the problem (child
puts ice on the wound; have the child 1 2 3 4 5 6
apologize)
Giving the child responsibilities or
alternative activities (being line leader, 1 2 3 4 5 6
letthem participate in other activities)
Modeling appropriate behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Talking with parents 1 2 3 4 5 6
Positive reinforcement of
appropriate behaviors (praise. 1 2 3 4 5 6
stickers)
Suspension or Expulsion 1 2 3 4 5 6
Preventative Efforts to decrease the
probability of problem behaviors (more 2 3 4 5 6
than one teacher in the room; have
enough toys)


S2004 Erin Anderson









114


Please think aboutyour responses to the vignettes in general. Belo w, please describe whatfactors influenced your
responses?

* Child factors (gender, classroorrdacademic performance)?


* Teacher factors (beliefs, expectations ?


* Environmental factors (classroom support, resources)?















Case Five

Jimmy is a three-and-a-half year old preschooler vith no developmental delays or disabilities. Jimmy often
refuses to followteachers' requests. Even vith forewarning about upcoming changes in activities, he has a
particularly difficult time transitioning from his preferred activity of playing vith blocks. When asked to join
circle time, if it is not his preferred activity of the moment, he often refuses the request. Additionally, vhen
adults attempt to guide Jimmy to an activity, he pulls away. He also has been seen running away from
requested activities, pouting in corners and sitting with his arms crossed when he does not get his way.
Jimm 's teachers state that he engages in such behaviors tyo or three times a day.

Jimm y's teachers do not knowhowto handle these behaviors and have come to you for help.

HOW OFTEN WOULD YOU RECOMuEND THIS STRATEGY TO MANAGE THIS PARTICULAR BEHAVIOR?

Never Hardly Ever Occasionally Often Almost AlJys
Al ways
Ignoring the behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Redirection (help them find words; give 1 2 4 5
alternatives to inappropriate language)
Verbal Instruction (explain why the 1 2 3 4 5 6
behavior is not appropriate)
Time-out/Removal from activities (take 1 2 3 4 5
child away from the class)
Making the child '" h the problem (child
puts ice on the wound; have the child 1 2 3 4 5 6
apologize)
Giving the child responsibilities or
alternative activities (being line leader, 1 2 3 4 5 6
letthem participate in other activities)
Modeling appropriate behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Talking with parents 1 2 3 4 5 6
Positive reinforcement of
appropriate behaviors (praise. 1 2 3 4 5 6
stickers)
Suspension or Expulsion 1 2 3 4 5 6
Preventative Efforts to decrease the
probability of problem behaviors (more 2 3 4 5 6
than one teacher in the room; have
enough toys)


S2004 Erin Anderson









115


Please think aboutyour responses to the vignettes in general. Belo w, please describe whatfactors influenced your
responses?

* Child factors (gender, classroorrdacademic performance)?


* Teacher factors (beliefs, expectations ?


* Environmental factors (classroom support, resources)?















Case Six


E lizabeth is four years old and is enrolled in preschool. Although she has no noted delays or disabilities,
herteachers daim that she does not work vell vith other dassmates. For example, during dassroom
activities that require the children to work on art projects, Elizabeth refuses to cooperate v.ith her
class ates and vill not share art supplies. This occurs even though there are plenty of suppliesto share
and despite frequent teacher requests for her to do so. At the end of these activities, when Elizabeth is
asked to help dean up, she adamantly refusesto help, sits on the floor, refusing to move. Whether the
activity Elizabeth is engaged in is one of her favorites or not has little to do ith the likelihood that she vill
comply vith teacher requests. Elizabeth refusesto cooperate vith others about two orthree times a day.

E lizabeth's teachers do not knowhowto handle these behaviors and have com e to you for help.

HOW OFTEH WOULD YOU RECOMMEHD THIS STRATEGY TO MANAGE THIS PARTICULAR BEHAVIOR?

Never Hardly Ever Occasionally Often Almost AlaIys
Al vays
Ignoring the behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Redirection (help them find words; give 1 2 3 4 5 6
alternatives to inappropriate language)
Verbal Instruction (explain whv the 1 2 3 4 5 6
behavior is not appropriate)
Time-out/Removal from activities (take 1 2 3 4 5 6
child aware from the class)
Making the child "fi' the problem (child
puts ice on the wound; have the child 1 2 3 4 5 6
apologize)
Giving the child responsibilities or
alternative activities (being line leader, 1 2 3 4 5 6
letthem participate in other activities)
Modeling appropriate behavior 1 2 3 4 5 6
Talking with parents 1 2 3 4 5 6
Positive reinforcement of
appropriate behaviors (praise. 1 2 3 4 5 6
stickers)
Suspension or Expulsion 1 2 3 4 5 6
Preventative Efforts to decrease the
probability of problem behaviors (more 1 2 3 4 5
than one teacher in the room; have
enough toys)


@ 2004 Erin Anderson


Please think aboutyour responses to the vignettes in general. Below, please describe whatfactors influencedyour
responses?

* Child factors (gender, classroom rnra academic performance)?


* Teacher factors (beliefs, expectations)?


* Environmental factors (classroom support, resources)?









APPENDIX E
CONTACT LETTER

Re: UF Survey Participation Request (UF IRB#:2006-U-249)

Dear Dr. [LastName],

We are conducting a study about challenging behaviors in young children and we need your
help! We would like to invite you to participate in this study about young children exhibiting
challenging behaviors in early childhood settings by completing an online survey. This study will
help us learn more about how to appropriately work with problem behaviors in young children.
This information will then allow us to improve the help we provide to childcare providers who
deal with challenging behaviors daily.

To assist us with this study, we ask that you complete the Behavioral Challenges in Early
Childhood Education: Professional's Survey, which will take approximately 30 minutes. If you
are interested in participating, please go to [SurveyLink]. Completion of this survey will serve as
your consent to participate. If you change your mind about participation in the study, you may
withdraw at any time without penalty. You do not have to answer any questions you do not wish
to answer. There are no risks involved, and the benefit of participating is to assist us in
increasing our understanding of how to better serve children exhibiting common, yet
challenging, behaviors. No compensation will be provided for participation in this study.

Be assured that all results from this study are confidential; your identity will be kept confidential
to the extent provided by law. Upon completion of the online survey, a code number will be used
instead of names. Your identity and that of your place of employment will not be revealed to
anyone or appear in any written work. The only people who will know who participates are
project staff. If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to contact Erin
Anderson (rentedea@hotmail.com or 352-514-3705) or Dr. Tina Smith (tmsmith@coe.ufl.edu or
352-392-0723). If you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a participant in this
study, you may contact the UF Institutional Review Board office, PO Box 112250, University of
Florida, Gainesville, Fl 32611-2250 (phone: 352-392-0433).

Thank you so much in advance for your assistance in this project!

Sincerely,



Erin Anderson, M.A.E.
Doctoral Student, School Psychology
University of Florida


Tina Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School Psychology
University of Florida









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Erin Anderson was born on August 19, 1976 in Tampa, Florida. Her family includes

parents, Rodney Anderson, and Shirley and Curt Gilmer, brother, Christopher, and step-sister,

Kelli Gilmer. Erin graduated from high school in 1994, and attended the University of Florida

where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 1998. Erin attended graduate

school at the University of Florida in the school psychology program. She earned her Master of

Arts in Education in December 2002. Erin completed her doctoral internship at Childrens'

Hospital Los Angeles with a specialization in developmental disabilities, as a well as a

fellowship in neurodevelopmental disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel

Hill's Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning (CDL). Currently, Erin works

as a school psychologist for the School District of Hillsborough County. She received her Ph.D.

in school psychology from the University of Florida in December 2007.





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1 MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD: EFFECT OF THEORETICAL ORIENTATION ON STRATEGY RECOMMENDATION By ERIN MICHELLE ANDERSON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Erin Michelle Anderson

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3 To my loving and supportive family

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My sincerest gratitude goes out to all of those who have supported me throughout the duration of this project. I express my never-e nding appreciation to fa mily, specifically, my mother and step-father, Shirley and Curt Gilm er, my father, Rodney Anderson, and my brother and step-sister, Christopher Anderson and Kelli Gilmer, for their continued encouragement, guidance and love. I owe my accomplishments to them. I thank my friends who have continuously supported my passions and academic endeavors, and have supported me immensely over the past seven years. I thank Mary Thomas and Christina Hayes (my friend and part-time statistical consultant) in particul ar for always believing in me. Finally, I express my gratitude to the pr ofessionals who have supported me throughout this project. My dissertation committee, Drs. Na ncy Waldron, Hazel Jones, and Kristen Kemple, as well as those who have served on my committ ee in the past, Drs. Jennifer Asmus, Maureen Conroy, Randy Penfield, and Anne Seraphine. They have shared their individual and combined knowledge and expertise over the years, which have facilitated the completi on of this project. I also thank Dr. David Miller and Dr. Stephen Hooper for the generous assistance with my statistical analyses. Most impor tantly, I thank my dissertation committee chair and advisor, Dr. Tina Smith-Bonahue, for her constant wisdom encouragement, and guidance. She has continuously supported and challenged me throughout my academic career, and for that I am eternally grateful.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................10 Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood............................................................................10 Increased Use of Childcare..............................................................................................11 Definition of Challenging Behaviors...............................................................................14 Defining challenging behaviors in rela tion to their environmental impact..............14 Types of challenging behaviors................................................................................15 Severity of challenging behaviors............................................................................16 Developmental Nature of Challenging Behaviors...........................................................16 The Transactional Nature of Challenging Behaviors......................................................18 The Impact of Challenging Behaviors.............................................................................21 Challenging behaviors across the life span..............................................................21 Effects of challenging behavi ors on social relationships.........................................23 Effects challenging behaviors on academic performance........................................24 Empirically Supported Strategies for Addressing Challenging Behaviors.............................24 The Role of Theoretical Orientation................................................................................25 Constructivist Perspectives fo r Managing Challenging Behaviors.................................29 Perspectives regarding management strategies........................................................29 Programmatic interventions.....................................................................................30 Specific constructivist strategies..............................................................................36 Behavioral Perspectives for Ma naging Challenging Behaviors......................................37 Strategies aimed at enha ncing communication skills...............................................39 Specific behavioral strategies...................................................................................40 Comparisons Between Constructivism and Behaviorism...............................................44 Importance of Quality Childcare............................................................................................45 Practitioners Need for Training......................................................................................48 Perceived competence and challenging behaviors...................................................51 Perceived competence and inclusion........................................................................54 2 METHODS........................................................................................................................ .....57 Participants................................................................................................................... ..........57 Instrumentation................................................................................................................ .......57 The Behavioral Challenges in Early Ch ildhood Education: Professionals Survey........57 Demographic Questionnaire............................................................................................60 Procedure...................................................................................................................... ..........60 Data Analysis.................................................................................................................. ........61

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6 Scoring and Statistical Analyses.....................................................................................61 Research question.....................................................................................................62 Hypothesis................................................................................................................62 Data analyses............................................................................................................62 Reliability.................................................................................................................63 3 RESULTS........................................................................................................................ .......65 Descriptive Statistics.......................................................................................................65 Demographic Variables...................................................................................................66 Age...........................................................................................................................67 Years of experience..................................................................................................67 Area of specialization...............................................................................................68 Degree held..............................................................................................................68 Race/ethnicity...........................................................................................................68 Gender......................................................................................................................69 Split-Plot Analysis of Variance (SPANOVA)................................................................69 Follow-up Analyses.........................................................................................................70 Analysis of Open-Ended Responses................................................................................71 4 DISCUSSION..................................................................................................................... ....86 Relationship Between Strategy a nd Theoretical Orientation..........................................86 Relationship Between Strategy Recommendation and Types of Challenging Behavior.......................................................................................................................87 Physical aggression..................................................................................................87 Verbal aggression.....................................................................................................88 Noncompliant behavior............................................................................................88 Trends in Open-Ended Responses...................................................................................90 Implications of the Findings...................................................................................................92 Limitations of the Current Study............................................................................................95 Internal Validity.............................................................................................................. .96 External Validity.............................................................................................................98 Future Research................................................................................................................ ......99 APPENDIX A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONAIRRE................................................................................103 B BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES IN EA RLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION....................104 C BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES INE ARLY CHILDHOOD EDUATION: PROFESSIONAL'S SURVEY DE MOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE.............................110 D BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES INE ARLY CHILDHOOD EDUATION: PROFESSIONAL'S SURVEY.............................................................................................111 E CONTACT LETTER............................................................................................................117

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7 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................118 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................130

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3.1 Explanation of assignments of numerical values and statistical analyses used for demographic and survey data.............................................................................................64 4-2 Analysis of variance for age..............................................................................................75 4-3 Analysis of variance for years of experience.....................................................................76 4-4 Analysis of variance fo r area of specialization..................................................................77 4-5 Analysis of variance for degree held.................................................................................78 4-6 Analysis of variance for race/ethnicity..............................................................................79 4-7 Descriptive statisti cs for race/ethnicity..............................................................................80 4-8 T-tests for gender......................................................................................................... ......81 4-9 Mauchleys test of sphericity.............................................................................................81 4-10 SPANOVA using the Huynh-Feldt correction..................................................................82 4-11 Marginal means for theoretical orientation by strategy.....................................................82 4-12 Marginal means for strategy by behavior..........................................................................83 4-13 Percentage (%) and number (n) of open-e nded categories by theoretical orientation.......84 4-14 Sample of open-ended strate gies reported by behaviorists................................................84 4-15 Open-ended strategies reported by constructivists............................................................85

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9 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD: EFFECT OF THEORETICAL ORIENTATION ON STRATEGY RECOMMENDATION By Erin Michelle Anderson December 2007 Chair: Tina Smith-Bonahue Major: School Psychology Challenging behaviors in young children are a growing problem that interferes with childrens social-emotional and academic development. Within the field of early childhood, experts differ regarding appropriate practices for addressing challeng ing behavior in young children. This study explores the relationship between experts theoretical orientations and strategy recommendations for addressing 3 type s of challenging behaviors in young children. This study examines whether identifying as a be haviorist or constructiv ist affects specific strategies recommended for managing physic al aggression, verb al aggression, and noncompliance in threeand four-year-old childre n. Participants responded to survey vignettes regarding the likelihood th at they would recommend 11 strategi es. Theoretical orientation and the behavior presented were found to impact the likelihood of specific strategy recommendation. Implications regarding the impact of such fi ndings on consultative relationships and teacher training is discussed.

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10 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood Behavior problems have long been a common and troubling problem for educators, with detrimental side effects both for st udents and teachers. In fact, ch allenging behaviors are cited as one of the greatest challenges f aced by preschool teachers and childcare providers each year (Arnold, McWilliams, & Arnold, 1998). As early as 1980, researchers suggested that as many as 24% of all preschool children demonstrated significant challe nging behaviors (Earls, 1980). In 1993, Webster-Stratton found that th e incidence of difficult beha viors was steadily increasing. Although citing a slightly lower prevalence rate Campbell (1995) suggested that between 1015% of preschool children exhibit mild to moderate behavior problems. Willoughby, Kupersmidt, and Bryant (2001) report startling numbers of preschool children exhibiting antisocial behaviors -approxi mately 40% of preschoolers exhibit at least one, and approximately 10% of preschools ex hibit six or more antisocial be haviors a day. More currently, Fixsen, Powell, and Dunlap, ( 2003) suggested that between 8 and 25% of all preschool and kindergarten children display externalizing behavi ors in the classroom. These rates suggest that challenging behaviors have been present in pr eschool and childcare settings for a number of years and remain a significant problem today. The numerous consequences of such difficult be haviors result in a myriad of problems for children and teachers. For example, Bryant and colleagues (1999) suggest that coping with disruptive, aggressive, and noncom pliant behaviors in the classr oom environment is one of the biggest concerns for childcare providers and Head Start teachers (Bryant, Vizzard, Willoughby, & Kupersmidt, 1999). The concern of managing ch allenging behaviors is becoming increasingly important to understand as the use of childcare environments is stead ily increasing (Buck &

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11 Ambrosino, 2004). Not only are childhood behavioral difficulties problematic for the individual child and the other children in th eir classroom, they also are difficult for the childcare providers serving these young children. I begin with a general discussion regarding the increased use of childcare, followed by a discussion of definitions of cha llenging behaviors and a descripti on of the developmental nature of challenging behaviors. Subsequently, a disc ussion regarding the tran sactional nature of challenging behaviors, specifically in relation to the childcare environment, will occur. Additionally, this chapter will describe the impact of challenging behaviors on the individual child, including an explanation of the effects of challenging behaviors over time, and on social interactions and academic performance, while emphasizing the importance of early intervention for remediating such problems. I then discuss the research regarding eff ective strategies for managing challenging behaviors in young children. Specifica lly, the role of theoretical orientation (e.g., constructivism and behaviorism) is discussed, and effective strate gies that are supported in the literature for both perspectives are examined; a brief comparative discussion of the two fields follows. The final section of this paper focuses on the importance of quality childcare, practitioners need for training and the impact of level of education a nd years of experience on practitioners knowledge and competence when working w ith challenging behaviors. Increased Use of Childcare Increasingly more families are relying on childcare programs for the care of their young children today (Buck & Ambrosino, 2004; Markos -Capps & Godfrey, 1999; Peth-Pierce, 1998; Philips & Adams, 2001). Phillips and Adams (2001) suggested that the majority of children under three years of age spend a substantial amount of their ti me in non-parental childcare. Further, The National Institute of Child Heal th and Human Developmen t (NICHD) Early Child

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12 Care Research Network (2004) stated that prio r to beginning school the majority of children living in the United States will r eceive some form of non-maternal childcare. Such increases in the reported use of childcare are in part due to an increase in pare nts need, particularly mothers need, to be employed outside of the home (Wol ery, Brashers, & Neitzel, 2002). Further, recent updates in welfare policies also re quire recipients of welfare se rvices to either be employed outside of the home or attend school (Wolery, Br ashers, & Neitzel, 2002), which plays a direct role in the increased relia nce on childcare services. Markos-Capps and Godfrey (1999) estimated that 75% of mothers with young children were an active part of the workforce, leavi ng their children to the daily care of childcare providers. Additionally, findings from the NI CHD longitudinal study of early childcare environments suggest that families who rely more heavily on the mothers income are more likely to depend on childcare, enroll their children in childcare at an earlier age, and use childcare environments for longer hours during the day (Peth-Pierce, 1998). In 1991, 52.8% of preschool children age 3 to 5 we re enrolled in cen ter-based early childcare programs, not including home-based childcare services; in 1995, this percentage rose to 55.1, and in 2001, it rose to 56.4 (National Center for Education Statis tics, 2002). Since these st atistics do not include the use of family-based childcare services, usi ng these numbers as an estimate for the overall numbers of children in non-parental care may be a gross underestimate. When examining the use of childcare progr ams, including family-based programs, approximately three out of four preschool children were enrolled in some form of childcare in 1995 (National Center for Educat ion Statistics, 2002). This stat istic included children whose mothers were employed outside of the home, as well as those whose mothers where not employed outside of the home (Hofferth, Shau man, Henke, & West, 1998), as even mothers who

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13 do not work outside of their home rely on the supports of external childcare. In 1995, it was estimated that more than 6.8 million preschool children were enrolled in childcare (West, Wright, & Hausken, 1995). Thus, as more frequent and continued reliance on childcare facilities persists, the importance of understanding and examining this environment increases. Not only are the sheer numbers of children enro lled in childcare settings increasing, the diversity of the children also is expanding, as increasing numbers of children with disabilities are included in regular child care se ttings (Odom & Diamond, 1998). Sp ecifically, characteristics of children with disabilities vary along physical, social, academic, and behavioral continuums (Lieber, et al., 2000). Thus, trends in the demand for childcare have resulted in a stressed system, as many educators and childcare providers t oday face the increasing need to accommodate children from diverse populations, with various needs, in classr oom settings (Wilczenski, 1992). Types of childcare environments vary tremendously: childcare provided by family members, home childcare environments, a nd childcare centers (NICHD, 2004). Childcare provided by family a member, which is most hi ghly relied upon by lower income families, has been described as care by a relative either in the childs home or the family members home. The other type of home-based childca re is described as childcare pr ovided in a home, other than the childs home, by someone other than a family me mber, and with other children present (NICHD, 2004). Center based childcare places children in an environment outside the home with other children present. While there are benefits and lim itations of each type of childcare option, Belsky (1999) notes interesting findings re lated to children cared for by anyone other than their parents. Specifically, such children often demonstrate mo re behavior problems than children cared for by their parents, including higher rates of aggre ssive behaviors and less compliance with adult requests (Belsky, 1999).

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14 Cryer, Hurwitz, and Wolery (2001) suggest th at the majority of early childhood programs serve children with developmental delays or disabilities. Markos-Ca pps and Godfrey (1999) found that 65% of childcare centers surveyed were currently serving childre n with special needs. However, the percentage of ch ildren with special needs actual ly being served in inclusive settings is surprisingly low, with only 5% of children with special needs enrolled in childcare environments. This suggests that while many ch ildcare centers are serving children with special needs, few children with specific disabilitie s actually are enrolled in early childcare environments. Nevertheless, the tr end in the education system has been that the use of inclusive childcare settings will continuously increase. Definition of Challenging Behaviors Researchers have developed various definitions of the term challenging behaviors (Boulware, Schwartz, & McBride, 1999; Bu ck & Amrbrosino, 2004; Doss & Reichle, 1991; Powell, Fixsen, & Dunlap, 2003; Strain & Hemmeter; 1999). Many have conceptualized challenging behaviors based upon the immediate impact on the indivi dual child and their environment, as well as the long-term effects on the individual child. Also, challenging behaviors can include a wide range of behaviors (e.g., sc reaming, hitting, kicking, noncompliance) and can be described in numerous ways (e.g., problem be haviors, behavioral di fficulties, behavior disorders). Defining challenging behaviors in rel ation to their environmental impact Strain and Hemmeter (1999) define challengi ng behaviors in terms of the effects such behaviors have on others, suggesting that chal lenging behaviors are a ny behaviors that an individual, such as a teacher or parent, finds to be difficult to manage. On the other hand, Boulware, Schwartz, and McBride (1999) define challenging behaviors as ones that are unsafe, impede a childs learning or school functioning, or are considered to be a problem by the family.

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15 The Division of Early Childhood (DEC) supports re search suggesting that challenging behaviors can affect or cause harm to th e individual, another child, or th e environment (Doss & Reichle, 1991). Further, in defining challenging behavior s, Buck and Ambrosino (2004) focus on the specific problem behaviors that a child may exhi bit including, children w ho bite themselves or others and those who are physically aggressive toward other children or adults. Children who engage in various non-aggressive behaviors, including children who are defiant or noncompliant, overly active, and impulsive in also are included in their definition of challenging behaviors (Buck & Ambrosino, 2004). The Center for Evidence-based Practice: Y oung Children with Challenging Behaviors (The Center) is a nationally funded re search center that aims to id entify and describe appropriate practices for managing challeng ing behaviors in young children (Powell, Fixsen, & Dunlap, 2003). The Center defines challenging behavior as any continuous pattern of behavior, or perceptions of that behavior, wh ich interferes with, or may pote ntially interfere with, favorable learning and social outcomes. The Centers defi nition identifies challengi ng behaviors in terms of the effects such behaviors have on others and the environment; these behaviors may include, yet are not limited to, physical and verbal aggres sion, destructive behaviors, noncompliance, and withdrawal (Powell, Fixsen, & Dunlap, 2003). Types of challenging behaviors Cullinan (2002) separates various types of emotional and behavioral problems in terms of seven descriptors: defiance and aggression, hype ractivity, socialized deviance, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and learning disorders. Further, Cullinan (2002) suggests that the majority of these descriptor s fall under two major categories: those that plac e the individual in conflict with his/her environment, labeled envi ronmental conflict, and those that interfere with an individuals personal development, labeled personal disturbance. These two descriptive

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16 categories align closely with the commonly used definitions of externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Externalizing behavior s are behaviors that are more a pparent to observers and include physical and verbal aggression (e.g., fighting, destructiveness, and disobedience) (Campbell, 2002; Campbell, 1995). On the other hand, internaliz ing behaviors are those that are not as easily observed by others and include behaviors su ch as withdrawal, unha ppiness, anxiety, or noncompliance (Campbell, 1995; Campbe ll, 2002; Reynolds & Sattler, 2002). Severity of challenging behaviors In addition to describing the morphology of problem behavior, terminology used to describe behavior problems attempts to classify the severity of behaviors encompassing a broad spectrum ranging from mild problems (i.e., behavi or difficulties) to more severe ones (i.e., behavior disorders). Interestingl y, Keenan and Wakschlag (2002) poi nt out the lack of consensus regarding the conceptualization of such behavioral problems. For the purpose of the current paper, the term challenging behaviors will be used when discussing problematic preschool behavior. The term behavior disorders will be used in reference to diagnosed behavior disorders in preschool children (i.e., Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc.) or with more extreme behavior pr oblems (i.e., violence, stealing) often associated with severe disabilities or diagnoses with th e adolescent population. To develop a definition of challenging behaviors for the purpose of this paper, aspects of a nu mber of these definitions were combined. To that end, challenging behaviors is defined in the following way: challenging behaviors are behaviors that othe rs view as difficult to manage and interfere with the childs social and academic development. Developmental Nature of Challenging Behaviors Campbells (2002) work suggests that some beha viors adults find difficult to manage in young children often are typical, even developmentally appropriate, depending on the childrens

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17 age (i.e., aggression in 3 year-old boys). Add itionally, Campbell purports that some behavior problems evident in preschool children on the whole will become less common, and in fact, decrease with age and development as children at tempt to develop a more mature sense of self (Campbell, 2002; 1995). Keenan and Wakschlag (2000) support this view, suggesting that many of the challenging behaviors (e.g., tantrums, aggression, noncompliance, etc.) exhibited by preschool children are normal beha viors at this age. For exampl e, research by Earls (1980), and Richman, Stevenson, and Graham (1982) suggests th at many parents of 4-year-old children have difficulties with non-compliant behavior, poor sibli ng interactions, and inadequate self-control. Additionally, this research indicates that these mothers repeatedly descri be their children as overactive, restless, hard to c ontrol, and as often engaging in attention seeking behaviors, implying that such behaviors are normal for young children. Nonetheless, while occasional noncompliance with parental requests and aggres sive behaviors may be normal, pervasive and continual behaviors are not (Keen an & Wakschlag, 2002). Further, the effectiveness with which typical, yet challenging behaviors are managed by parents and teachers during the preschool years has a role in determining whethe r these behaviors pe rsist or worsen. The developmental perspective presumes that the occurrence of challenging behaviors in early childhood generally results fr om the childs desire for independence, and frustration from continued limit setting by parents and caret akers (Keenan & Wakschlag, 2000). During the preschool years, children endure significant social, behavioral, and cognitive changes, including the development of self-control a nd self-regulation and increased fr ustration tolerance. Tremblay (2000) suggests that most young children engage in some forms of aggressive and noncompliant behaviors prior to the development of such af orementioned changes; it is with such social,

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18 behavioral, and cognitive changes that children learn to inhib it inappropriate behaviors, and develop means of compensating for thei r frustrations (Tremblay, 2000). Determining which behaviors are merely deve lopmental and which are problematic, which behaviors are troublesome and wh ich are pathological present challenges to care providers as well as researchers (Campbell, 1995 ). Research in this area has been unable to systematically decipher if challenging behaviors th at are obvious extremes of beha vior are more likely to persist (Campbell, 2002). Also, Keenan and Wakschlag (2002) noted that determining whether a behavior is typical or atypi cal in young children is extrem ely difficult due to continual developmental changes. Unders tanding the intensity, frequency, and inflexibility of such behaviors is necessary to di stinguish developmentally appr opriate acting out from truly pathological behaviors (Keenan & Wakschla g, 2002). Therefore, without an adequate understanding of the way in which behavior proble ms manifest, it is difficult to accurately define behavior problems. In other words, definitions of challenging behaviors are complicated due to the developmental nature of be havior regulation (Campbell, 2002). The Transactional Nature of Challenging Behaviors As previously described, while behavior problems are common among young children, they can have serious consequences for all i nvolved. While some challenging behaviors are actually developmentally appropriate, others may be related to the childs characteristics or other disabling conditions. Whatever the origin of the behavior problem, the extent to which challenging behaviors become a disability depe nds in large part on the way in which the behaviors are managed. Thus, although it is impo rtant to understand the way in which behavior problems develop, also important to understa nd are the key factors that influence the development of a behavior problem. Often, behavi or problems develop as a result of numerous

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19 environmental factors including peer and family relationships, and the reciprocal interactions between environmental factors and the child. Sameroff and Chandlers (1975) transactional model of development provides a useful framework for understanding the development of young children, as well as the development of problem behaviors. Probably the most widely acce pted theory in the field of child development (Chase-Lansdale, 1998), Sameroff and Chandlers th eory proposes that al l behaviors, including challenging ones, are a product of the interaction between the child and his/her environment over time (Sameroff & Fiese, 1990; 2000). Additionally, all components of a childs typical daily interactions are based upon multifaceted and recipro cal interactions between the child and his/her environment; each aspect of the childs environmen t, including his/her parents, siblings, peers, and childcare providers are influent ial figures. These individuals play an integral part in the childs development as they shape the everyday behaviors of the child (Sameroff & Fiese, 1990; 2000). Sameroffs (1993) theory also suggests that wh ile the environment im pacts the child, the child has an impact on the environment -thus, th e child is a determining factor of the childs current experiences. In other words, as childr en influence their environment, the environment subsequently influences children (Sameroff & Fiese, 1990; 2000). In order for a true transaction to occur, the environment, which includes the beha viors of parents and other adults in the childs life, must react to the child in a manner unique to the specific situation (Sameroff, 1993). This can be explained by examining parent-child inte ractions. A parent must respond uniquely to the child solely because of the behavior initiated. If a parents predominant interaction style is not changed by the behavior of the child, a genuine transaction has not occurred (Sameroff, 1993,

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20 p.7). This understanding of true transactions and their impact on the individual child also holds true for other components of the childs environment. For example, in addition to th e childs home environment, the childcare environment is a critical component in the trans actional nature of a childs deve lopment, as children today spend much of their time in such a setting. Transactions between a child and a childcare provider occur throughout a childs day, and by th e very definition of a transac tion, subsequently impact both the child and the childcare provider equally. Ba sic daily interactions between a child and a childcare provider influence the childs environm ent and cultivate the childs behavior over time. More specifically, the strategies used by childcare providers to manage challenging behaviors are yet another part of such an environment, whic h impacts a childs daily behavioral functioning, as well as their overall development. For this reason, factors influencing the re lationship between a child and a childcare provider should be examined; child care providers strategies fo r managing challenging behaviors are just one of these factors. To ignore the transactional nature of challenging behaviors and the strategies used to manage challenging behavi ors in young children, and simply describe such behaviors based upon the childs overt actions, wo uld fail to account for the context in which specific behaviors are exhibited. By engaging in such a narrow vi ew of early childhood challenging behaviors a child may be punished fo r behaviors that are likely regarded as appropriate in certain settings. As a result of this importance, this study will focus on the less commonly examined environment of childcare centers, specifically the daily behavioral practices of childcare providers.

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21 The Impact of Challenging Behaviors Challenging behaviors across the life span Research suggests that behavior problems evid ent in the preschool ye ars are suggestive of future conduct problems, includ ing antisocial behaviors and juve nile delinquency (Fox, Dunlap, & Cushing, 2002; Masse, & Tremblay, 1999; St ormont, 2002; Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2001; White Moffit, Earls, Robins, & S ilva, 1990). Without effective prevention and intervention efforts, challenging behaviors eviden t in early childhood are a predictive factor in the development of behavior problems at various points in time. To use Sameroff and Chandlers language, the transactions betw een preschool children and their environment (e.g., parents, childcare providers) may develop into patterns of behavior that can follow the child throughout their life. For example, children who display prob lems with overactivity and peers in preschool are likely to have future problems th rough age eight (Richman, et al., 1982). Through a thorough review of the literature Bryant and colleagues provide powerful evidence supporting the importance of identifying challenging beha viors early (Bryant, Vizzard, Willoughby, & Kupersmidt, 1999). For example, they report White, Moffit, Earls, Robins, and Silvas (1990) research sugge sting that challeng ing behaviors exhibited in early childhood settings is one of the most powerful indicators of delinquent behavior at age eleven. White and colleagues (1990) research that claims various characteristics of preschool children were indicative of antisocial behaviors at age eleven. Th is research suggested th at 70% of the children identified as antisocial at age eleven were accu rately identified during preschool as antisocial, based on parent ratings of their behavior, and that behavioral problems in children as young as five years of age can predict conduct problems in the future. Additionally, Bryant and colleagues site research, which suggests th at children who have behavior problems during preschool are more likely to be arrested by the age of fourteen (Patterson & Yoerger, 1993).

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22 A large body of empirically s upported research consistently supports the assertion that challenging behaviors evident in early childhood can be predictive of pr oblems later in life (Campbell, 1995; Hartup & Moore, 1990; Parker & Asher, 1987; Richman, et al., 1982). Aggressive behavior patterns, along with other challenging beha viors, present in early childhood are highly correlated with difficulties in the individuals future (Parker & Asher, 1987). For example, Stormont (2001) indicat es that older children who dem onstrate significant behavior problems have often had histories of behavior difficulties that we re present as early as their preschool years. Challenging behaviors pr esent in early child hood, more specifically externalizing behaviors such as aggression, not only affect peer relationships during the early childhood years, but also may pers ist and lead to problems in th e childs future development. Specifically, Stormont (2001) suggest s that children with stable be havior problems, or behavior problems evident between 3rd and 6th grade, were rated as more active and intense during their preschool years. Research contends that the relationship betw een challenging behavior s and later problems extends beyond childhood. For example, a relations hip has been identified between externalizing behaviors in preschool and c onduct problems in adolescence (R ichman, et al., 1982). Campbell (1995) states that approximatel y 50% of 3-4 year old preschool children labeled hard-tomanage are likely to have difficulties througho ut adolescence. Research conducted with older students supports Campbells (1995) findings th at behavior problems ha ve numerous effects on the individual. For example, Moffit (1990) f ound that children, who engaged in seriously disruptive behavior in adolescence, displayed a long-standing histor y of behavior problems that originated during the preschool years. Clearly, challenging behaviors pr esent in young children can have detrimental effects in adolescence as well.

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23 Not only are early childhood challenging behavior s predictive of behavi oral difficulties in adolescence, behaviors described as difficult to manage in the ear ly years are highly predictive of future behavior problems in later adult hood (Katz & McClellan, 1997; Webster-Stratton, 1997). Specifically, aggression may be one of the most reliable indicators of later adult social maladjustment (Hartup & Moore, 1990). As afor ementioned, children who engage in aggressive behaviors in preschool often are likely to engage in deviant be haviors in middle school; the early onset of aggressive behaviors is the single biggest predictor of future inappropriate and disruptive behaviors and later adult social ma ladjustment (Hartup & Moore, 1990). Due to the future problems stemming from early behavior difficulties, it is imperative to understand and eliminate factors that may contribute to the fu ture development of be havior disorders and difficulties. Effects of challenging behavi ors on social relationships Boulware, Schwartz, and McBride (1999) stat e that challenging be haviors displayed by young children can affect many domains of functi oning including social skills, communication, and play. Young children who demonstrate challe nging behaviors in clas srooms, playgroups or other social environments are at risk for a number of later diffi culties, including social exclusion from peers, and in some extreme cases, social is olation for the child (Do ss & Reichle, 1991; Katz & McClellan, 1997). Additionally, re search suggests that children who continued to have problems until the age of nine rated themselves and were rated by their mothers as being less socially competent, hyperactive, and aggressi ve (Ewing, as cited in Campbell, 1995). Also, difficult behaviors, specifically aggression and impulsivity, are associat ed with other more deviant behaviors. As a result, there is an increased likelihood that peers will dislike the individual child exhibiting disruptive behaviors (Hartup & Moore, 1990).

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24 Effects challenging behavior s on academic performance While externalizing behaviors often present them selves as children age, such difficulties often are comorbid with academic difficulties and internalizing problems as well (Campbell, 1995). Regnier (1998) found that seventh grade st udents with behavior disorders are not only more frequently absent and tardy than their nonbehavior disordered coun terparts, but also are less likely to complete their homework and mo re likely to earn failing grades. Furthermore, adolescent students with behavior disorders are more likely to e xhibit inappropriate behaviors in the classroom and in turn are discussed more of ten at team meetings (Regnier, 1998). While this research focused on adolescents diagnosed with behavior disorders, pr evious research has supported the link between early childhood challenging behaviors and adolescent behavior disorders (Campbell, 1995; Hartup & Moore, 1990; Richman, et al., 1982). Therefore, this research suggests that challeng ing behaviors in the preschool years adversely impacts childrens learning: by extension, such problems seem likely to result in difficulties in the childs future. Moreover, McGee, et al., (1984) report that children who displayed attention and behavior problems and were generally regarded as hard-to -manage, continued to demonstrate behavioral as well as academic difficulties in elementary school. It also has been suggested that children exhibiting challenging behaviors may have difficulties learning new skills (DEC, 1999). Richman, et al., (1982) found that young boys w ho displayed behavioral difficulties until age eight, were more likely to perfor m lower on measures of reading ab ility and general intelligence; however such deficits were not noted in girls. Empirically Supported Strategies for Addressing Challenging Behaviors The impact challenging behaviors have on child ren, their environments, and their future has been well documented. Long standing research suggests that early in tervention is not only beneficial, but also imperative for diminishing th e future possibility that behavior problems in

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25 young children will continue to manifest. The benef its of early intervention and prevention have been extensively supported in the research as effective for decreasing disruptive behavior in young children (Eddy, Reid, & Curry, 2002; Feil, Severson, & Walker, 2002). Furthermore, it has been suggested that the preschool period pr ovides a unique opportunity to address various behaviors evident in young children, as this period can be seen as a critical time in which future behavior difficulties can be eradicat ed (Feil, Severson, & Walker, 2002). The Role of Theoretical Orientation The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Ex ceptional Children (CEC) are the two major governing organizations in the fields of early childhood and early chil dhood special education, respectively. Much discussion regarding the dive rsity between these two fields has occurred over the years. One major area of such discussi on has been on the theore tical orientation and subsequent recommended practices of each field (McLean & Odom, 1993). The field of early childhood education, or EC E, has a longstanding history dating back to the early 1900s and attempts to establish general practices for educating young children have been noted since this time (McLean & Odom, 1993). On the other ha nd, the field of early childhood special education, ECSE, has a much s horter history only dating back to the 1960s (McLean & Odom, 1993). Researchers have s uggested that the birt h of ECSE emerged simultaneously with the development of federal laws such as the Handicapped Childrens Early Education Act passed in 1968, and the field con tinued its growth as Pl-94-142 and PL -457 emerged in mid 1970s and 1980s, respect ively (McLean & Odom, 1993). While each fields theoretical and practical beliefs focus on the care and betterment of young children, their differences do not solely stop at their origination. The field of ECE focuses on the quality childcare of a ll young children. Despite the field s inception in the early 1900s, it

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26 wasnt until the early 1980s, when NAEYC devel oped an accreditation system that included standards of care in ear ly childhood programs (Bredekamp, 1993) Furthermore, these standards only incorporated one specification for young chil dren with special needs in early childhood programs. NAEYCs standards proposed that modi fications are made in the environment, when needed, for children with special needs (Nat ional Association for the Education of Young Children [NAEYC], 1984, p.11). Conversely, the field of ECSE has focused more heavily on the inclusion of young children with special needs in early ch ildhood environments. In response to NAEYCs standards, DEC developed a position statement in 1993 on the inclusi on of children with disabilities in all early childhood settings (Bredekamp. 1993). This statem ent advocated for necessary guidelines for educating young children with sp ecial needs that were not ex plicitly stated in NAEYCs standards (Carta, Atwater, Schw artz, & McConnell, 1993). Such t opics incorporated into DECs position statement included the use of multidisci plinary outcome-based and individualized interventions, transitioning, collaboration, progr ess monitoring, and family involvement and empowerment (Carta, Atwater, Schwartz, & McConnell, 1993). While differences exist between these two fiel ds, researchers have suggested that such differences are warranted as the population each fi eld primarily serves is quite different (McLean & Odom, 1993). Wolery, Strain, and Bailey ( 1992) suggest that th e NAEYCs standards represent the way in which educ ation of all young child ren should be conducted; however, they suggest that these recommendations may not be sufficient for the education of many children with special needs. On the contrary, McLean and Odom (1993) suggest that DECs recommended practices would not be a useful matc h for most typically developing children in early childhood programs. Therefore, it can be stated that these two distinct fields can play

PAGE 27

27 complimentary roles in the education of all young children. Nevertheless, others have suggested that it is the differences in pedagogy that prev ent a closer, more collaborative relationship between the two fields (Bredekamp, 1993). Over the years, generalizati ons regarding two diverse schoo ls of thought within early childhood have been noted. Specifically, research has suggested that distinct philosophical differences also are evident between the fi elds of ECE and ECSE: constructivism and behaviorism, respectively (Bredekamp, 1993; Duncan, Kemple, & Smith, 2002). These two contrasting perspectives were developed out of the two distin ct fields within early childhood (Wolery & Wilbers, 1994). Ultimately, early ch ildhood has roots in constructivist psychology whereas; the field of early ch ildhood special education has it s foundations in behavioral psychology (Duncan, Kemple, & Smith, 2002; Wolery & Bredekamp, 1994). The constructivist perspective, or that of early childhood educat ors, purports that a child constructs his or her environment in orde r to gain knowledge. Specifically, under the constructivists perspective, child ren take an active part in the process of learning by selecting and interpreting information from their environm ent (Miller, 1999). According to this theory, children must actively explore th eir learning environments in order to create meaning and facilitate their development a nd learning (Edwards, 2005). Constr uctivist theories are closely aligned with the maturational view of child deve lopment. Conversely, the behavioral perspective, or the perspective of ear ly childhood special educat ors, purports that the origin of all behaviors exhibited by young children can be accredited to thei r environment (Duncan, Kemple, & Smith, 2000). Specifically, childrens behavior is promot ed and maintained, and their learning is facilitated and developed by both positive and negative environmental experiences.

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28 Much scrutiny over the practices within early childhood educati on and early childhood special education has occurred. Some have suggeste d that the practices within each field, which are based upon their respective theoretical orient ations, are innately incompatible (Wolery & Wilbers, 1994). However, others assert that the practices within each field should be viewed as complimentary rather than contradictory (Appl 1995). Further, Wolery and Bredekamp (1994) suggest that both disciplines, early childhood education and earl y childhood special education, have mixed empirical support for the practices in which they boast. Some pr actices in each field have strong empirical bases for their use, while ot her practices have little empirical support for their use with young children (Wolery & Bredekamp, 1994). Understanding the differences between these two fi elds plays a critical role in the current study. Particularly, the theo retical orientation to which practiti oners ascribe influences their use of various behavioral management strategies. Furt her, the theoretical orie ntation of experts in various fields related to the education of young child ren is highly likely to be influential in the strategies they recommend; thes e strategies may be closely ali gned to theoretical orientation. While DEC and NAEYC are two of the nati onal associations within early childhood, representing two different perspectives within the field of early ch ildhood, both fields are distinctly different from one another. Furthermore, there is the possibility of significant variability in individuals persp ectives within each a ssociation. In other words, it is likely that not all members of NAEYC are constructivist an d not all members of DEC are behaviorists; there is some variation in theo retical orientation of the memb ers within each group, and some individuals are members of both groups. Neve rtheless, the two associations are most representative of the two pe rspectives, early childhood and ear ly childhood special education,

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29 available. As a result, the curr ent study is targeting these two associations in hopes of sampling the best representation of cons tructivists and behaviorists. Constructivist Perspectives for Managing Challenging Behaviors The National Association for the Educa tion of Young Children (NAEYC) outlines developmentally appropriate practices for ma naging the behavior of young children in early childhood environments (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997) Specifically, NAEYC suggests that early childhood educators should promote appropriate social interactions, self-control and selfregulation, and provide children with ample oppor tunities to develop social skills; NAEYC suggests the use of positive guidance techniqu es in accomplishing such goals (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Additionally, NAEYC recommends th at childcare providers enforce clear and consistent consequences for inappropriate be havior, develop unambi guous rules for social interactions and conflict resolution, redirect children to appropriate activ ities, and meet with a child having problems and/or with the childs parents. Further, NAEYC also describes inappropriate practices, which incl udes inhibiting children from e ngaging in social interactions and not intervening with problems between chil dren when necessary (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Perspectives regarding management strategies Various researchers have described perspectiv es for managing challenging behaviors. For example, Scarlett (1998) divides management st rategies for challengi ng behaviors such as aggression, inattention, and noncomp liance into three categories: guidance tactics, prevention tactics, and control tactics. Each of the thre e categories of tactics has associated goals. For example, the purpose of guidance tactics is to promote more mature behavior in young children, prevention tactics aim to avoid unnecessary c onflict, and control tactics focus on gaining immediate control of the situation. Examples of guidance tactics as defined by Scarlett (1998)

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30 would include logical consequences; exampl es of prevention tactics would include distracting/redirecting and ignori ng inappropriate behaviors, and examples of Scarletts (1998) control tactics would include implementing negati ve consequences for inappropriate behaviors. Porter (2000) outlines an additional framewor k for classifying stra tegies to manage challenging behaviors in young ch ildren. Specifically, Porter ( 2000) describes two general methods of managing challenging behaviors: guidance and control. The beliefs behind this view suggest that guidance is a more optimal appro ach to managing young childrens behavior than is control. The foundation of guiding disciplinary strategies is resp ect; children are respected as individuals. The purpose of guidanc e techniques is to teach child ren more appropriate ways of managing behaviors, while control strategies atte mpt to do just that: manage behavior. Porter (2000) suggests that guidance te chniques, if implemented correctly, are sufficient for managing challenging behaviors, and advises against the use of the control component. In managing challenging behaviors, both S carlett (1998) and Porter (2000) deemphasize the use of control tactic s and strategies respectively. Howeve r, Porter (2000) takes a stronger approach and describes control strategies as immediate means for exerting power over children. Both Porter and Scarletts pers pectives regarding managing challe nging behaviors provide useful organizing frameworks. For the practitioner, however, understanding the specific strategies comprising these two perspectiv es is of utmost importance. Programmatic interventions Much of the research related to early interv ention for managing chal lenging behaviors is examined from a programmatic standpoint that is little information is available for specific techniques not part of a comprehensive early intervention program. Of the sources providing information regarding the components of effectiv e early intervention programs and techniques, similar strategies are reported for various types of challenging behaviors. For example, utilizing

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31 positive guidance techniques, engaging in preventative efforts, implementing behavioral interventions, and obtaining consultative services from outside sources are empirically supported management strategies for all challenging behaviors (DEC, 2001; 1999); nevertheless, these techniques are not specific to particular t ypes of challenging beha viors (i.e., aggression, noncompliance). Of particular concern is that, although numerous strategies and interventions have been described as effective, few guidelines are available to help determine the efficacy of one strategy over another in preventing and reme diating challenging behaviors (Kern & Dunlap, 1999). Three major components of successful early intervention programs are consistently supported throughout the research : parent involvement, comp rehensiveness (i.e., early implementation and thoroughness), and structur e of the program (Ramey & Ramey, 1998). Ramey and Ramey (1998) claim that the most ef fective interventions for young children begin early in life, are thorough and structured, and deal with the needs of both the children and families involved. Campbell (2002) reviews several research studies regarding the effectiveness of early intervention for challenging behavior in preschool children, a nd through this review, studies consistently have supporte d the involvement of parents, th e utilization of a variety of services over time, and a structured curricu lum (Andrews. et al., 1982; Lazar & Darlington, 1982). Lazar and Darlington (1982) examined the long-term effects of 12 early intervention programs on the cognitive development of the ch ildren enrolled. All of the programs studied consisted of a structured curriculum and low child-adult ratios. The findings from this study suggest that when controlling for economic b ackground, children from low-income families that were enrolled in comprehensive early intervention programs were less likely to repeat a grade in

PAGE 32

32 school and to be placed in speci al education classes. Although this study did not find long-term improvements in childrens IQ, chil drens perceived competence in addition to parents goals for their children were enhanced simply by their enrollment in the program. Overall, Lazar and Darlingtons (1982) findings stress the importa nce of high quality, comprehensive early intervention programs for young children, and although this research is somewhat outdated, it clearly demonstrates that the importance of hi gh quality and comprehensive early intervention has been recognized for many years. Parent involvement has been identified as a cr itical factor in succe ssful early intervention programs for many years as well. Andrews a nd colleagues (1982) evaluated the long-term effectiveness of infant early in tervention programs th at emphasized maternal involvement; gains made by the infants enrolled were examined dur ing their preschool year s. Components of the interventions incorporated a detailed curriculum fo r mothers that covered topics such as child rearing, health and development, and home mana gement. Positive learning experiences for the children and support for the mothers also were inte gral elements of the intervention programs. At follow-up, mothers involved in the programs were more positive and sensitive, and less restrictive with their children. Additionally, enrolled mothers used more effective language and teaching strategies with their children. Findings from this study found improvements in cognitive functioning for the children, and more positive and more verbal interactions with their mothers; some of the gains found initially were maintained after one year. As a result of this study, the involvement of parents, particul arly mothers, has played a cruc ial role in early intervention programs since this time. For example, Reynolds and Temple (1998) examined the effects of the Child Parent Centers (CPC) in Chicago public schools on 3a nd 4-year-old children who participated in the

PAGE 33

33 program for one to two years. The primary goal of the program was to promote school readiness, while paying particular atten tion to enhancing participants reading and language skills, and parental participation was re quired. Results found significantly higher reading achievement, and significantly fewer grade retentions and special education placemen ts for participants (Reynolds & Temple, 1998). Additionally, Ehlers and Ruffin (1990) examined parents participation in early intervention though the Parents as Teach ers (PAT) program. Their work suggests that children who participated in the program dem onstrated advanced language and problem-solving skills, in additional to impr oved coping skills and positive relationships with adults when compared to control groups (E hlers & Ruffin, 1990). While, the st udies by Lazar and Darlington (1982), Andrews (1982), Reynolds and Temple ( 1998), and Ehlers and Rufiin (1990) do not specifically address the remediation of ch allenging behaviors in young children, they do emphasize the importance of various factors in th e early intervention and remediation of other problematic behaviors, as well as in the improvement of academic skills. A study by Shelton and Woodruff (2003) maintain s the importance of fa milial support in managing challenging behaviors sp ecifically. Particularly, thes e authors conducted a study that examined the effects of the Project Mastery progra m, which is a family centered approach to the delivery of services to children with challeng ing behaviors enrolled in Head Start. Project Mastery is described as a developmentally suppo rtive program that inco rporates the use of empirically sound behavior manage ment strategies, and parent and teacher support and training, while attempting to increase the skill of the chil dren enrolled. This study found that both parent and teacher ratings of externaliz ing behaviors significantly decreas ed for the children involved in the Project Mastery program at evaluations conducted at the e nd of the childrens Head Start year. Significant decreases in aggressive behavi ors, as rated by both parents and teachers also

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34 were found at the end of the childrens Head Start year, in addition to follow-up at the end of the childrens kindergarten year (Shelton & Woodruff, 2003). The Incredible Years is a comprehensive gr oup intervention program consisting of parent, teacher, and child trainings used to decrease aggressive behaviors and conduct problems in children ages 4 through 8 years (Reid & Webster-Str atton, 2001). This program aims to promote the social competence of young children through vi deotaped examples of common behavioral difficulties experienced by parents, teachers, and children; discussions of effective and ineffective ways in which to manage such be haviors follow. Homework and practice activities also are necessary components of this program fo r all participants. Topics included in the 44 to 48 hour parent training progr am include, but are not limited to, natural consequences, encouragement, limit-setting, tangible reinforcem ent, and time-out. The importance of teacher praise and attention, decreasing inappropriate behavior through limit setting and time-out, the importance of parent-teacher collaboration, as well as proactive strategies to decrease challenging behaviors are a few of the topics covered in a 4 da y long teacher training program conducted throughout the school year (Reid & Webster-S tratton, 2001). The effectiveness of the Incredible Years has been well documented (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2001; Webster-Stratton & Rei d, 1999). For example, in a study of parents and teachers of 4-year-old children enrolled in a Head Start program, significant decreases in conduct problems were noted. Children who displa yed the highest levels of aggressive and noncompliant behaviors showed most significant declines in such behaviors when compared to a control group, following participation in a 12-we ek long Incredible Years parent and teacher training program (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2001). Webster-Stratton and Reid (2003) reviewed a paper presented in 1999 examin ing multiple combinations of the Incredible

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35 Years training program, and found that preschool teachers participa ting in the training were less harsh, critical, and incons istent, and more nurturing than teache rs who did not participate in the training (Webster-Stratton & Rei d, as cited in Webster-Stratto n & Reid, 2003). Furthermore, children involved in any combination of the tr aining program (i.e., teach er and child training, parent and teacher training) were less aggres sive both at home and at school. Additionally, participation in this particular teacher trai ning program was found to improve teachers overall classroom management skills (Webster-Stratton & Reid, as cited in Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2003). In a recent article discussing ways to ma nage oppositional and defiant behaviors in a classroom setting, Salend and Sylvestre (2005 ) also stress the impor tance of collaboration between a childs home and school. Home-sc hool collaboration and communication is emphasized in this article due to the belief that demonstrating a shared commitment to the child is imperative. Further, Salend and Sylvestre (2005) provide additi onal, more specific, information about the type of parent involve ment necessary to ensure a childs success. Specifically, it is suggested that understandi ng the strategies families use at home, and determining how these strategies may be used in the classroom is essential. Salend and Sylvestre (2005) also suggest the use of co llaborative interventions, such as a school to home contract in improving a childs oppositional and defiant behavi ors. Zigler, Taussig, and Black (1992), and Sandall, McLean, and Smith (2000) also sugge st that early interv ention efforts should incorporate collaboration between home and sc hool. Without such cooperation, the likelihood of truly remediating challenging beha viors is significantly decreased and the genera lizability of more appropriate behaviors is thought to be questionable.

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36 Specific constructivist strategies Research has been conducted on the use of strategies such as positive guidance techniques for addressing young childrens needs in a variet y of developmental do mains (Porter, 2000). Positive guidance techniques include numerous ma nagement strategies such as redirection, modeling, limit setting, and implementing consequen ces for inappropriate behaviors. Redirection has been described as providing other activities for the child to engage in instead of the difficult behavior they are exhibiting (P orter, 2000); however, the use of this technique has not been empirically supported. Nevertheless, it is importa nt to note that the p ilot study suggests that redirection is a strategy frequently used for ch ildren engaging in various challenging behaviors. Preventative efforts are widely acclaimed as important aspects of managing challenging behaviors. For example, arranging the classroom environment, and providing a sufficient amount of toys/activities in the cl assroom to decrease the occurrence of young children exhibiting challenging behaviors has been repeatedly recommended (Brede kamp & Copple, 1997; Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000). Additionally, Tomlinson (2002) suggests that creating a classroom environment with challenging, yet age appropriate and meaningful educational experiences is essential in establishing an environment that wi ll motivate a child to succeed. Some advocate for providing children with choices in order to decrease power struggles and improve overall functioning in the classroom. For example, Cook-Sather (2003) cont ends that allowing a child to make choices, both academic and behavioral in nature, can enhance a childs self-esteem. Moreover, Cook-Sather (2003) purpo rts that assisting a child to understand the consequence of their choices is necessary. An additional strategy suggested in the literatu re as effective in decreasing challenging behaviors in a classroom environment, is the management of transitions (Downing & PeckhamHardin, 2001; Salend & Sylvestr e, 2005). Salend and Sylves tre (2005) suggests that when

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37 children are able to predict their daily routine, and anticipate transitions, they are more likely to feel as though they are in control of their envi ronment, which will increase the likelihood that behavioral difficulties associated with transitions will dissipate. Downing and Peckham-Hardin (2001) suggests that establishing a regular routine can improve a childs learning and behavioral functioning. Furthermore, the importance of decr easing unexpected changes in the classroom is especially important for children who tend to ex hibit oppositional and defiant behaviors (Hall, Williams, & Hall, 2000). Salend (2005) suggests that transitions can increase overall levels of frustration in children who exhibit oppositional a nd defiant behaviors regul arly, and may lead to more challenging behaviors at such times. Nevertheless, while prof essionals in the field suggest, and many early childhood educators report the use of the aforemen tioned strategies for managing challenging behaviors, no identi fiable published studies have systematically examined the efficacy of such strategies for decreasing early childhood behavior problems; future research in this area is necessary to increase understandi ng of the effectiveness of such strategies. Behavioral Perspectives for Ma naging Challenging Behaviors The Division of Early Childhood (DEC) has de veloped two position statements regarding the identification of a nd potential interventions for chal lenging behaviors exhibited by young children: the Position Statement on Interventions for Challenging Behavior and the Concept Paper on Identification of and Intervention with Challenging Behavior (DEC, 2001; 1999). These position statements suggest that many types of interventions and servi ces exist to address challenging behaviors. Specifi cally, DEC (2001; 1999) and Sanda ll, McLean, and Smith (2000) propose that altering the environment in ways th at will decrease the opportunity for children to engage in inappropriate behavior s, using behavioral modifications that address the function of the behavior, adopting curricular accommodation strategies that assist in the development of learning new, acceptable classroom behaviors, and providing external supports for staff members

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38 (i.e., consultation and technical assistance) as needed are effective ways to manage various challenging behaviors. Sandall, McLean, and Smith (2000) describe five characteristics of e ffective interventions; DECs position statement on the identification of and interventions for challenging behaviors also support these assertions (DEC, 1999). First, Sandall and co lleagues (2000) recommend that a comprehensive approach to managing chal lenging behaviors should be taken, as one intervention technique alone likely will be insu fficient in eradicating challenging behaviors. Additionally, it is recommended that intervention plans be personalized to the individual child. Every child is different, as are th eir behavioral responses; therefor e, it is necessary to tailor interventions to the childs pa rticular needs (Sandall, McLea n, & Smith, 2000). Individualization of interventions is an integr al constituent to the success of effectively managing challenging behaviors. Multidisciplinary consultation and collaboration also are essential as specialists in various fields can assist uniquely in managing childrens behavior, an d children exhibiting challenging behaviors may be more likely to respond positive ly to interventions th at consider various perspectives (Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000) Another component of effective early interventions that Sandall, Mc Lean, and Smith (2000) recommend is data-based interventions. Data-based interventions are interventions based upon reliable and valid data regarding childrens behavior; specifically, information including, but not limited to frequency, intensity, and duration. Interventions that are data-based re ly upon such systematic information to assist in creating a clear picture of child rens behavior prior to and fo llowing the implementation of specific interventions (Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000).

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39 The next component, positive programming, is de scribed as intervention techniques that focus on positive aspects of childrens behavior as challenging behaviors exhibited by young children often elicit st rong, negative responses by adults (Neilson, Olive, Donovan, & McEvoy, 1998). Positive programming may in corporate teaching children more acceptable social skills, self-evaluation techniques, and alternative form s of communicating their needs to decrease the frequency of problem behaviors a nd is vital as many children lack necessary skills to engage in appropriate behavior (Sanda ll, McLean, & Smith, 2000). Strategies aimed at enhanc ing communication skills Over the years, research has implied a st rong link between challe nging behaviors and childrens inability to communicate effectively with ot hers (Goldstein & Woods, 2002). Particularly, challenging behavi ors such as tantrums and aggr ession, exhibited by young children have been viewed as a means of communicati ng with individuals within their environment (Goldstein & Woods, 2002). However, these beha viors are deemed as inappropriate means of communication. Therefore, interv ention strategies that are ai med at improving childrens communication skills subsequently decrease challenging behavior s. Such strategies require teaching young children alternative and more appr opriate ways of communi cating their needs to others (Goldstein & Woods, 2002). Teaching children more appropriate means of communication is likely to ameliorate challenging behaviors. Empirical research re garding the efficacy of communication skills training with young children exhibiting challe nging behaviors has proven effective in the reduction of such behaviors (Davis, Brady, William s, & Hamilton, 1992). Intervention strategies that aim to decrease challenging behavior s by improving communication skills may involve various steps. Nonetheless, initia lly identifying the function of the childs challenging behavior is imperative. Doing so provides significant and n ecessary information, which allows the child to

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40 be taught specific communication skills that serve the same function as the challenging behavior (Goldstein & Woods, 2002). Young children whose challenging behavior s develop resulting from communication deficits may be taught to use language to medi ate both their verbal a nd nonverbal behaviors (Goldstein & Woods, 2002). Speci fically, verbal reminders and self-talk strategies are an effective means of self-cont rol for young children (Sainat o, Goldstein, & Strain, 1992). Examples of such interventions include reminding one self to stay seated a nd how to interact in a socially appropriate manner with peers. In addi tion, teaching children more appropriate ways of communicating their needs with others and not reinforcing inappropriate means of communication has been supported as an effectiv e way to decrease challenging behaviors in the classroom environment (Schwartz, Garfinkle, & Davis, 2002). Further, teaching children more appropriate language for meeting their needs can decrease frustration a nd resulting behavioral disruptions (Goldste in & Woods, 2002). Specific behavioral strategies Empirical research has been conducted re garding specific behavioral intervention strategies for managing challenging behaviors in children. For example, Davis and Reichle (1996) conducted a study examining the effectiven ess of high probability request sequences, or simple requests given to a child prior to the typi cal occurrence of the targ eted challenging, with four children 4 5 years of age who were identified as having em otional-behavioral disorders. Due to previous research supporting the utility of high probability request sequences for reducing non-compliant behaviors in children of va rious ages (Davis, Brady, Hamilton, McEvoy, & Williams, 1994), Davis and Reichle (1996) used th is behavioral intervention technique with children exhibiting physical aggression, and noncom pliant and socially avoidant behaviors.

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41 Findings from this study suggest that high pr obability request sequenc es are effective in decreasing challenging behaviors in children with emotional-behavioral disorders. Another common technique for decreasing proble m behaviors in children has been the use of non-contingent reinforcement (NCR). Non-c ontingent reinforcement relies upon the more regular use of reinforcers that are found to maintain challenging behaviors in hopes of decreasing the likelihood that challenging behaviors maintained by such reinforcement are necessary (Lalli, Casey, & Kates, 1997). Specifically, Lalli, Case y, and Kates (1997) used NCR with three children, ages 3, 7 and 9, all of whom displayed some level of di sruptive behaviors. In this study, the 3 year old participant engaged in physically aggressive behaviors, su ch as hitting, kicking, biting, scratching, pulling hair, and throwing objects at peers; with the use of NCR the incidents of physical aggression decreased even as the time between the presentations of reinforcers increased. The use of a functional behavior assessmen t (FBA) to assist in managing challenging behaviors is a rapidly growing trend (Chandler, Dahlquiest, Repp, & Feltz, 1999; Kamps, et al., 1995; Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002; OSEP, 2005). An FBA is a described as a systematic assessment of the factors which produ ce and support challengi ng behaviors (ONeill, et al., 1997). An FBA is advantageous in that it maximizes the effectiveness and efficiency of behavioral supports, as it assist s in making confident predictions for the context in which the targeted behavior is likely to occur. Following this assessment, positive, individualized intervention plans that alter e nvironmental variables contributing to challenging behavior, and simultaneously provide support for appropriate beha vior that achieves the same function as the challenging behavior can be im plemented (Munk & Repp, 1994).

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42 Ingram, Lewis-Palmer, and Sugai (2005) exam ined the impact of intervention plans developed from functional be havior assessment on two 6th grade students. Specifically, in this study, FBAs were conducted to determine th e function of non-engagement and off-task behaviors; subsequent function-based interventi ons were implanted, as were non-function based interventions. Results of this study showed that classroom behavior prob lems were significantly decreased as a direct result of the function-base d interventions (Ingram, Lewis-Palmer, & Sugai, 2005). Though this research was conducted with middle school students, it suggests the significant impact and underscores the impor tance of conducting FBAs and implementing subsequently developed intervention plans on vari ous inappropriate classroom behaviors. As a result, these findings suggest that function-based interventions also should be implemented at the preschool level. Understanding its importance, Kamps, et al (1995) examined the use of functional behavior assessments on ten childr en between 4 years and 6 years of age who were identified as demonstrating behavioral risks. Children who we re considered at-risk for aggression on the Achenbach Child Behavior ChecklistTeacher Report Form were included in this study and the targeted behaviors included noncompliance to teacher requests, negative comments towards others, aggression toward others, and out of seat behavior. Direct observations, teacher interviews, and consultation were used to gath er information regarding the function of the targeted behaviors and interventions such as praise, visual reinfo rcement, decreased attention for inappropriate behavior, were e ffective when implemented based upon such findings. Results of the study found increases in social interactions and compliance, and decreases in inappropriate behaviors (Kamps, et al., 1995).

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43 Further, Chandler, Dahlquist, Repp, and Feltz (1999) examined the impact of a functional behavior assessment and intervention approach on preschool classrooms for at-risk and special needs children was examined; functional behavior assessments were conducted, and intervention techniques developed as a resu lt of the FBA were implemented. Subsequently, engagement in classroom activities, peer interactions, and ch allenging behaviors were examined using the Observer Rating of Ecobehavioral Variables Scal e (OVERS). Results from this study suggested that challenging behaviors exhi bited by children in the at-ris k and special needs classrooms decreased during the intervention phase of this st udy. Further, incidence of challenging behaviors remained low at the four-week follow-up (Cha ndler, Dahlquiest, Repp, & Feltz, 1999). A proactive approach to increasing appropr iate and decreasing inappropriate, or problematic, behaviors that has become more widely utilized in school settings in recent years is positive behavior supports, or PBS (OSEP Techni cal Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports [OSEP], 2005). Positive behavior support programs are described as school-wide prevention and interven tion programs designed to prom ote appropriate behaviors of school children. There are four major component s of positive behavior support systems, which include identifying and defining e xpected appropriate behaviors, teaching children the expected behavior through the use of techniques such as modeling and role playing, supporting or acknowledging when the expected behavior has occurred, and finally, correcting problematic behaviors in a positive manner (OSEP, 2005). Critical components of a successful positive be havior support programs include the use of direct instruction of the exp ected behaviors, prompting, posi tive reinforcement of expected behaviors, and data-based decision-making (Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002). Additionally, positive behaviors support programs incorporate more supportive services, such as

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44 modifications to the classroom or school environment, social skill s training and opportunities to practice the skills learned, for small groups of children who are deemed at-risk and in need of additional support in order to experience su ccess (Lewis & Sugai, 1999). And finally, comprehensive interventions, including the use of functional behavior as sessments, for children who continue to exhibit problematic behaviors are utilized (Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002). Overall, positive behavior support programs have been found very effective with school age children. For example, Lewis, Powers, Kel k, and Newcomer (2002) examined the efficacy of a PBS program implemented during recess and targ eting several behaviors, including physical and verbal aggression, for chil dren in kindergarten through 6th grade. A school-wide PBS system was developed and the intervention phase of this study included teaching playground rules, routines, and desired behaviors, as well as token reinforcement sy stem. As a result of the PBS intervention, the frequency of problem behavi ors exhibited during recess decreased (Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002). Although resear ch on implementing schoolwide PBS at the elementary and secondary levels has been condu cted, less research has focused on its use in preschool settings (Stormont, Lewis, & Beckner, 2005). However, as previously believed with FBAs, the utility of such strate gies with older children suggests the impacts such strategies may have in an early childhood environment. Comparisons Between Constructivism and Behaviorism Though some research suggests an incompatib ility between the constructivists and behaviorists perspectives (Wol ery & Wilbers, 1994), the current review of supported strategies suggests a more complimentary relationship. For example, research from both camps, support and encourage, the use of a comprehensive supp ort system for children exhibiting challenging behaviors. From the constructivist perspective, comprehensiveness is described in terms of

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45 intervening early, long-term and thorough (R amey & Ramey, 1998; Andrews, 1982; Lazar & Darlington, 1982); within the behaviorist perspec tive, a comprehensive approach to managing challenging is necessary as one intervention t echnique likely will be insufficient (Sandall, McLean, & Smith, 2000). Further, both perspectiv es stress the significa nce of modifying the classroom environment in order to decrease th e likelihood that challeng ing behaviors will occur (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Sanda ll, McLean, & Smith, 2000). Additionally, both perspectives take a positive approach to managing challe nging behaviors: positive guidance techniques (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997) and positive programming (Neilson, Olive, Donovan, & McEvoy, 1998). These noted similarities raise further questi ons regarding the actual distinctions between the two fields. Thus, the question as to whether tr ue differences in perspectives exist is raised: Are similarities between the fields foundational, while specific strategies purported by each field may be slightly different? Or, are such differe nces merely a result of semantics or do true distinctions between interv ention approaches exist? Importance of Quality Childcare The significance of quality child care has been extensively researched and its importance is evident (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Campbell & Ramey, 1994; Clarke-Stewart, 1988; Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995; Mc Cartney, Scarr, Phillips, & Grajek, 1985; NICHD, 2003; 2005; Peisner-Fe inberg, et al, 1999). High quality childcare encompasses many factors including a developmentally appropriate curriculum, support se rvices for children focusing on their health, nutrition, and social deve lopment, an environment of respect that is supportive of diversity, and most importantly, knowledgeable a nd well-trained staff (NAEYC, 2000).Bredekamp and Copple (1997) suggested th at high quality early childhood programs help to encourage the social-emotional, intellectua l, and physical development of young children by

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46 providing them with a secure and nurturing environment. Quality childcare has been linked with positive social-emotional and intellectual develo pment of all young children (Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). Moreover, impr ovements in social and cognitive outcomes were evident in low-income children who experi enced higher quality childcare (Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). Additionally, higher quality childcare predicts better performance on measures of cognitive and li nguistic functioning (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2002) and is asso ciated with more complex pla y, increases in positive affect, decreases in hostile behavior, a nd improvements in peer relations hips in infants and toddlers (Clarke-Stewart, 1988). Children en rolled in high quality childcare centers were more likely to have greater receptive language and pre-mathematic s skills, as well as more advanced social skills when compared to children enrolled in lowe r quality childcare set tings (Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development is the most comprehensive study examining the relationship be tween childrens development over their first ten years of life and their early childcare e xperiences (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2003). Specifically, the NICHD study examin ed the family and childcare variables in relation to child developmental outcomes, includ ing cognitive, linguistic, achievement, physical, health and social emotional outcomes, of fam ilies at ten sites across the country (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2003). The NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1998) suggested that higher quality childcare (e.g., positive talk to the child, stimulation of development) predicted fewer behavior problems as reported by mothers and caregivers at age two, as well as improved social competence, as reported by mothers. Further, at age 3, higher

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47 quality childcare was associated with increase d compliance with mother requests, and fewer behavior problems reported by caregivers (NIC HD Early Child Care Research Network, 1998). Though quality childcare has b een found to be an integral component in the overall development of young children, quality childcare is especially important for at-risk children; such children are more sensitive to the negative effects of poor quality child care and are likely to benefit more from higher quality childcare. For example, in a study by McCartney, Scarr, Phillips, and Grajek (1985) the effect of hi gh quality childcare on low-income children was examined. Findings from this study suggested that high-quality childcare mitigates against decreases in cognitive and language development that are found when children from low income families do not attend childcare programs. In th is study, high quality childcare was associated with improvements in cognitive and language development, attention and adaptive behavior. Further, Campbell and Ramey (1994) found th at center-based programs of high quality enhance cognitive development and academic achievement in low-income children through age twelve. Longitudinal findings from the Cost, Qu ality, and Outcomes Study suggested that quality childcare is even more important for children of less highly educated mo thers (Peisner-Feiberg, et al., 1999). Specifically, this study found that higher quality child care was related to improved math skills, and decreased behavior problems th rough the second grade (Peisner-Feiberg, et al., 1999). Further, children enrolled in Early Head Start programs of high quality displayed lower levels of behavior problems and aggressive behaviors (NICHD, 2003). On the other hand, preschool age children who did not participate in high quality childcare have more problems with behavioral adjustment in kindergarten, poor social competence and less positive emotions in third grade (ClarkeStewart, 1988). Further, children who did not participate in high quality childcare, specifica lly, children who participated in childcare

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48 environments with high levels of problem behavi ors and low levels of teacher-child closeness, were rated as more aggressive and disruptive in the second grade (Peisner -Feinberg, et al, 1999). While this research emphasizes the importa nce of quality childcare for young children, there are a surprisingly large number of childcare facilities that do not provide quality care for children enrolled. Specifically, the quality of chil dcare in typical childca re environments across the country is well below what the field of early childhood recognizes as high quality (CQO Study Team, 1995). For example, the Cost, Qu ality, and Child Outcomes Study Team (1995) conducted a study across four st ates (e.g., California, Colora do, Connecticut, and North Carolina), which examined the number and char acteristics of quality childcare programs. Findings from this study suggest that 86% of ch ildcare centers provide m ediocre-to-poor quality care. Further, this study suggest ed that only one out of seve n childcare settings provides developmentally appropriate childcare, and that childrens school readin ess, development, and learning may be comprised as a result of enrollment in mediocre or poor quality settings (Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). Cons equently, understanding the importance of quality childcare, the gravity of the current stat us of childcare, and examining the factors that contribute to quality childcare becomes extremely important. Practitioners Need for Training Given the significant stress placed upon childca re providers and preschool teachers, the need for additional support and training in early childhood classrooms is essential (Willoughby, Kupersmidt, & Bryant, 2001). Overall, a growing number of researchers assert that teacher training is an integral constituent in quality child care, as the quality of childcare impacts a childs social-emotional and cognitive development (Cost, Quality, & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995; NICHD Early Child Care Research Ne twork, 2003; Webster-Stratton, 1997). Shonkoff and Phillips (2000) claim that quality childcare cons ists of quality transact ions between childcare

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49 providers and the children for which they care. Specifically, the key factor s in quality childcare and quality transactions are pred icated upon the specific skills of the childcare providers (i.e., attention, support, sensitivity) (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). Additionally, quality childcare is related to higher staff-to-c hild ratios, staff education, administrators prior experience, and specializ ed training of staff (Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). The National Associ ation for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) also suggests that adequate teacher training is an essential component of quality childcare (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Moreover self-reported education and training are associated with quality care; research suggest s that both formal educ ation and specialized training in child development are associat ed with quality childcare (Lamb, 1998). The NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1996) reported that infants and toddlers receive greater quality care when childcare pr oviders are more highly educated. Further, the Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team (1995) recommends that in order to ensure that high quality childcare is available to all child ren, increased emphasis on the training of childcare staff is imperative. For example, three year olds in childcare displayed fewer behavior problems and better language comprehension and school re adiness when the childcare centers in which they were enrolled had smaller teacher-child ra tios and group sizes, as well as higher levels of teacher training and education (NICHD Ea rly Child Care Research Network, 2003). Phillips, Mekos, Scarr, McCartney, and A bbott-Shim (2000) conducted a multi-site study regarding factors influencing qual ity childcare environments, includ ing teacher training and level of education. Through interviews with administra tors and teachers, and lengthy observations of classroom practices using various childcare en vironment rating scales (e.g., Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale [ECE RS], Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale [ITERS]),

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50 childcare quality was examined. Findings from this study suggest that quality childcare is directly associated with better tr aining and higher education levels of childcare providers. These findings confirm previous findings which suggest that teacher tr aining is a vital component of quality childcare environments (Phillips, et al., 2000). Additional studies have examined the impact of teacher training on childcare providers beliefs and behaviors. For example, Cassidy, Hi cks, Hall, Farrran, and Gray (1998) conducted a study in which individuals working with young child ren participated in a four-week long training on early childhood education and chil d development, in addition to various childcare issues. Preand post-training evaluations were conducted; ad ditional evaluations were conducted after the first year following training. This project f ound significant increases in knowledge regarding child development, as well as significantly more developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices following participation in the training. Such gains were maintained at one-year follow up, suggesting a long-term impact of training on childcare providers beliefs and subsequent practices (Cassidy, Hicks, Ha ll, Farrran, and Gray, 1998). In addition, Cassidy, Buell, Pugh-Hoese, and Russell (1995) examined the effects of community college level training on childcare teac hers. Participants in this study enrolled in early childhood education or child developmen t degree programs, and received 12-20 credit hours of community college coursework in ear ly childhood education methods (e.g., Materials and Activities for Young Children) or child related outcomes (e.g., Child Development, Exceptional Children). Participants beliefs and be haviors were examined using interviews and structured classroom observations, using th e ECERS and the ITERS. Results found that participants held more developmentally appropr iate beliefs and more frequently engaged in

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51 developmentally appropriate practices when compar ed to childcare providers who did not attend community college classes (Cassidy, Bu ell, Pugh-Hoese, & Russell, 1995). Rhodes and Hennessys (2000) study examined the effects of 120-hours of preschool training, including direct teaching and classroom observation, on childcare providers behavior towards the children for which they cared and th e childrens overall development. In this study, 50 hours of training specific to child development, developm entally appropriate practices, children with special needs, and behavior ma nagement was provided. Preand post-training observations were conducted; preand post-observations were examined, as were comparisons to a control group of childcare pr oviders who did not receive the training. Results from this study suggest that childcare providers who received su ch training demonstrated a significant increase in positive relationships with chil dren and a significant decrease in levels of detachment from the children. In addition, the children whose child care providers received the training exhibited higher levels of social and cognitive play (R hodes & Hennessy, 2000). In order to improve the quality of childcare that young ch ildren receive, increasing child care providers levels of education will be essential (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 2005). Perceived competence and challenging behaviors As described previously, behavior problems are one of the most common problems present in childcare settings today (Campbell, 2002). Yet, research suggest s that early childhood educators lack knowledge and skills when wo rking with children demonstrating challenging behaviors including childr en with disabilities, and childre n with emotional and behavioral problems. Additionally, challenging behaviors ar e one of the greatest difficulties faced by preschool teachers and childcare providers each year (Arnold, McWilliams, & Arnold, 1998). For example, Reichle, et al., ( 1999) suggests that prof essionals working with preschool children may have limited knowledge, expertise, and more importantly confidence, in working with

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52 children exhibiting challenging behaviors. Specif ically, implementing strategies to address challenging behaviors in young child ren is an area in which pr actitioners may feel less adequately prepared (Reichle, et al, 1999). We bster-Stratton (1997) supports these findings and asserts that frequently children who have problem s with behavior spend a great deal of time in childcare facilities with inadequately traine d practitioners, which ma kes meeting the specific emotional needs of these children extremely diffi cult. An explanation for child care providers lack of skills and confidence in addressing chil drens challenging behaviors can be explained by the fact that most early childhood educators receive little to no formal training in early childhood special education (Duncan, Kemple, & Smith, 2000). Brennan, Bradley, Ama, and Cawood (2003) out lined several practices necessary for incorporating children with em otional and behavioral difficulties in inclusive childcare environments. Of these practices, promoting the professional development of childcare administrators and staff was noted as essential. Specifically, providing training and information regarding the inclusion of children with emoti onal and behavioral challenges in childcare settings, including, but not limited to, successful incl usive practices, safety issues, and the use of mental health consultation was highlighted (Brennan, Bradley, Ama, & Cawood, 2003). Though this research is aimed at inclusive early ch ildhood environments, the emphasis and understanding of the importance of training re lated specifically to children with emotional and behavioral challenges proves its importance. Buscemi, Bernett, Thomas, and DeLuca (1995) stated that early ch ildhood educators report a need for further training in order to feel appropr iately prepared to handle disruptive or challenging behaviors in the cla ssroom environment. Consequentl y, it is imperative for preschool teachers and childcare workers to be well tr ained in child development and behavior

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53 management when working with children exhi biting challenging behaviors (Webster-Stratton, 1997; Campbell-Whatley, Obiakor, & Algozzine 1995; Markos-Capps & Godfrey, 1999). The more training and education early childhood pract itioners receive, the more likely they are to provide quality childcare and the more prepared they are to assist children in achieving their potential (CQO Study Team, 1995) Further, well trained early childhood practitioners demonstrate an increased likelihood of communica ting and establishing bette r relationships with, in addition to, meeting the needs of parents (Kagan & Neuman, 2000). In addition to specific training in appropr iate strategies for managing childrens challenging behaviors, perceived competence in managing challeng ing behaviors is influenced by several factors, such as organizational stru cture (Leiber, et al., 2000), previous years of experience in the field and educational degr ee (Campbell-Whatley, et al., 1995). This suggests that, not only is the environmenta l structure (i.e., where the pract itioner works) important to the practitioners ability to adequa tely meet the needs of young children, but previous experiences and training also are critical factors in this proces s. In other words, practitioner training in areas that will increase perceived comp etence (e.g., child development, challenging behaviors) would only enhance outcomes for all children. In a review of the literature, Odom (2000) reports that early chil dhood practitioners often express concerns regarding appropriate ways in which challenging behavior s should be managed, as well as their perceived lack of competency to provide appropriate serv ices for these children. As result of this research, it is imperative that childcare pr oviders knowledge and understanding of best practices when working with children exhibiting challenging behaviors improves. Clearly the problem of perceived competence is closely ti ed to practitioner training: those practitioners who receive better training feel more competen t in managing challenging behaviors. Overall,

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54 these researchers suggest a strong relationship between adequate preparation for childcare providers and feelings of competence. Perceived competence and inclusion Another area of research, which emphasizes the importance of traini ng childcare providers to adequately meet the needs of children with ch allenging behaviors, is inclusion. As aforementioned, challenging behaviors are a co mmon and troubling problem in early childcare settings, are detrimental to childrens later adju stment, and described by childcare providers as difficult to manage. Gettinger and colleagues (1999) conducted survey resear ch with parents of young children enrolled in inclusive early childho od settings and individuals working with the field of early childhood (i.e., stude nts in training, early childhood professionals) regarding their beliefs about inclusion. This research focused specifically on the management of challenging behaviors in inclusive settings. Results from Gettinger et al (1999) study suggested that pa rents believe professionals competence when working with children demons trating challenging beha viors and attentional problems is lower than their competence in othe r areas (i.e., performance assessment, working with families). Furthermore, university-based traine rs also believed that practitioner competence when working with challenging behaviors and attentional problems was lower than their competence in areas, such as consultation and in terdisciplinary teaming (Gettinger, et al., 1999). It is important to note, however, that in this study university level tr ainers of early childhood, special education, social work, and school psychology students also felt that competencies for managing challenging behaviors an d attentional problems was of l east importance (Gettinger, et al., 1999). While the perception of university level trainers of sc hool psychology students may be different at present due to the current trend a nd legislative push for response-to-intervention (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2005), in this study, parents, professionals, and pre-service students placed

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55 great importance on being competently traine d to work with young children displaying challenging behaviors and atte ntional problems. Respondents stated training to handle disruptive behaviors of childre n with special needs in regu lar education classrooms was extremely necessary (Gettinger, et al., 1999, p. 49). Childcare providers who lack the necessary sk ills and do not feel competent in their abilities to manage challenging behaviors are less likely to successfully participate in inclusive settings (Stoiber, Gettinger, & Goetz, 1998). In addition, research has suggested that teachers perceived competence is integral in the success of childcare or preschool classrooms, specifically inclusive settings (Campbell-Whatley, et al., 1995). Therefore, teachers at titudes regarding their levels of comfort play a central role in their ab ilities in the classroom, particularly when working with children with disabilitie s and challenging behaviors. Professional training and staff development are important components of an inclusive early childhood program and also are the key factors re lated to effective inclusion (Odom & Diamond, 1998; Wang, Vaughan & Dytman, 1985). Therefore, the advancement of staff development and preparation is imperative as childcare provide rs significantly impact the lives of numerous students each year. Taking such information collec tively, childcare providers ability to meet the needs of young children exhibiting ch allenging behaviors will direct ly impact the childs future, as well as the future of society as a whole. Overall, the aim of the current project is to begin addressing such concerns by gaining a better understanding of the most highly recommende d strategies used to manage challenging behaviors, and to provide a foundational understa nding of specific areas for future training. The primary goal of the current study is to examine wh ich strategies are most often recommended for managing specific challenging behaviors by e xperts in the field of early childhood (or

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56 constructivists) and by expe rts in the field of early childhood sp ecial education (or behaviorists). In other words, does strategy recommendation wh en faced with children exhibiting physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliant behaviors vary as a function of theoretical orientation? Specifically, are e xperts in the field of early ch ildhood more likely to recommend particular strategies when managing physical ag gression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance? And similarly, are experts in the field of ear ly childhood special education more likely to recommend particular strategies for managing cha llenging behaviors such as physical and verbal aggression, and noncompliance? The overarching goal of the current project is to provide information regarding the most highly recommended strategies for managing challe nging behaviors, in hopes of adding to the research base in the fields of early childhood and early childhood special education. Therefore, additional research questions will be addressed if findings from the aforementioned research questions are not found significan t, and are the secondary focu s of this study. Specifically, examining whether there are more highly reco mmended strategies for managing challenging behaviors in general whil e still considering theoretical orie ntation, and whether there are more highly recommended strategies fo r physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance irregardless of theoretical orient ation is in question. In other wo rds, are particular strategies recommended more frequently to manage genera l challenging behaviors by behaviorists and constructivists? And do experts in general more frequently recommend specific strategies for physical aggression, verbal aggr ession and noncompliance?

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57 CHAPTER 2 METHODS Participants Experts in the fields of early childhood (i.e., early ch ildhood, early childhood special education) were recruited for participation in the current project. Recruiting lists were compiled using the association and journal review boa rd members for the national organizations representing the fields of early childhood a nd early childhood special education, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Division of Early Childhood, respectively. Specifically, the journals selected for use were those associated with Early Childhood Research Quarterly and Young Children and the Journal of Early Interventi on and Young Exceptional Children. Forty participants were randomly selected from each group (i.e., early childhood and early childhood special education), using a ra ndom numbers table (Shavelson, 1996), from the editorial board and lists of revi ewers provided in each of the selected journals, as well as the association board members during the academic year 2006 2007. Given the low number of responses, recruitment continued until all members of the targeted populat ion were contacted. Individuals who served on editorial boards or were association boa rd members for in both fields, in addition to members from the researchers ho me university, were excluded from the sample list to avoid conflicts of interest. Each particip ant was assigned a particip ation number so that all the information received remained confidential as to the extent guaranteed by law. Instrumentation The Behavioral Challenges in Early Childh ood Education: Professionals Survey The Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education: Professionals Survey (BCECE: PS) was developed based on responses to a su rvey in a previously conducted pilot study,

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58 Behavioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education or BCECE (See Appendix A). The previous survey focused on the types of cha llenging behaviors (e.g., physical aggression, verbal aggression, noncompliance, inattention, and withdr awal) faced by direct service providers and administrators working in childcare settings, the strategies utilized to manage such behaviors, and what additional supports or trainings would be beneficial in managing such behaviors more effectively. For the current study, th e reported strategies used to manage externalizing behaviors (e.g., verbal and physical aggr ession, and noncompliance) were of particular interest. Particularly, the strategies generated from th e BCECE served as a guideline for the current survey. The strategies previously reported to ma nage challenging behavior s were categorized in the aforementioned study for each challenging behavi or targeted (i.e., physical aggression, verbal aggression, noncompliance, withdrawal and inattenti on). Each set of strategies was compiled into list based upon the challenging behavior in which they were associated. For the current survey, the strategies associated with physical and ve rbal aggression and noncom pliance served as the foundation for the Behavioral Challenges in Earl y Childhood Education: Professionals Survey (BCECE: PS) (See Appendix B). On the BCECE, participants were asked to de scribe what strategies they would use for particular behaviors. However, no specific descri ption of the identified behavior was provided allowing for individual interpretation of each iden tified behavior including the severity, intensity, and frequency of occurrence. As a result, the curre nt study utilized case st udies, or vignettes, in attempts to control for individual interpretations of each behavior. Respondents were presented with two vignettes that described each of the th ree targeted behaviors, for a total of six case studies. The two vignettes descri bing the same behavior included only subtle differences (e.g., gender of child, age of child, focus of challengi ng behavior, etc.) to ensure an accurate

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59 description and representa tion of the targeted behavior. Resp ondents were asked to rate each subsequent strategy using a Likert scale (i.e., 1 = never, 6 = always) in regards to how often they would recommend the particular strategy to manage the behavior described in the vignette; the type of behavior being describe d in the vignette was not explic itly stated. Following completion of the Likert scale, respondents also were given the opportunity to list additional strategies they may recommend and asked to complete an openended question regarding what factors (i.e., child, teacher, or environmental) may have influenced their recommendation. The BCECE: PS was piloted with experts affili ated with a local university (e.g., research professors, practitioners at univers ity based clinics, graduate stude nts, etc.) from each of the twotargeted fields to examine the validity and reli ability of the survey. A focus group was conducted with 10 volunteers to solicit feedb ack regarding the relatedness of each vignette to the behavior it was intended to represent. The primary purpose of th is review process was to guide revisions that would assist in the ease of comprehension a nd completion of the surv ey. Additionally, this process helped to determine if the survey ade quately addressed the research questions. During the focus group, a rating scale was complete d and opened-ended feedback was gathered; information gained during this process was used to guide the modification of each vignette. The purpose of this process served to enhance the sp ecificity and accuracy of the vignettes. Feedback was reviewed and incorporated as necessary prior to distributing the survey for experimental use. Following necessary modifications, test-retes t reliability analyses were conducted to examine the reliability of the rating of strate gies in response to each vignette. Using SPSS 10.0, the test-retest reliability for each of the six vignettes was examined. The Pearson product correlation for each vignette, one through six, was above .80, and was .879, .876, .859, .821,

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60 .820, and .848, respectively. Following this process, the BCECE: PS was uploaded to a survey website (www.surveymonkey.com) for participants to complete via the internet. Demographic Questionnaire The current survey asked questions regarding the participants pers onal and professional demographics, their training, theo retical orientation and experien ce. A copy of the demographic questionnaire can be found in Appendix C. Procedure Potential participants were randomly selected using a table of random numbers (Shavelson, 1996). Editorial board members from the selected journa ls and association board members were compiled into one list per field, early childhood a nd early childhood special e ducation, for a total of two sample lists. Once the lists were compile d, participants were sort ed alphabetically by last name, and assigned a number based on their posi tion in the list; again, th ose individuals on both lists were removed to avoid a conflict of interest and ensure a clean sample of perspectives. This allowed for an approximately equal number of participants from each field: 83 in the early childhood population and 92 in the early childhood special educa tion population. A preliminary list of 40 names from each field was randomly sel ected. Once the prelimin ary participant list was determined, each potential participant received an introductory email describing the current study and survey, as well as a link to the survey online (See Appendix D). Consent to participate in the study was assumed upon completion of the survey. In the introductory ema il, the researchers contact information was provided in order to allow poten tial participants to decline participation. Additionally, a direct link to d ecline participation was included in the introductory letter. For those who did not decline partic ipation, regular reminders, every 3 weeks, regarding completion of the survey was provided to the participants vi a email. If a participan t did not respond, either by completing the survey or declining, after 3 reminder emails were sent, their names were

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61 removed from the sample list and a replacement participant was sent an introductory email. Replacements also were chosen using the ta ble of random numbers (Shavelon, 1996). Of the total 185 potential participants, only 37 successf ully completed the online survey, for a participation rate of 20%. Given the low rate of re sponse, participation requ ests were sent to the entire target population. Data Analysis Scoring and Statistical Analyses Participants responded to two questions regard ing their theoretical orientation. First, participants identified their theoretical orientation as behaviorism or constructivism using a forced-choice format question. Participants then rated themselves regarding how often they considered each theoretical or ientation, behaviorism or constructivism, when working with young children using a Likert scale (i .e., not at all, very little, somewhat, very much, always). For the ease of data collection a nd analysis, participants were so rted according to the population with which they were originally identifie d, which served as the grouping variable. No participants response to the forced-choice quest ion was inconsistent w ith the group to which they were originally assigned. Once data collection was completed, responses were exported from www.surveymonkey.com into an excel spreadsh eet. The data was entered by challenging behavior, and the strategy recomm endation scores for each behavior were of particular interest. The mean strategy recommendation score was calc ulated by assigning a numerical value, one through six, to each of the response options, neve r, hardly ever, occasionally, often, almost always, and always, respectively. Mean scores for each strategy across the two vignettes designed for each behavior was calculated; given that the numbers were automatically imported into excel, averages were calculated systematically.

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62 To examine whether certain strategies are more frequently recommended for managing each target behavior (e.g., physical aggre ssion, verbal aggression, and noncompliance), exploratory analyses were conducte d. The research questions and st atistical analyses to address such questions are described below. For a furthe r explanation of data derived from the survey and the statistical analyses used, see Table 1. Research question For each of the three types of behavioral problem vignettes (e.g., physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncomplian ce), are experts of two different theoretical orientations (e.g., constructivism, behaviorism) more likely to recommend particular strategies to manage such behaviors? Hypothesis It is believed that strategy recommenda tion will differ based upon behavior problem vignette; however, it is believed that theoretica l orientation will not significantly impact which strategies are recommended for a particular behavior. Data analyses Preliminary data analyses examining gr oup differences in demographic data was conducted. Specific group comparison were made acr oss gender using a t-test, and across area of specialization, degree held, gender, race/ethnicity, chronological ag e, and years of experience using one-way analysis of variance for each variab le. No significant group differences or main effects for any demographic variable in its entire ty were found, as determined by a p < .05 level; however, one level (i.e., African-American) of one factor (i.e., race/ethnicity) was found significant for one strategy (i.e., su spensions/expulsion) lik ely as a result of Type I Error; as a result, this variable did not serve as a covariate.

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63 Following the preliminary group comparisons, a two group (i.e., theoretical orientation) by three behavior problem vignettes (i.e., physical aggression, ve rbal aggression, and noncompliance) by eleven strategy (i.e., ignore, redirect, verbal instru ction, time-out, fix-it, responsibilities, modeling, talk with parents, reinforcement, suspension/expulsion, prevention) split-plot analysis of variance, or SPANO VA, was conducted. The average recommendation rating for each strategy by group was used as th e outcome variable. Agai n, given no significant group differences across all levels of the demogr aphics were noted, it was unnecessary to control for such factors. The primary outcome of interest from the SPANOVA was the presence of an interaction between theoretical orientation groups and the behavior problem vignettes for each of the 11 strategies. Main effect and in teraction effects from the SPANOV A results were examined. Given the significant interaction findings, examination of marginal means was necessary to determine the direction of such interactions. Reliability Following each vignette, an open-ended question wa s presented to the participants: If there are other strategies you would recommend, please describe here. The responses to this were coded according to natural themes present. Spec ifically, after the res ponses were read and themes were determined and categories were identified; the responses were then coded accordingly. Two coders independently coded 20% of the responses. If there was a discrepancy in a coded response, discussions were held un til consensus was reached. Consensus codes were used as the standard against which the reliabilit y of the data was determ ined. Percent of overall agreement was calculated by dividing the number of agreements by the number of agreements plus disagreements. Based on this process, the overall interrater reliability was 82.3% .

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64 Table 1: Explanation of assignments of numeri cal values and statistical analyses used for demographic and survey data Demographic data Numerical assignment Statistical analyses Categorical variables Areas of specialization A number was assigned to represent each group (e.g., 1, 2) ANOVA Educational degree A number was assigned to represent each group (e.g., 1, 2) ANOVA Ethnicity A number was assigned to represent each group (e.g., 1, 2) ANOVA Gender A number was assigned to represent each group (e.g., 1, 2) T-test Continuous variables Years of experience Groups were defined based upon the pre-identified groups. A number will then be assigned to represent each group. ANOVA Age Groups will be defined based upon a natural break in the range of years provide d. A number will then be assigned to represent each group. ANOVA Survey data Numerical assignment Statistical analyses Independent variable Theoretical orientation Participants will be assigned to groups based upon their response to the forced-choice question. N/A Dependent variable Strategy recommendation score Response categories (i.e., never, hardly ever, occasionally, often, almost always, always) will be assigned a number 1 6, with never equal to 1. A mean score for the two vigne ttes per target behavior will be calculated. SPANOVA

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65 CHAPTER 3 RESULTS The purpose of the current study is to examin e whether experts th eoretical orientation predicts strategy recommendation for managi ng physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance in preschool aged children. Specifi cally, the following questions were addressed: 1) Does strategy recommendation differ based upon behavior problem? and 2) Does theoretical orientation impact which strategi es are recommended for a partic ular behavior? This chapter presents the results of the study as follows: (a) de scription of the study par ticipants; (b) statistical examination of demographic variables using one-w ay analysis of variances (ANOVAs) or t-tests for each demographic variable; (c) split-plot analysis of va riance (SPANOVA) for strategy and theoretical orientation for each behavior to addr ess the aforementioned research question; and (d) follow-up analyses of significant findings. Descriptive Statistics Table 4-1 displays descriptive statistics of th e 37 participants in the study based upon their responses on the demographic survey. Most (68 %) of the participants were female. Sixteen percent held masters or specialists degrees, wh ile 84% held doctoral degrees. With regards to race/ethnicity, 34 participants (92%) identified themselves as Caucasian, two participants (5%) identified themselves as African-American, and one participant (3%) identified themselves as Asian-American. Participants also were asked to identify the field with which they most closely aligned. Thirty-eight percent of the participants identified themselves as professionals in the field of early childhood, 51% identified themselves ear ly childhood special ed ucation professionals, and 11% responded to the other category; respon ses in the other category included, but were not limited to school psychology, child devel opment, early intervention, and pediatric occupational therapy.

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66 Participants ranged in age from 27 years to 63 ye ars. The ages within this range were listed and the number of participants at each age wa s totaled, and participants were subsequently grouped by age according to natural breaks in the di stribution. As a result, three age groups were identified, 27-39 years, 40-50 year s, and 51-63 years, w ith 8 participants (22%), 13 participants (35%), and 16 participants (43%) in each group, respectively. Another continuous demographic variable examined was years of experience. Particip ants were asked to select one of five options regarding their years of experience within their particular field of study: 0-2 years, 3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years, and 12 years and above. Th ese categories were dete rmined prior to the beginning of the study and were chosen based up on their usage in a pilot study. In the current study, 14% of participants had 68 years of experience, 5% had 9-11 years of experience, and 78% had 12 or more years of experience. One participant did not res pond to this question. Given the greater number of participants found in particular levels of the demographic variables (i.e., 72% with 12 or more years of experience, 92% Caucasian), it was necessary to examine whether significant group differences existed within each demographic variable. In other words, it was necessary to understand whet her the study findings were a result of the particular area of interest (i.e., theoretical or ientation and challenging behaviors) or whether group differences in the demographic variable s were affecting the results. The omnibus hypothesis was tested at = .05. Demographic Variables A one-way ANOVA was conducted for each of the following demographic variables: age, years of experience, area of specialization, degree held, a nd race/ethnicity. A t-test was conducted for gender. For each analyses (t-test or ANOVA), the demographic variable served as the independent variable, or the factor. A mean score for each participant was calculated across

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67 all behaviors (i.e., physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncomp liance) for how likely participants were to recommend each strategy. Th is score served as the outcome variable. Age Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy were analyzed, with age serving as the explanat ory variable. As presented in Table 4-2, no main effects were observed for the following variable s by age group: ignore main effect, F(2, 34) = .984, p = .384; redirection main effect, F(2, 34) = .267, p = .767; verbal instruction main effect, F(2, 34) = .095, p = .910; time-out main effect, F(2, 34) = .540, p = .588; fix-it main effect, F(2, 34) = .330, p = .721; responsibilities ma in effect, F(2, 34) = 1.450, p = .249; modeling main effect, F(2, 34) = .784, p = .465; talk with parents main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.282, p = .290; reinforcement main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.202, p = .313; suspension/expulsion main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.920, p = .162; and prevention main effect, F(2, 34) = .328, p = .723. Years of experience Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy were analyzed, with years of experience serving as the explanatory variable. As presented in Table 4-3, no main effects were observed for the following variables by years of experience: ignore main effect, F(3, 33) = .225, p = .878; redirection main effect, F(3, 33) = .062, p = .979; verbal instruction main effect, F(3, 33) = 1.191, p = .328; time-out main effect, F(3, 33) = .477, p = .700; fix-it main effect, F(3, 33) = 1.447, p = .247; responsibilities main effect, F(3, 33) = .677, p = .572; modeling main effect, F(3, 33) = .154, p = .927; talk with parents main effect, F(3, 33) = .488, p = .693; reinforcement main effect, F(3, 33) = .318, p = .812; suspension/expulsion main effect, F(3, 33) = 1.756, p = .175; and prevention ma in effect, F(3, 33) = 1.129, p = .352.

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68 Area of specialization Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy were analyzed, with area of specialization servi ng as the explanatory vari able. As presented in Table 4-4, no main effects were observed for th e following variables by ar e of specialization: ignore main effect, F(2, 34) = .217, p = .806; redirection main effect, F(2, 34) = .991, p = .382; verbal instruction main effect, F(2, 34) = 2.539, p = .094; time-out main effect, F(2, 34) = .159, p = .854; fix-it main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.357, p = .271; responsibilities main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.812, p = .179; modeling main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.145, p = .330; talk with parents main effect, F(2, 34) = .549, p = .582; reinforcement main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.390, p = .263; suspension/expulsion main effect, F(2, 34) = 2.842, p = .072; and prevention main effect, F(2, 34) = .206, p = .815. Degree held Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy were analyzed, with degree held serving as the explanatory variab le. As presented in Table 4-5, no main effects were observed for the following variables by degree held : ignore main effect, F(1, 35) = .062, p = .805; redirection main effect, F(1, 35) = .007, p = .934; verbal instruction main effect, F(1, 35) = .936, p = .340; time-out main effect, F(1, 35) = 3.094, p = .087; fix-it main effect, F(1, 35) = .005, p = .947; responsibilities main effect, F(1, 35) = 1.599, p = .214; modeling main effect, F(1, 35) = .599, p = .444; talk with parents main effect, F(1, 35) = 1.212, p = .279; reinforcement main effect, F(1, 35) = .006, p = .939; suspension/expulsion main effect, F(1, 35) = .965, p = .333; and prevention main effect, F(1, 35) = .001, p = .970. Race/ethnicity Using a one-way ANOVA, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy were analyzed, with race/ethnicity serving as th e explanatory variable. As presented in Table 4-6,

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69 no main effects were observed for the following variables by race/ethnicity: ignore main effect, F(2, 34) = .214, p = .809; redirection main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.437, p = .252; verbal instruction main effect, F(2, 34) = 1.221, p = .308; time-out main effect, F(2, 34) = .352, p = .706; fix-it main effect, F(2, 34) = .156, p = .856; responsibilities main effect, F(2, 34) = 2.154, p = .132; modeling main effect, F(2, 34) = .215, p = .807; talk with parents main effect, F(2, 34) = .460, p = .635; reinforcement main effect, F(2, 34) = .400, p = .673; and prevention main effect, F(2, 34) = .566, p = .573. However, the main effects fo r suspension/expulsion, F(2, 34) = 4.507, p = .018, was statistically significant w ith the mean for African American being higher, with a mean score of m = 1.5 (see Table 4-7). Gender Using an independent samples t-test, mean scores for the likelihood of recommending each strategy were analyzed, with gender serving as th e explanatory variable. As presented in Table 48, the differences between the two gender groups we re not statistically si gnificant for any of the strategies: ignor e, t(35) = -1.071, p = .292; redirection, t(35) = -.404, p = .688; verbal instruction, t(35) = -.776, p = .443; time-out, t(35) = 1.375, p = .178; fix-it, t(35) = 1.111, p = .274; responsibilities, t(35) = -.032, p = .974; modeling, t(35) = -.911, p = .368; talk with parents, F t(35) = -1.625, p = .113; reinforcement, t(35) = .654, p = .518; suspension/expulsion, t(35) = .028, p = .977; and prevention, t(35) = -.536, p = .596. Split-Plot Analysis of Variance (SPANOVA) It was expected that strategy recommenda tion would differ based upon the behavior problem vignette presented. It also was expect ed that theoretical orientation would not significantly impact which strategies were recommended for a particular behavior. When examining the data, Mauchleys Test of Sphericity was significant for strategy, behavior, and strategy by behavior interaction at = .05 (see Table 4-9). As a result, the Huynh-

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70 Feldt correction was used to examine the with in-subjects effects; hypothesis testing was conducted = .05. As presented in Table 4-10, the results of a 2 x 3 x 11 split-plot ANOVA indicated that there was a significant main ef fect for strategy, F(7.715) = 76.031, p = .000, as well as a significant interaction for strategy by theoretical orient ation, F(7.715) = 2.255, p = .026, and strategy by behavior, F(6.217) = 8.420, p = .000. The following analyses were not statistically significant: behavior main effect, F(1.735) = 2.263, p = .119; behavior by th eoretical orientation interaction, F(1.735) = 1.169, p = .209; and strategy by behavior by theoretical orientation interaction, F(6.217) = .721, p = .638. Follow-up Analyses Given the significant interaction for strategy by theoretical orientation and strategy by behavior further examination of the marginal me ans was required to determine the specific areas of significance; see Tables 411 and 4-12, respectively. The marginal means for the strategy by theoretical orientation in teraction are as follows. For behavior ism: ignore, m = 2.341; redirection, m = 4.778; verbal instruction, m = 3.889; time out, m = 2.389; fix-it, m = 2.476; responsibilities, m = 3.897; modeling, m = 5.127; talk with pare nts, m = 4.786; reinforcement, m = 5.087, suspension/expulsion, m = 1.444; and prevention, m = 5.238. For constructivism: ignore, m = 2.198; redirection, m = 4.698; verbal instructi on, m = 4.552; time out, m = 2.396; fix-it, m = 2.521; responsibilities, m = 3.885; modeling, m = 5.604; talk with parents, m = 4.969; reinforcement, m = 3.885, suspension/e xpulsion, m = 1.333; a nd prevention, m = 5.021. The marginal means for the strategy by behavi or interaction are as follows. For ignore: physical aggression, m = 1.544; verbal aggre ssion, m = 2.387; and noncompliance, m = 2.878. For redirection: physical aggression, m = 4.548; verbal aggression, m = 5.035; and noncompliance, m = 4.631. For verbal instruc tion: physical aggression, m = 4.213; verbal

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71 aggression, m = 4.395; and noncompliance, m = 4.054. For time-out: physical aggression, m = 2.830; verbal aggression, m = 2.387; and nonc ompliance, m = 1.961. For fix-it: physical aggression, m = 2.618; verbal aggression, m = 2.599; and noncompliance, m = 2.279. For responsibilities: physical aggression, m = 3.711; verbal aggression, m = 3.630; and noncompliance, m = 4.332. For modeling: physical aggression, m = 5.068; verbal aggression, m = 5.526; and noncompliance, m = 5.502. For talk with parents: physical aggression, m = 5.192; verbal aggression, m = 4.802; and noncomp liance, m = 4.638. For reinforcement: physical aggression, m = 4.182; verbal aggression, m = 4.615; and noncompliance, m = 4.662. For suspension/expulsion: physical aggression, m = 2.018; verb al aggression, m = 1.102; and noncompliance, m = 1.047. And for preventi on: physical aggression, m = 4.649; verbal aggression, m = 5.356; and noncompliance, m = 5.383. Analysis of Open-Ended Responses The open-ended question, If there are ot her strategies you would recommend, please describe here, was presented following each of the six vignettes, twice for each behavior. Participants responses were coded accordi ng to six categories: Functional Behavior Assessment/Behavior Intervention Plan (FBA/BIP ), Teaching Skills, Improve the Teacher-Child Relationship, Gather More Information, Prev ention, and Other. Despite prevention being a category in which participants re sponded to using the Likert s cale, numerous responses included a preventative component, and as a result, prev ention also was included as a category when coding the open-ended question. Each of the 37 participants had two opportunities to provide additional strategy recommendations for each behavi or; one for each of the vignettes addressing each behavior (i.e., physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance). Refer to Table 4-13.

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72 Of the 74 total opportunities for participants to recommend additional strategies for managing physical aggression, 50 open-ended responses were provided. When examining the responses for physical aggression, 36% of respondents recommended FBA/BIP, 36% recommended Teaching Skills, 16% recommended Improve the Teacher-Child Relationship, 20% recommended Gather More Informati on, 22% recommended Prevention, and 14% recommended other strategies. Forty-one responses were provided for verb al aggression, for a response rate of 55%. When examining the responses for verbal aggression, 29% of respondents recommended FBA/BIP, 54% recommended Teaching Skills, 5% recommended Improve the Teacher-Child Relationship, 12% recommended Gather More Information, 29% recommended Prevention, and 17% recommended other strategies. Forty responses were given for noncomplian ce, for a response rate of 54%. When examining the responses for physical aggres sion, 33% of respondents recommended FBA/BIP, 38% recommended Teaching Skills, 5% recommended Improve the Teacher-Child Relationship, 10% recommended Gather More Informati on, 58% recommended Prevention, and 18% recommended other strategies. When examining the open-ended responses by theoretical orientation, the response rates varied. Specifically, behaviorists recommended the use of an FB A/BIP 47% of the time, while constructivists recommended the use of an FBA/BIP 16% of the time. For Teaching Skills constructivists recommended this strategy 43% of the time, and behaviorists recommended this strategy 41% of the time. Further, both behavior ists (14%) and construc tivists (15%) were as likely to recommend strategies that fell in the Gather More Information category. Constructivists were more likely to recommend Improve the T eacher-Child Relationshi p (20%) and Prevention

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73 (41%) than behaviorists, with behaviorists suppl ying responses that fell within these categories 1% and 30% of the time, respectively. Behavior ists provided responses in the Other category 11% of the time, while constructivists responses were in this category 21% of the time. For a table of open-ended provided by behaviorists and constructivists s ee Tables 4-14 and 4-15, respectively.

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74 Table 4-1. Demographic variables Demographic variables NTotal N Percentage Gender Male 1237 32% Female 2537 68% Degree BA 037 -MA/EdS 637 16% PhD 3137 84% Race Caucasian 3437 92% African American 237 5% Asian 137 3% Areas of specialization EC 1437 38% ECSE 1937 51% Other 437 11% Age 27-39 837 22% 40-50 1337 35% 51-63 1637 43% Years of experience 0-2 years 537 14% 3-5 years 037 -6-8 years 037 -9-11 years 237 5% 12 years and up 2937 78% No response 137 3%

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75 Table 4-2. Analysis of variance for age Source d f SS MSF Sig. of F Ignore Between groups 21.809.905.984.384 Within groups 3431.270.920 Total 3633.080 Redirect Between groups 2.517.259.267.767 Within groups 3432.891.967 Total 3633.408 Verbal instruction Between groups 2.276.138.095.910 Within groups 3449.4631.455 Total 3649.739 Time-out Between groups 21.264.632.540.588 Within groups 3439.8051.171 Total 3641.069 Fix-it Between groups 2.762.381.330.721 Within groups 3439.2891.156 Total 3640.051 Responsibilities Between groups 23.6681.8341.450.249 Within groups 3443.0071.265 Total 3646.676 Modeling Between groups 21.624.812.784.465 Within groups 3435.2161.036 Total 3636.840 Talk with parents Between groups 24.3152.1571.282.290 Within groups 3457.2051.682 Total 3661.520 Reinforcement Between groups 25.6262.8131.202.313 Within groups 3479.5792.341 Total 3685.205 Suspen/Expulsion Between groups 2.1788.884E-021.920.162 Within groups 341.5734.627E-02 Total 361.751 Prevention Between groups 2.490.245.328.723 Within groups 3425.405.747 Total 3625.895

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76 Table 4-3. Analysis of variance for years of experience Source d f SS MSF Sig. of F Ignore Between groups 3.663.221.225.878 Within groups 3332.417.982 Total 3633.080 Redirect Between groups 3.1886.263E-02.062.979 Within groups 3333.2201.007 Total 3633.408 Verbal instruction Between groups 34.8581.6191.191.328 Within groups 3344.8811.360 Total 3649.739 Time-out Between groups 31.707.569.477.700 Within groups 3339.3621.193 Total 3641.069 Fix-it Between groups 34.6571.5521.447.247 Within groups 3335.3941.073 Total 3640.051 Responsibilities Between groups 32.707.902.677.572 Within groups 3343.9691.332 Total 3646.676 Modeling Between groups 3.507.169.154.927 Within groups 3336.3331.101 Total 3636.840 Talk with parents Between groups 32.615.872.488.693 Within groups 3358.9051.785 Total 3661.520 Reinforcement Between groups 32.397.799.318.812 Within groups 3382.8082.509 Total 3685.205 Suspen/Expulsion Between groups 3.2418.034E-021.756.175 Within groups 331.5104.575E-02 Total 361.751 Prevention Between groups 32.409.8031.129.352 Within groups 3323.486.712 Total 3625.895

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77 Table 4-4. Analysis of varian ce for area of specialization Source d f SS MSF Sig. of F Ignore Between groups 2.418.209.217.806 Within groups 3432.662.961 Total 3633.080 Redirect Between groups 21.840.920.991.382 Within groups 3431.567.928 Total 3633.408 Verbal instruction Between groups 26.4633.2322.539.094 Within groups 3443.2761.273 Total 3649.739 Time-out Between groups 2.380.190.159.854 Within groups 3440.6891.197 Total 3641.069 Fix-it Between groups 22.9601.4801.357.271 Within groups 3437.0911.091 Total 3640.051 Responsibilities Between groups 24.4962.2481.812.179 Within groups 3442.1791.241 Total 3646.676 Modeling Between groups 22.3261.1631.145.330 Within groups 3434.5151.015 Total 3636.840 Talk with parents Between groups 21.926.963.549.582 Within groups 3459.5941.753 Total 3661.520 Reinforcement Between groups 26.4393.2191.390.263 Within groups 3478.7662.317 Total 3685.205 Suspen/Expulsion Between groups 2.251.1252.842.072 Within groups 341.5004.412E-02 Total 361.751 Prevention Between groups 2.309.155.206.815 Within groups 3425.586.753 Total 3625.895

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78 Table 4-5. Analysis of variance for degree held Source d f SS MSF Sig. of F Ignore Between groups 15.836E-025.836E-02.062.805 Within groups 3533.022.943 Total 3633.080 Redirect Between groups 16.719E-036.719E-03.007.934 Within groups 3533.401.954 Total 3633.408 Verbal instruction Between groups 11.2951.295.936.340 Within groups 3548.4441.384 Total 3649.739 Time-out Between groups 13.3363.3363.094.087 Within groups 3537.7341.078 Total 3641.069 Fix-it Between groups 15.196E-035.196E-03.005.947 Within groups 3540.0461.144 Total 3640.051 Responsibilities Between groups 12.0392.0391.599.214 Within groups 3544.6361.275 Total 3646.676 Modeling Between groups 1.619.619.599.444 Within groups 3536.2211.035 Total 3636.840 Talk with parents Between groups 12.0582.0581.212.279 Within groups 3559.4611.699 Total 3661.520 Reinforcement Between groups 11.430E-021.430E-02.006.939 Within groups 3585.1912.434 Total 3685.205 Suspen/Expulsion Between groups 14.697E-024.697E-02.965.333 Within groups 351.7044.868E-02 Total 361.751 Prevention Between groups 11.067E-031.067E-03.001.970 Within groups 3525.894.740 Total 3625.895

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79 Table 4-6. Analysis of va riance for race/ethnicity Source d f SS MSF Sig. of F Ignore Between groups 2.411.205.214.809 Within groups 3432.669.961 Total 3633.080 Redirect Between groups 22.6041.3021.437.252 Within groups 3430.804.906 Total 3633.408 Verbal instruction Between groups 23.3321.6661.221.308 Within groups 3446.4061.365 Total 3649.739 Time-out Between groups 2.834.417.352.706 Within groups 3440.2351.183 Total 3641.069 Fix-it Between groups 2.364.182.156.856 Within groups 3439.6871.167 Total 3640.051 Responsibilities Between groups 25.2492.6242.154.132 Within groups 3441.4271.218 Total 3646.676 Modeling Between groups 2.460.230.215.807 Within groups 3436.3801.070 Total 3636.840 Talk with parents Between groups 21.621.811.460.635 Within groups 3459.8991.762 Total 3661.520 Reinforcement Between groups 21.958.979.400.673 Within groups 3483.2472.448 Total 3685.205 Suspen/Expulsion Between groups 2.367.1834.507.018 Within groups 341.3844.070E-02 Total 361.751 Prevention Between groups 2.835.417.566.573 Within groups 3425.060.737 Total 3625.895

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80 Table 4-7. Descriptive statistics for race/ethnicity 95% Confidence Interval for Mean Mean Std. DeviationStd. Error Lower Bound Upper Bound Ignore Caucasian 2.4362.9847 .1689 2.0926 2.7797 African American2.2500.8202 .5800 -5.1196 9.6196 Asian 1.8300 Total 2.4097.9586 .1576 2.0901 2.7293 Redirect Caucasian 4.7265.9583 .1643 4.3921 5.0608 African American5.5000.7071 .5000 -.8531 11.8531 Asian 6.0000 Total 4.8027.9633 .1584 4.4815 5.1239 Verbal instruction Caucasian 4.15591.1643 .1997 3.7497 4.5621 African American4.08501.2940 .9150 -7.5412 15.7112 Asian 6.0000 Total 4.20191.1754 .1932 3.8100 4.5938 Time-out Caucasian 2.24881.0995 .1886 1.8652 2.6324 African American1.5850.5869 .4150 3.6881 6.8581 Asian 2.1700 Total 2.21081.0681 .1756 1.8547 2.5669 Fix-it Caucasian 2.47591.0964 .1880 2.0933 2.8585 African American2.9150.1202 8.500E-02 1.8350 3.9950 Asian 2.5000 Total 2.50031.0548 .1734 2.1486 2.8519 Responsibilities Caucasian 3.91561.0881 .1866 3.5359 4.2953 African American4.91501.5344 1.0850 -8.8712 18.7012 Asian 5.8300 Total 4.02141.1387 .1872 3.6417 4.4010 Modeling Caucasian 5.42591.0427 .1788 5.0621 5.7897 African American5.1700.7071 .5000 -1.1831 11.5231 Asian 6.0000 Total 5.42761.0116 .1663 5.0903 5.7649 Talk with parents Caucasian 4.72591.3205 .2265 4.2651 5.1866 African American4.91501.5344 1.0850 -8.8712 18.7012 Asian 6.0000 Total 4.77051.3072 .2149 4.3347 5.2064 Reinforcement Caucasian 4.62261.5396 .2640 4.0855 5.1598 African American4.41502.2415 1.5850 -15.7243 24.5543 Asian 6.0000 Total 4.64861.5384 .2529 4.1357 5.1616 Suspen/Expulsion Caucasian 1.0638.1880 3.224E-02 .9982 1.1294 African American1.5000.4667 .3300 -2.6930 5.6930 Asian 1.0000 Total 1.0857.2205 3.625E-02 1.0121 1.1592

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81 Table 4-7. Continued 95% Confidence Interval for Mean Mean Std. DeviationStd. Error Lower Bound Upper Bound Prevention Caucasian 5.4115.8295 .1423 5.1220 5.7009 African American4.91501.5344 1.0850 -8.8712 18.7012 Asian 6.0000 Total 5.4005.8481 .1394 5.1178 5.6833 Table 4-8. T-tests for gender Mean Std. error 90% Confidence interval of the difference Sig. difference difference Lower Upper t d f (2-tailed) Ignore -.3597.3360 -.9274.2079-1.07135.292 Redirection -.1384.3423 -.7168.4399-.40435.688 Verbal instruction -.3222.4151 -1.0236.3791-.77635.443 Time-out .5094.3705 -.11671.13551.37535.178 Fix-it .4103.3692 -.21351.03411.11135.274 Responsibilities -1.3100E-02.4056 -.6983.6721-.03235.974 Modeling -.3245.3561 -.9261.2772-.91135.368 Talk with parents -.7297.4490 -1.48832.886E-02-1.62535.113 Reinforcement .3560.5446 -.56421.2762.65435.518 Suspen/Expulsion -2.2333E-037.854E-02 -.1349.1305-.02835.977 Prevention -.1611.3008 -.6694.3472-.53635.596 Table 4-9. Mauchleys test of sphericity Epsilon Mauchly's W Approx. chisquare df Sig. GreenhouseGeisser Huynh -Feldt Lowerbound Strategy .041 100.279 54.000.608 .771 .100 Behavior .765 9.112 2.011.810 .867 .500 Strategy* Behavior .000 567.563 209.000.254 .311 5.000E-02

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82 Table 4-10. SPANOVA using the Huynh-Feldt correction Source d f SS MS F Sig. of F Strategy 7.7152039.848264.41776.031.000 Strategy*Theoretical orientation 7.71560.4917.8412.255.026 Error(Strategy) 270.008939.0203.478 Behavior 1.7352.6941.5532.263.119 Behavior*Theoretical orientation 1.7351.9271.1111.619.209 Error(Behavior) 60.72541.657.686 Strategy*Behavior 6.217114.51318.4208.420.000 Strategy*Behavior*Theoretical orientation 6.2179.8021.577.721.638 Error(Strategy*Behavior) 217.592476.0012.188 Table 4-11. Marginal means for th eoretical orientation by strategy 95% Confidence Interval Theoretical orientation Strategy M ean Std. ErrorLower BoundUpper Bound Behaviorism Ignore 2.341 .179 1.978 2.705 Redirection 4.778 .208 4.355 5.201 Verbal instruction 3.889 .240 3.401 4.377 Time-out 2.389 .260 1.861 2.917 Fix-it 2.476 .225 2.020 2.932 Responsibilities 3.897 .260 3.368 4.425 Modeling 5.127 .219 4.683 5.571 Talk with parents 4.786 .276 4.225 5.347 Reinforcement 5.087 .301 4.477 5.698 Suspen/Expulsion 1.444 .151 1.137 1.752 Prevention 5.238 .219 4.794 5.682 Constructivism Ignore 2.198 .205 1.782 2.614 Redirection 4.698 .239 4.213 5.183 Verbal instruction 4.552 .275 3.993 5.111 Time-out 2.396 .298 1.791 3.001 Fix-it 2.521 .257 1.999 3.043 Responsibilities 3.885 .298 3.280 4.491 Modeling 5.604 .250 5.096 6.112 Talk with parents 4.969 .317 4.326 5.611 Reinforcement 3.885 .345 3.186 4.585 Suspen/Expulsion 1.333 .173 .981 1.686 Prevention 5.021 .251 4.512 5.530

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83 Table 4-12. Marginal means for strategy by behavior 95% Confidence Interval Strategy Behavior Mean Std. ErrorLower BoundUpper Bound Ignore Physical aggression1.544 .124 1.291 1.797 Verbal aggression 2.387 .176 2.030 2.744 Noncompliance 2.878 .216 2.440 3.316 Redirection Physical aggression4.548 .217 4.107 4.988 Verbal aggression 5.035 .164 4.701 5.369 Noncompliance 4.631 .210 4.206 5.056 Verbal instruction Phys ical aggression4.213 .199 3.809 4.616 Verbal aggression 4.395 .203 3.982 4.808 Noncompliance 4.054 .231 3.586 4.522 Time-out Physical aggression2.830 .252 2.319 3.340 Verbal aggression 2.387 .197 1.987 2.786 Noncompliance 1.961 .196 1.563 2.358 Fix-it Physical aggression2.618 .185 2.243 2.993 Verbal aggression 2.599 .198 2.197 3.001 Noncompliance 2.279 .217 1.839 2.719 Responsibilities Physical aggression3.711 .252 3.200 4.223 Verbal aggression 3.630 .236 3.151 4.109 Noncompliance 4.332 .215 3.896 4.768 Modeling Physical aggression5.068 .191 4.680 5.457 Verbal aggression 5.526 .170 5.181 5.871 Noncompliance 5.502 .172 5.152 5.852 Talk with parents Physical aggression5.192 .195 4.795 5.589 Verbal aggression 4.802 .234 4.327 5.277 Noncompliance 4.638 .246 4.139 5.137 Reinforcement Physical aggression4.182 .229 3.717 4.646 Verbal aggression 4.615 .255 4.098 5.133 Noncompliance 4.662 .246 4.163 5.161 Suspen/Expulsion Physical aggression2.018 .313 1.382 2.654 Verbal aggression 1.102 .047 1.006 1.197 Noncompliance 1.047 .030 .987 1.107 Prevention Physical aggression4.649 .334 3.970 5.327 Verbal aggression 5.356 .140 5.071 5.641 Noncompliance 5.383 .162 5.054 5.712

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84 Table 4-13. Percentage (%) and number (n) of op en-ended categories by theoretical orientation %(n) Strategy Behaviorists Constructivists FBA/BIP 47(33) 15(9) Teaching of skills 41(29) 43(26) Improving the teacher-child relationship 1(1) 20(12) Gather more information 14(10) 16(10) Prevention 30(21) 41(25) Other 11(8) 21(13) Table 4-14. Sample of open-ended stra tegies reported by behaviorists Strategy Open-ended response FBA/BIP Functional Behavior Assessment, th at is some level of data collection to more fully understand the contexts (including prior behaviors/events and consequences) the behavior of focus occurs. Conduct a functional assessment a nd develop an assessment-based behavior support plan that incl udes prevention, instruction, and response strategies. Conduct a functional analysis to he lp understand what is maintaining the challenging behavior. Teaching of skills Instruction of skills that serve the same function, positive reinforcement in the form of verbal, descriptive praise. Differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior. Social skills training, teach communi cation skills, and social stories. Instructing the other children Ensure immediate feedback and reinforcement (shaping). Improve the teacherchild relationship Teaming with families should always occur, but talking with parents is not a strategy for behavior management Gather more information To adequately assess the situation more information would be needed. Is this a new behavior or has this been going on for sometime? Does she exhibit the behavior in ot her settings home? community? Find out the strengths of child & what works at home. Conduct preference assessments to determine reinforcers. Prevention Activity schedules with clear indications of which children assume which roles. Proactive (signaling) strategies Select activities that require coop eration between children to set the occasion for the target behavior ("sharing"). Provide multiples of favorite toys, Other Behavioral contract at age appropriate level.

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85 Table 4-15. Open-ended strategies reported by co nstructivists Strategy Open-ended response FBA/BIP Functional Assessment of Behavi or and an intervention plan based on that information I would request a functional beha vioral analysis to determine the function of the challenging behaviors. Teaching of skills Group lessons illustrating positive problem solving techniques. Teach an alternative behavior, such as communication skills. Social stories to help him learn a ppropriate behaviors and expectations; facilitate small group play experiences. Acknowledging and labeling feelings and emotions. Using a curriculum such as Second Step to encourage development of empathy and sensitivity to feelings and emotions of others. Enabling other children to tell her to stop yelling. Improve the teache r child relationship Working on building a positive relationship with the child. Making sure teachers spend time c onnecting and conversing with him at times other than transitions connecting with parents and acknowledging feelings. Work on trust relationships. Gather more information Are there external factors that coul d influence her behaviors at this time (i.e., too much sensory stimulation)? Ask parents or caregivers to comple te developmental screen; ask about hearing testing and doe s the children have enough time to complete activities? Make sure expectations are deve lopmentally appropriate (i.e., how long is group time? Is there a savi ng shelf or some way for him to come back to the structure he was building? Does he have adequate time to build?) Preventio n Shadow child to intervene before aggression occurs. Developing an environment that is an alytical in set up and preventive in nature. Picture schedules and in dividualized one-step instru ctions. Make sure he has opportunities to make c hoices in his environment. Be somewhat flexible on transitioning; make sure the next activity is very attractive. Othe r Visit with a child psychologist because persistent and high level aggression at this age is sometime s the beginning of an unfavorable trajectory for the child. Behavioral contracting

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86 CHAPTER 4 DISCUSSION The field of early childhood has experienced si gnificant growth over the past decade, with increasing numbers of young children participating in group care and early e ducation. With this increase has come greater attention to eff ective management in early childhood settings. Although experts agree that ma naging young childrens challengi ng behavior is critically important in providing supportive early learning environments, a wide range of practices are recommended and implemented across different sett ings. The current study explored factors that influence strategy recommendations by experts in the fields of early childhood education and early childhood special education. Specifically, experts were asked to identify which strategies they would recommend for three different chal lenging behaviors: physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliance. The study investig ated whether strategy recommendation differs depending on the behavior problem presented and/or the theoretical orienta tion of the expert. In other words, a statistically significant interact ion between strategy and behavior problem was expected, while a statistically significant interaction between strategy, behavior problem, and theoretical orientation was not expected. Thes e hypotheses were suppor ted, and a relationship between theoretical orientation and strategy recommendation also was found. Relationship Between Strategy and Theoretical Orientation The findings from the current study suggest si gnificant group differences between experts who ascribe to behavioral versus constructiv ist orientations regard ing recommendations for addressing challenging behaviors. At the same ti me, while the groups differed, some of the most popular strategies were recommended by both behavi orists and constructivi sts. For example, the strategies most frequently recommended by expe rts who identified themselves as behaviorists included redirection, talking with parents, modeling appr opriate behavior, providing

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87 reinforcement, and implementing preventive effort s in that order. The most popular strategies identified by constructivists were redirecting the child, providing verbal instruction, talking with parents, modeling appropriate behaviors, and prevention again in that order. While both constructivists and behaviorists are most likely to recommend redi rection, talking with parents, modeling, and prevention some significant differen ces between behaviorists and constructivists exist. Specifically, constructivi sts are also likely to recommend the use of verbal instruction, while this is not one of the st rategies likely to be recomm ended by behaviorists. Further, behaviorists are more likely to recommend the us e of reinforcement, while constructivists are not. Relationship Between Strategy Recommendati on and Types of Challenging Behavior A second finding from the study relates to the re lationship between the particular strategies recommended for managing physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliant behavior regardless of theoretical orient ation. Modeling appropriate behavi ors and preventing challenging ones are the strategies that ar e most likely recommended for a ll three types of challenging behavior, while the use of suspension or expul sion is least likely to be recommended when addressing each of the behaviors independently. A description of the significant findings related to each challenging behavior follows. Physical aggression When specifically examining physical aggr ession, experts from both theoretical orientations are least likely to recommend ignoring the behavior. The strategies which are most likely to be recommended include talking w ith parents, modeling appropriate behavior, prevention, redirection, verbal instructi on, and reinforcement in that order.

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88 Verbal aggression When considering children who are exhibiting verbally aggre ssive behaviors, the least likely behavior which experts recommend is suspen sion/expulsion. On the other hand, experts of both theoretical orientations are most likely to recommend the use of modeling, prevention, redirection, talking with parent s, reinforcement, and verbal instruction to address verbal aggression. Noncompliant behavior As with verbal aggression, experts are leas t likely to recommend suspension/expulsion for noncompliant behaviors; however, they also ar e unlikely to recommend giving the child a timeout when addressing such behaviors. Experts from both groups are most likely to recommend modeling appropriate behavior, employing preven tative measures, providing reinforcement, talking with the childs parents, redirec tion, providing them with additional classroom responsibilities, and verbal instruction. The results of this study provide informati on that is meaningful both clinically and practically. Despite limited res earch supporting some of the strategies recommended for managing challenging behaviors, ex perts are more significantly li kely to recommend particular strategies for physical aggression, verbal aggr ession, and noncompliance. At the same time, experts are less likely to recommend certain st rategies, such as time-out and suspension or expulsion for noncompliant behaviors, for example. Overall, the current findings suggest that experts are unlikely to recommend the use of su spension or expulsion when addressing physical aggression, verbal aggression, and noncompliant behaviors; however experts are more likely to recommend the use of suspension or expulsion wh en addressing physical aggression. Despite the decreased likelihood that experts would regularly recommend susp ension or expulsion, expulsion is a common practice in early childhood setting, and preschools in particular (Gilliam, 2004).

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89 Based on the current findings, it can be stat ed that while the use of suspension and expulsion is not generally recomm ended, it is more likely to be recommended for children who are physically aggressive. This di fference is likely due to the incr eased risk of injury to other children in the classroom when a child is being physically aggressive; thus suggesting that when a child becomes severely physically aggressive, th ey are at greater risk of being suspended or expelled. However, its difficult to justify expe lling a very young child for several reasons. For example, the school will have to deal with the child eventu ally, and expelling a child from preschool will just facilitate the development of even more difficult behaviors. Similarly, suspending is a remarkably bad idea as it doesn t teach appropriate be haviors; generally the only function is to give the adults in the setting a break from the ch ild, which is inconsistent with educational law as an educational intervention. Nevertheless, Gilliam (2004) found that the na tional expulsion rate for pre-kindergarten students was 6.7 for every 1,000 enrolled, while the na tional expulsion rate for students in grades K-12 was 2.1 for every 1,000 enrolled. The expulsion ra te at the pre-kinderga rten level is more than three times greater than that at the school age level. Furthe r, 4-year-olds are approximately 5% more likely to be expelled than 3-year-olds (Gilliam, 2004) This suggests that children exhibiting challenging behaviors at very young ages are being expelled at alarming rates with very little empirical support fo r the efficacy of such a practice. This research taken with the findings from the current study, suggests the impor tance of bridging the re search to practice gap, and incorporating the most and least likely stra tegies to be recommended into preservice and inservice training for early ch ildhood professionals. Presumabl y, experts opinions reflect significant knowledge of empirical research and literature, yet the recommended practices are not necessarily reflected as prac tice in early childhood settings.

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90 Another interesting finding is that provi ding a child with a dditional classroom responsibilities is more often used for a ch ild who is noncompliant as opposed to a child exhibiting aggressive behaviors. Again, although there is little documented evidence to support the effectiveness of this strategy, it wa s often recommended for managing noncompliant behaviors and occasionally recommended for phys ical and verbal aggressions. It can be hypothesized that the recommendation of this strategy is in hopes that the additional responsibility when ultimately in crease a childs compliance, or possible participation in the appropriate classroom activity. Trends in Open-Ended Responses Participants also were asked to identify additional strategies th ey would recommend for managing each of the identified challenging behaviors, if they believed necessary strategies were omitted, and several trends for each specific behavior were noted. Of the 25 participants who chose to respond to this question regarding physical aggression, teaching the child additional skills and the use of a functional behavior assessment were identif ied as critical strategies. The described focus of an FBA was to determin e the function of the physical aggression, and subsequently develop and implement interven tions to serve the same purpose in hopes of replacing the physically aggressi ve behaviors. However, the focus of the responses indicating that teaching the child additional skills was nece ssary, was not quite as narrow. Such responses ranged from direct instruction of communication and/or social sk ills to the reinforcement of alternative behaviors or of appr opriate behaviors exhibited by th e identified childs classmates. Nevertheless, this category of responses implies that a physically aggressive child lacks specific skills necessary to behave appr opriately in the classroom. Interestingly, several of the responses within the teaching skills category included teaching more appropriate classroom beha viors that also served the sa me function of the physically

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91 aggressive behavior. However, fi rst identifying the function of the behavior may or may not have been included in the individual re sponses; therefore, identifying th e function may have served as a preliminary step in skill instruction. In ot her words, these two categories are not mutually exclusive as participants could have provided stra tegies that fell into both the FBA and teaching skills categories, and as a result, they should not be viewed as dist inct intervention strategies, but rather as complimentary in nature. A somewhat different pattern of responding was observed when examining the open-ended responses for verbal aggression. The use of an FBA was reported by 29% of the participants electing to respond to this item; however, teaching skills was reported by 54% of those responding. This suggests that while participants believe the use of an FBA may be beneficial when working with children who are verbally aggr essive, it is not as im portant as teaching the child specific skills or more acceptable classroom behaviors. Further, the use of an FBA does not appear to be as important for managing verb al aggression as it is for managing physical aggression. Additionally, preventative strategies we re seen equally as important as determining the function of verbal aggression. Particular responses that were preventative in nature include the use of visual schedules and pr oviding the child with choices. These same three categories, FBA, teaching sk ills, and prevention, were also frequently recommended for addressing noncompliant behavior s. However, of the three, prevention was reported most commonly. It is important to note th at many of the responses that were categorized as preventative focused more on the classroom environment than on the child. For example, creating an engaging classroom environment and offering attractive classroom activities, in addition to allowing the child flexibility in pa rticipating were recurrent trends reported.

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92 When examining the open-ended responses by th eoretical orientation, interesting trends emerge. Specifically, behaviorists are more likel y to emphasize the importance of an FBA when managing challenging behaviors, while constructi vists are more likely to stress the use of preventative strategies and impr oving the teacher-child relations hip; both behaviorists and constructivists are equally as likely to recommend teaching skills. This pattern likely reflects the training experiences of those w ithin each respective field, and may play out similarly in the childcare environment or classroom setting. More specifically, childcare pr oviders trained in the field of early childhood may more frequently rely upon prevention and improving the teacherchild relationship, while practiti oners trained in the field of early childhood special education may more frequently examine and implement interventions based upon the function of the presenting challenging behavior. Currently, the use of a Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) are widely regarded as best pr actice in addressing behavioral difficulties in children of all ages. While neither strategy was in cluded in the study, as th ey were not identified in the pilot study, which was completed in 2002, as commonly used in the childcare setting, participants were asked to provide additional stra tegies that they believed were omitted from the study. Interestingly, only 47% of behaviorists an d 15% of constructivists responded to the openended questions by recommending the use of an FBA. Given the growing trend in the field, it is particularly surprising that a gr eater number of participants di d not recommend the use of this strategy when given the opportunity to do so. Implications of the Findings Willoughby, Kupersmidt, and Bryant (2001) report startling numbers of preschool children exhibiting antisocial behaviors; approximately 40% of preschoolers exhibit at least one, and approximately 10% of preschoolers exhibit six or more antisocial behaviors a day. Further,

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93 Arnold, McWilliams, and Arnold (1998) suggest that disruptive behaviors are the greatest challenges faced by preschool teachers and chil dcare providers each year. Given the overstressed nature of childcare providers and pres chool teachers, there is a significant need for additional support and training in early childhood classrooms (Willoughby, Kupersmidt, & Bryant, 2001). Consultation between teachers and special e ducators or school psychologists is a common practice for addressing difficulties in school ag e children, and the use of mental health consultation in early childhood settings is a rapidly growing trend (Buysse & Wesley, 2005). Specifically, mental health consultation is an in tervention strategy freque ntly used to address challenging behaviors in young children, and provid ing specific recommendations for managing such behaviors often is the focus of cons ultative relationships. While Alkon, Ramler and MacLennan (2003) found that mental health consu ltation in childcare sett ings can improve the overall quality of the childcare environment, Rave r and Knitzer (2002) also suggest that the use of mental health consultati on in early childhood settings can significantly decrease both internalizing and externalizing be havior problems in young children. Despite support regarding the effectiveness of mental health c onsultation in early childhood environments less is known about the, sp ecific factors influenci ng the efficacy of this intervention strategy. While Green, Everhart, Gordon, and Gettman (2006) found that although the personal and professional characteristics of the mental health consultant, such as race/ethnicity and education level, do not direct ly impact the effectiven ess of consultation, they do suggest that the effect of a mental health consultants degree, or area of study, may be a critical factor to examine. Given such informa tion, the current study provides insight into various factors influencing the consultativ e relationship, including the consul tants theoretical orientation

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94 and the behavior in which they are addressing. Of pa rticular interest is th e effect a consultants theoretical orientation may have on the consultative relationship. According to Duncan (2000), preservice teach ers in early childhood training programs are more likely to hold beliefs similar to a construc tivist perspective, while preservice teachers in early childhood special education and combined ECE and ECSE teacher preparation programs, or Unified training programs, are mo re likely to hold beliefs simila r to that of behaviorists. Given such information, it is likely that childcare pr oviders and general education teachers are more likely to ascribe to a construc tivist perspective, while mental health consultants and school psychologists are more likely to ascribe to a be haviorist perspec tive. Further, the current study suggests that recommendations for managing challenging behavi ors differ as a function of theoretical orientation, sugge sting that dissonance between a consultants strategy recommendation and the consultee s belief in that particular strategy may exist, which may adversely impact the consultative relationship. In a similar vein, it is not only critical to consider theoretical orientation in relation to mental health consultation, but also in regards to the preservice and/or inservice training of childcare providers. High quality childcare ha s been linked to numerous benefits for young children (Campbell & Ramey, 1994; NICHD Earl y Child Care Research Network, 1998; Peisner-Feiberg, et al., 1999). Sp ecifically, high quality childcare helps to encourage the socialemotional, intellectual, and physical developm ent (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997), as well as the receptive language, academic, and social skills of young childr en (Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). Of particular importance to the current study is the impact high quality childcare has on the behavioral functioning of young children. The NICHD Early Child Care Research Network

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95 (1998) found that high quality childcare was direc tly related to fewer behavior problems and improved social competence at age two, in a ddition to increases in child compliance and decreases in behavior problems at age three. Fu rthermore, teacher traini ng has been identified as an integral component of high qua lity childcare and is directly linked to better cognitive and emotional outcomes in low-income children (Bur chinal, Peisner-Feinberg, Bryant, & Clifford, 2000). It is well documented that childcare provider tr aining is an essential c onstituent of a quality childcare environment (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997; Cost, Quality & Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). However, an individuals theoretical orientation can influence the perception of a strategys effec tiveness (Guralnick, 1993), and subsequently, the receptiveness with which training is received and u tilized. Preservice and inservice trainings for childcare providers are the primary means for continuing education. While the results of the current study do not advocate for one particular wa y in which quality training is received (i.e., preservice or inservice), it cert ainly emphasizes the importance of trainers developing an awareness of the impact their theoretical orie ntation may have on trainees receptiveness to information. Specifically, it is essential that trainers not only have an understanding of the theoretical orientation of thei r audience, but also how their personal beliefs may impact the likelihood that the information and sugge stions presented will be used. Limitations of the Current Study Despite the significance of the current findings, the limitations of the study also must be considered. While this research provides impor tant information, some limitations effect the interpretation and generalizability of the findi ngs. Specifically, consider ation of the potential threats to internal and extern al validity is essential

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96 Internal Validity Internal validity relates to the extent to which the study outcomes result from the direct manipulation of the independent variables rather than the influence of confounding variables. In other words, are the research findings a direct re sult of the particular va riables of interest, the variables manipulated or measured (Shavelson, 1996). Threats to internal validity impact whether there is a cause and effect relati onship between the inde pendent and dependent variables. The following discussion relates to th e current studys threats to internal validity. The BCECS: PS included behavioral vignett es and specific strategies for which respondents were asked to select how likely they were to recommend each strategy to address the behaviors presented. Vignettes were used to provid e a clear picture of the identified behavior and to control for participants prior experience and knowledge. The constr uct validity of each vignette was examined to ensure that that it accu rately reflected the targ eted behavior. However, despite such attempts is it lik ely that participants responses were influenced by previous experiences and knowledge, and their conceptualiz ations of each behavior likely were broader than that which was presented in the vignette. On the other hand, while the vignettes were cl osely examined prior to their usage (e.g., construct validity, test-retest reliability), the strate gies themselves were not Instead the strategies listed were based upon their identification from a pilot study as being used in childcare setting for managing challenging behaviors. Some of the strategies listed in the current survey included examples or brief descriptions, while some did no t; participants were expe cted to respond based upon such descriptions, if provided, as well as th eir prior knowledge of the strategy presented. The potential vagueness, or lack of specifi city, of the strategies presented and the allowance for individual interpretation could have caused for discrepant understanding of their meaning. For example, the strategies talk with parents and time-out/removal from activities

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97 can be interpreted in many ways. Talking with pare nts could include talking with parents in order to have them correct the situ ation, to determine what works best for managing their childs behavior at home, or simply to inform them of the situation occurring. While the strategy timeout included a brief description (i.e., take child away from the class) of its meaning, it too could be interpreted in various ways. Specifically, whet her the respondent interp reted this strategy to mean an in-class or out-of-class time out is un clear. Furthermore, the exact understanding of the respondents interpretation and subs equent endorsement of such strategies becomes particularly important when attempting to transfer study findi ngs to the real world classroom environment may be more difficult; this limitation also imp acting the external valid ity of the current study. A critical threat to internal validity relates to the way in which part icipants were grouped. When completing the demographic questionnaire respondents self-selec ted their area of specialization, as well as the theoretical orientati on with which they were most closely affiliated. Specifically, respondents were asked to iden tify their primary and secondary areas of specialization (i.e., earl y childhood, early childhood special edu cation, other), th eir theoretical orientation (i.e., behaviorism, constructivism) and to what degree they considered each theoretical orientation when working with young children. Nevertheless, participants were identified as belonging to eith er the early childhood or the ea rly childhood special education group based upon their affiliation with national as sociation (i.e., NAEYC or DEC) within each field. While the method used provides a clear de lineation of groups, and e ssentially was chosen by the participants when they joined their resp ective associations, cons idering an individuals perspective, particularly in rega rds to what degree they consider ed each theoretical orientation, also may have been beneficial given that theoretical associat ion is not directly linked to association affiliation. In other words, by basis of the way in which participants were grouped,

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98 the current study assumed that the two groups, members of NAEYC and DEC, are dichotomous. While the results of the study suggest an effect of orientation, a true dichotomy may not exist. External Validity External validity relates to the extent to whic h study results can be generalized to situations outside of those observed in the study (Shavels on, 1996). In other words, questions regarding external validity examine whethe r research findings can be gene ralize to the real world. One of the primary limitations of the current study, and a threat to the external validity, relates to the survey developed, and utilized, solely for the purpose of this study. One of the primary threats to external validity relates to the sample size of the current study. Despite requesting participation from th e entire target populat ion, only 20% chose to participate. The total sample of 37 participants was then divide d into two groups, behaviorists (n=21) and constructivists (n=16) resulting in even smaller groups used for data analysis. With a larger sample size, additional st atistically significant results ma y have been found. Further, it can be stated that the current studys results may not accu rately reflect the beliefs of the entire target population. In other words, the results may not accurat ely reflect what all expe rts in the fields of early childhood and early childhood special educ ation would recommend for managing physical aggression, verbal aggression, a nd noncompliant behavior. Another threat to the studys ex ternal validity, relates to the lack of information regarding participants geographic location; both knowledge of the geographic location of the current job, as well as the geographic location of their gradua te training may have b een beneficial. Such information could have provided insight as to whether the strategies recommended varied as a function of the area in which participants were trai ned or practice. Further, this information could offer insight as to whether current trends, or what is considered best practice, are influenced by geographic location.

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99 Future Research While the current study provides meaningful in formation, both clinically and practically, additional areas of research are necessary. One criti cal area of research relates to the more recent trend of using functional behavior assessments (FBA) and positive behavioral supports (PBS) in order to effectively address challenging beha viors (Chandler, Dahlquies t, Repp, & Feltz, 1999; Kamps, et al., 1995; Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002; OSEP, 2005). While the use of an FBA and PBS is a growing trend, these strategi es were not included in the pilot study, which served as the foundational resear ch for the current study. Specif ically, the pilot study solicited information from childcare providers regarding how challenging behaviors were managed in the classroom. Subsequently, the strategies which we re reported in the pilo t study served as the strategies examined in the current study; neit her FBAs nor PBS were reported. However, given the length of time between the pi lot study and the current study, it is likely that the findings from the current study do not accurately represent what experts in the fields of early childhood and early childhood special education are most likely to recommend as best practices. Even though participants were able to s ubmit additional strategies which they would recommend, many may not have chosen to do so despite believ ing the use of an FBA is essential. As a result, in order to provide the most accura te information regarding what is viewed as best practice would require systematic examinati on of more current strategies, such as FBA and PBS. The field would benefit from future rese arch examining whether childcare providers are reporting the use of an FBA and PBS, as we ll as whether experts would recommend these specific strategies for managi ng physical and verbal aggressi on and noncompliant behavior. While it is known that such strategies are ge nerally recommended, examining whether they are being recommended in childcare settings a nd other early childhood academic environments,

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100 whether they are more likely to be recommended by experts of various th eoretical orientations, and whether this varies as a function of the identified behavior problem is essential. Further, the current study examined the im pact theoretical orientation has on strategy recommendation, and significant results in this regard were found. However, questions can be raised as to whether the language used when pres enting the strategy plays a role in participants responding. For example, since reinforcement is a strategy more frequently recommended by behaviorists, does the word itself play a role in its recommendatio n? Given the theoretical beliefs of constructivists, is a word, su ch as reinforcement likely to carry a negative connotation and subsequently decrease the likelihood that this strategy is recommended? Such questions suggest that additional research in this regard is esse ntial. Specifically, presenting strategies in theory neutral language, or presenting strategies both in terms that are associated with behaviorism and terms that are associated with constructivism a nd subsequently comparing the frequency of their recommendation will assist in fu rther determining whether fundame ntal theoretical differences exist, or if semantics are playing a larger role. Given this significant impact theoretical orientation ha s on strategy recommendation, another interesting question which may benefit from further examination is raised. Gathering information as to whether theoretical orientat ion, not only impacts whic h strategies are being recommended, but also impacts what strategies are actually implemented in the classroom may be beneficial. Although it is likely that most childcare providers ascribe to a constructivist perspective, this research woul d offer insight as to whether a childcare providers response to challenging behaviors varies as a function of their theoreti cal orientation and background regardless of what is considered best practice.

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101 An additional area of research which would contribute to the field relates to strategy recommendation for older children in an ear ly childhood educational environment. More specifically, the vignettes utilized in the study presented children with behavioral difficulties that were either threeof four years of age. Exte nding this age range to ol der children (i.e., 5 and 6 year olds) may provide unique information as to whether the current findings are meaningful for children of different ages. On a similar vein, extending both the curren t and the pilot study to different settings, for example in both public a nd private kindergarten classrooms, would not only offer interesting information as to strategy usage in such settings, but also to whether strategy recommendation would vary according to the setting in which education is being provided. The current study examined what strategies experts recommend for managing challenging behaviors. Given that the educational environmen t of focus was one designed for children 3 and 4 years of age, and future research should examin e these findings in relation to older children in school settings, additional resear ch examining what is recommende d by professionals working in such environments will also be essential. Specifically, surveying school psychologists to examine what particular strategies they recomm end to preschool and kindergarten teachers for managing children who are physically and verbally aggressive and noncom pliant, would provide meaningful information regarding what is occurring in school environments today. Further, most research regarding challengi ng behaviors has focused on the efficacy of behavioral interventions. Given that significant differences betw een the strategies recommended by behaviorists and constructivi sts exist, additional research regarding the validity of the interventions recommended by cons tructivists is imperative. Cons tructivists are significantly more likely to recommend the use of verbal inst ruction for addressing ch allenging behaviors than

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102 behaviorists. Consequently, furthe r research to determine whether this strategy is likely to decrease the occurrence of challenging behavior s is necessary. Given that this is commonly recommended, additional information regarding th e effectiveness of verbal instruction would allow for more tailored training and consultatio n regarding the management of challenging behaviors. Despite the several areas of additional resear ch described that would provide insightful, new research to the field, one ar ea that should be the primary focu s of the current studys results is addressing and bridging the potential research-to-practice gap. Taking the findings from this study and comparing the specific st rategies recommended by experts to the strategies being used for managing challenging behaviors, as repor ted the pilot study, w ould provide critical information as to whether service providers are using strategies that ar e recommended as being best practice. Such comparisons would provide information regarding discrepancies between what strategies are being used and what strategies should be used, as well as how this is differs based upon specific behaviors. Determining such di fferences would allow for trainings target to specific areas of need for early childhood professionals (e.g., child care providers) working with children exhibiting challenging behaviors on a daily basis.

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103 APPENDIX A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONAIRRE 1. What is your job title? 2. How long have you worked at your current job? Years 3. How long have you worked in child care? Years 4. How would you describe the population you serve? Urban Suburban Rural Low income Middle income Upper middle/upper Other descriptors 5. What is your highest e ducational degree? (Circle) 12th grade (or less) GED High School Diploma Child Development Associate (CDA) Other Associates Degree Bachelors Degree: Major: Masters Degree: Major: Other advanced degree (Please specify) 6. What is your age? 7. How would you describe your ethnicity? Caucasian African American Native American Asian Latino: Puerto Rican Mexican Cuban Other

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104 APPENDIX B BEHAVIORAL CHALLENGES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION STRUCTURED INTERVIEW PURPOSE : The purpose of this survey is three-fold: 1) To determine whether providing serv ices for young children with or at-risk for behavior disorders is a problem for child care programs; 2) To determine the extent to which such children are identified and receive special education services; and 3) To identify the characteristics of child care programs that facilitate successful inclusion of children at ri sk for behavior disorders. 1. As far as you know, have any of the 2 and 1/2 to 6 year old children currently enrolled at your center been diagnosed with a deve lopmental delay or disability? Yes No IF YES: What type of disability or delay? Developmental delay Speech / Language impairment Motor impairment Vision / hearing impairment Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder Behavioral disorder ADHD Other: Specify IF YES: How was the diagnosis made and by whom? 2. As far as you know, do any of the preschool child ren currently enrolled at your center receive special services such as Ea rly Intervention, spee ch-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or counseling? Yes No IF YES: What type of services? Where does the child go for services?

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105 IF YES: Who provides the services (e.g., private therapy, school district) 3. Do any of the preschool children in your center take medication on a daily basis to help regulate their behavior? Yes No If yes, How many? For what kinds of problems? 4. Currently, are there children who have behaviors or characteristics that are difficult to serve in your center? Please describe the child/children? (Intervi ewer: if why the behavior is difficult to manage is unclear, ask What about these be haviors/characteristics makes it difficult?) How does your program deal with these behaviors? Now Id like to talk about specific behaviors that other people have told us are difficult to deal with in child care programs. A. The first behavior is aggression a. How does your center deal with verbal aggression (for example, yelling or profanity) directed at staff or other children?

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106 What support or training mi ght help your program deal with these behaviors more effectively? b. How does your center deal with physical aggression (for example, hitting, kicking, biting)? What support or training mi ght help your program deal with these behaviors more effectively? B. The next behavior is noncompliance How does your center deal with children who refuse to follow classroom rules or teacher requests? What support or training mi ght help your program deal with these behaviors more effectively? C. The next behavior relates to problems with attention How does your program deal with children who have a harder time sitting still than other children their age, or who cant play with one toy or activity for very long?

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107 What support or training mi ght help your program deal with these behaviors more effectively? D. How does your program deal with children who are withdrawn -for example, prefer to play by themselves almost all of the time, or sit alone not playing with toys? What support or training mi ght help your program deal with these behaviors more effectively? E. How does your program deal with children who have language problems -have a hard time expressing themselves or dont seem to understand when others speak to them? What support or training mi ght help your program deal with these behaviors more effectively? 6. In the past year, how many preschool children have left your cente r because of behavior problems? (If answer is skip to ite m 7. If there is more than one child, ask each of the following questions for each child.) IF YES: What kind of problems?

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108 Please talk a little about how the decision for the child to leave was made. Did the child attend other childcare centers after leaving yours? Did the child receive any additional services? (Probe here for special education placements or services, referra ls to mental health centers, etc.) What supports would you have needed to serve the child? 7. How familiar are you with the special education services for 3 to 5 year olds offered by the school system? (Circle 1.) Very familiar Somewhat familiar Aware that services exist, but unfamiliar with them Did not know that serv ices are available 8. When you have concerns that a young child is not developing language or motor skills at the same rate as other children his/her age, what do you do? 9. When you are concerned about a young childs behavior, what do you do? 10. Have you ever referred a 3 to 5 year old child for special education services? Yes No IF YES: What was the concern?

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109 Are there other reasons you would refer a pres chool child for special education services? IF NO: Would you consider referring a 3 to 5 year old for special ed services? Yes No IF YES: What reasons? IF NO: Why not? 11. How would you refer a 3 to 5 year old for special education services? How did you learn this information? 12. Other comments?

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110 APPENDIX C

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117 APPENDIX E CONTACT LETTER Re: UF Survey Participati on Request (UF IRB#:2006-U-249) Dear Dr. [LastName], We are conducting a study about challenging be haviors in young children and we need your help! We would like to invite you to participate in this st udy about young children exhibiting challenging behaviors in early ch ildhood settings by completing an online survey. This study will help us learn more about how to appropriately work with problem be haviors in young children. This information will then allow us to improve the help we provide to childcare providers who deal with challengi ng behaviors daily. To assist us with this study, we ask that you complete the Be havioral Challenges in Early Childhood Education: Professionals Survey, whic h will take approximately 30 minutes. If you are interested in participating, please go to [Surve yLink]. Completion of this survey will serve as your consent to participate. If you change your mind about participation in the study, you may withdraw at any time without penalty. You do not have to answer any questions you do not wish to answer. There are no risks involved, and the be nefit of participating is to assist us in increasing our understanding of how to be tter serve children exhibiting common, yet challenging, behaviors. No co mpensation will be provided for participation in this study. Be assured that all results from this study are co nfidential; your identity w ill be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Upon completion of the online survey, a code number will be used instead of names. Your identity and that of your place of employment will not be revealed to anyone or appear in any written work. The only people who will know who participates are project staff. If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to contact Erin Anderson (rentedea@hotmail.com or 352-514-3705) or Dr. Tina Smith (tmsmith@coe.ufl.edu or 352-392-0723). If you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a participant in this study, you may contact the UF Institutional Review Board office, PO Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl 32611-2250 (phone: 352-392-0433). Thank you so much in advance for your assistance in this project! Sincerely, Erin Anderson, M.A.E. Doctoral Student, School Psychology University of Florida Tina Smith, Ph.D. Associate Professor, School Psychology University of Florida

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118 LIST OF REFERENCES Andrews, S. R., Blumenthal, J. B., Johnson, D. L ., Kahn, A. J., Ferguson, C. J., Lasater, T. M., Maone, P. E., & Wallace, D. B. (1982). The skil ls of mothering: A study of parent child development centers. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 47. Alkon, A., Ramler, M., & MacLennan, K. (2003). Ev aluation of mental h ealth consultation in child care centers. EarlyChildhood Education Journal, 31 (2), 91-99. Appl, D. (1995). Moving toward inclusion by narrowing the gap between early childhood professionals. Early Childhood Education Journal, 23(1), 23-26. Arnold, D. H., McWilliams, L., & Arnold, E. H. (1998). Teacher discipline and child misbehavior in day care: Untangling causality with correlational data. Developmental Psychology,34 (2), 276-287. Belsky, J. (1999). Quantity of nonmaternal care and boys' problem behavior/adjustment at 3 and 5: Exploring the meditating role of parenting. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 62 1-21. Boulware, G. L., Schwartz, I., & McBride, B. (1999). Addressing challenging behaviors at home. In S. Sandall & M. Ostrosky (Eds.), Young exceptional children monograph series 1: Practical ideas for addressing challenging behaviors (p. 29-40). Denver, CO: The Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children. Bredekamp, S. (1993). The relationship between early childhood educa tion and early childhood special education: Healthy marriage or family feud? Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 13 (3), 258-273. Bredekamp, S., & Copple, C. (1997). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs Washington, DC: National Associati on for the Education of Young Children. Brennan, E. M., Bradley, J. R., Ama, S. M., & Cawood, N. (2003) Setting the Pace: Model Inclusive Child Care Centers Serving Families of Children with Emotional or Behavioral Challenges Portland, OR: Portland State University Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children's Mental Health. Bryant, D., Vizzard, L. H., Willoughby, M., & Kupers midt, J. (1999). A review of interventions for preschoolers with aggre ssive and disruptive behavior. Early Education and Development, 10 (1), 47-68. Buck, K. A., & Ambrosino, R. J. (2004). Children with sever behavior problems: A survey of Texas child care centers responses. Early Childhood Education Journal, 31 (4), 241-246.

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129 Wilczenski, F. L. (1992). Measuring at titudes towards inclusive education. Psychology in the Schools, 29 (4), 306-312. Wolery, M., & Bredekamp, S. (1994). Developmen tally appropriate pract ice and young children with special needs: Contextu al issues in the discussion Journal of Early Intervention, 18 331-341. Wolery, M., Brashers, M. S., & Nietzel, J. C. (2002). Ecological congruence assessment for classroom activities and routines: Identif ying goals and intervention practices in childcare. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 22 (3) 131-142. Wolery, M., Strain, P. S., & Bailey, D. B. ( 1992). Reaching the potentials of children with special needs. In S. Bredekamp and T. Rosengrant (Eds.), Reaching potentials: Appropriate curriculum and assessment for young children (pp. 92-111). Washington, DC: National Association for th e Education of Young Children. Wolery, M., & Wilbers, J. S. (1994). Introduction to the inclusion of young children with special needs in early childhood programs. In M, Wolery & J. S. Wilbers (Eds.), Including children with special needs in early childhood programs (pp. 1-22). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Zigler, E., Taussig, C., & Black, K. (1992) Early childhood intervention: A promising preventative for juvenile delinquency. American Psychologist, 47 (8), 997-1006.

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130 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Erin Anderson was born on August 19, 1976 in Tampa, Florida. Her family includes parents, Rodney Anderson, and Shirley and Curt Gilmer, brother, Christopher, and step-sister, Kelli Gilmer. Erin graduated from high school in 1994, and attended the University of Florida where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 1998. Erin attended graduate school at the University of Florida in the sc hool psychology program. She earned her Master of Arts in Education in December 2002. Erin comp leted her doctoral internship at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles with a specialization in developmental disabilities, as a well as a fellowship in neurodevelopmental disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hills Clinical Center for the Study of Developm ent and Learning (CDL). Currently, Erin works as a school psychologist for the School District of Hillsborough County. She received her Ph.D. in school psychology from the Univer sity of Florida in December 2007.


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