Date of Degree

2-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Educational Psychology

Advisor(s)

Helen L. Johnson

Keith A. Markus

Committee Members

Keith A. Markus

Georgianna Tryon

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology | Elementary Education and Teaching | Special Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Keywords

Emotional regulation, professional development, teacher training; emotional regulation difficulties

Abstract

Difficulty with emotional regulation is a symptom common to many child psychological disorders and classroom-related problems. However, many children with emotional regulation difficulties do not receive adequate support in their classrooms. Although a variety of procedures have been used to help students improve their emotional regulation, there are very few studies that focus on training teachers to deliver classroom-based interventions that are designed to target a broad range of children with difficulties in emotional regulation. This current investigation measured the impact of a professional development program on emotional regulation on teachers’ responses to students with emotional regulation difficulties and their beliefs regarding the long-lasting impact of their responses on students’ behavior and how they view their responsibility in helping students learn to manage emotions. This study also examined relevant personal characteristics of teachers (i.e., emotional regulation, empathy, and self-efficacy) as moderators of this impact. Ninety-nine participants were randomly assigned either to the intervention group or to an alternative treatment group. Teachers who participated in the professional development program on emotional regulation endorsed higher levels of emotionally supportive strategies and lower levels of punitive strategies that participants in the alternative treatment group after controlling for pre-test scores. Also, participants in the treatment group were more likely to report that it is their responsibility to help students learn how to manage their emotions than teachers in the alternative treatment group. Finally, participants in the treatment group report were more likely to report that their responses to students when they are exhibiting regulation difficulties would have a long-lasting impact on students’ behavior than teachers in the alternative treatment group. However, regression analyses yielded no significant differences in teacher characteristics as moderators.

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