In the UK between three and seven percent of children aged five to 15 years meet diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder (CD; National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence [NICE], 2006); boys are three times more likely than girls to have such problems (Hutchings, Williams, Martin, & Pritchard, 2011; Office for National Statistics, 2007). Children with early onset behavioral problems likely to develop into CD are at high risk for social and emotional problems, poor school attendance, school dropout, academic failure and delinquency (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Stoolmiller, 2008). Over the last decade, teachers have reported increasing levels of behavioral problems within the classroom (Hutchings et al., 2011). These children are often taught by teachers who are ill prepared to cope with disruptive behavior (Webster-Stratton et al., 2008). They are also likely to receive less support and positive feedback from their teachers and their peers (Arnold et al., 1999). Exposure to a supportive teacher and a positive classroom environment improves the academic achievement of high-risk children (Werner, 1999). High levels of praise for appropriate behavior improve children?s behavioral, social, and emotional adjustment as does the use of proactive teaching and positive discipline strategies (Webster-Stratton et al., 2008). These studies demonstrate that there is a need for effective, evidence-based classroom intervention programs to support teachers.
Bibliography: Hutchings, J., Martin-Forbes, P., Daley, D., and Williams, M.E. 2013. Journal of School Psychology.