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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Hyperactive behavior in relation to children’s perceptions of teacher’s classroom behavior Peter, Dennis Wayne


This study sought to investigate the relationship between hyperactive behavior and children's perceptions of teachers. Particular attention was paid to two aspects of teacher behavior — acceptance and demand. An extensive literature review supported the position of viewing hyperactive behavior from an interactional perspective. In this study the context was the teacher-child interaction within the classroom as viewed by the child. The literature also indicated that children's behavior is affected by their perceptions of adult behavior. This study sought to examine this view in greater detail. The sample consisted of 4 7 grade four boys and 45 grade five boys from eight regular classrooms in two schools, located in a major urban center in the interior of British Columbia. Children's perceptions of acceptance and demand of their teacher's behavior were measured by administering a partial form of the Teacher Behavior Questionnaire to classroom groups. Observed levels of hyperactive behavior were measured by having subjects' teachers complete the Conner's Abbreviated Questionnaire for each boy. Using correlational analyses, hyperactive behavior was found to be significantly related to both variables in the directions of less perceived acceptance and greater perceived demand. Hyperactive behavior ratings allowed for a retrospectively identified teacher-rated hyperactive group and a teacher- rated non-hyperactive group. On group comparison measures, hyperactive boys perceived significantly less acceptance and greater demand than their non-hyperactive peers. In conclusion, hyperactive children perceive teacher behavior as less accepting and more demanding than their non-hyperactive peers. The variable of perceived acceptance appears more critical to pdsitive teacher-child interaction than the demand variable. Individual teacher differences and cultural factors also appeared operative.

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