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Positive behaviour study: parental perspectives

Fee, Jaque and Lee, Peter (2008) Positive behaviour study: parental perspectives. In: 18th EECERA Annual Conference, 2008-09-03 - 2008-09-06.

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Abstract

Children's challenging behaviour has been highlighted as a cause for concern by policy makers, professional bodies and the media in Scotland. This study sought to ascertain the perceptions parents hold of their young children's behaviour. Research methods included standardised and non-standardised questionnaires and the data was analysed using SPSS. Documentary analysis, interviews and focus groups were used to triangulate findings. The sample consisted of 603 parents of children aged 0-6 years whose children attended early childhood settings and the first class of primary school in a major city and a smaller urban municipality. One of the main findings indicated that parents consider that over half of the children have no behaviour difficulties. More than a third of the children were perceived to have such difficulties, with concerns ranging from peer relationships, to restlessness and overactivity. A similar number noted a negative impact on children's learning. The ways in which parents promote pro-social behaviours and the strategies at their disposal to cope with difficult behaviour emerge from the data: overall, parents did not find dealing with their children's behaviour and needs to be a hassle, as measured by the Daily Hassles instrument.