Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

MA in Psychology



First Advisor

Mark D. Terjesen

Second Advisor

John D. Hogan


Student behavior can be classified as external, internal, or social, all of which can be symptoms of an Emotional-Behavioral Disorder (EBD; Cooper & Jacobs, 2001). There are a number of ways that teachers may respond to student behavior with some being considered more positive (e.g., keep the student in the classroom) and others more negative (e.g., refer the student to other school resources for permanent or temporary removal). However, it is not just the student behavior that determines how a teacher will respond. Teacher stress, self-efficacy, class size, the impact of the behavior on other students, teaching experience, and knowledge of classroom management can all impact the teacher’s decision. This study attempts to determine how much influence these factors have on a teacher’s decisions and to determine if there are differences in responses based on the type of behavior exhibited by the student. Two hundred and one teachers completed a demographic questionnaire, measures of the aforementioned areas, and indicated how they would respond to different written vignettes representing student behavior. Class size and teacher factors did not significantly impact the way teachers responded to student behavior. Concern for the behaviors exhibited by the students in the vignette were, however, impacted by knowledge, stress, self-efficacy, confidence, and training. Future directions are discussed to help clarify and go beyond the limitations found within this study.