Teacher tolerance, self-efficacy, causal attributions for student aggression, and intervention preference

Traci Gail Hodes, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among teacher tolerance for aggressive behavior, self-efficacy in managing aggressive behavior, teacher perceptions of the causes of aggressive behavior, and intervention choice. Participants included 203 elementary school teachers throughout suburban and small-city school districts in the Northeast. Teachers were asked to read four vignettes portraying male students exhibiting Low, Moderate, High, and Very High severity aggressive behaviors. Teachers were then asked to report their tolerance for each behavior, their self-efficacy in managing each behavior, their attributions as to why each behavior occurred, and their intervention choice for each behavior. Four discriminant function analyses were conducted. Teacher self-efficacy was a main predictor of intervention choice at each severity level. The causal attribution, home environment, was a secondary predictor from low to high severity. Classroom environment was a secondary predictor at low severity, and student personality was a secondary predictor at very high severity. Teacher tolerance was a secondary predictor only at the very high severity of aggressive behavior. A series of multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance procedures were conducted. Intervention choice varied according to severity level with independent management chosen the most often at low and moderate severity. At high severity consultation was the preferred intervention choice, followed by referral and independent management. At very high severity referral was the most popular choice, followed by consultation and then independent management. The results of this study emphasize the importance of support personnel taking the time to learn about teachers' perceptions of their own abilities and the attitudes they develop about their students as these factors relate to teacher-student interactions. Until aggressive behavior becomes somewhat severe, teachers prefer to develop their own intervention plans. Thus, consultation offered too early might well be refused. Likewise, if the behavior is too extreme, the offer of consultation may come to late.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Educational psychology|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Hodes, Traci Gail, "Teacher tolerance, self-efficacy, causal attributions for student aggression, and intervention preference" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9638366.