This intervention study examined teachers’ use of verbal praise and reprimands as specific components of teacher behavior management that can promote children’s development in schools. The impact of teacher praise and reprimands on children’s development was examined in the context of a teacher-mediated, classroom intervention. The sample involved 570 children and 30 teachers from second grade classrooms in 15 primary schools. The Good Behavior Game was implemented in half of the classrooms based on random assignment within schools. Teacher behavior management (praise for appropriate behavior and reprimands for inappropriate behavior) was observed during regular classroom lessons. Hyperactive, disruptive, and withdrawn child behavior were assessed using teacher and peer reports, global self-concept and emotional engagement were assessed using child self-reports. All variables were assessed at the beginning (pre-test) and at the end (post-test) of the school year. Multilevel regression models accounted for the nested structure of the data. The results suggested positive effects of fewer reprimands and more praise on child outcomes (except emotional school engagement), although the results differed by informant. We also found indirect effects of the Good Behavior Game (GBG) on child outcomes via teacher praise and reprimands. Overall, the study suggests that teachers’ use of praise and reprimands is a malleable classroom factor that influences children’s behavioral and socio-emotional development.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 2, 2016
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