TEACHERS’ CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS AND THEIR PERCEIVED SELF-EFFICACY FOR CONTROLLING ADOLESCENT HEALTH RISK BEHAVIORS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NAIROBI COUNTY,
LUCY NYAWIRA MACHARIA E83/14345/09
A RESEARCH THESIS SUBMITTED IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
(EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY) IN THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
I wish to sincerely acknowledge the support and guidance of several individuals who directly and indirectly assisted me in my study. First and foremost I wish to express my gratitude to my supervisors Dr. Tabitha Wang’eri, and Dr. Jotham Dinga, Department of Educational Psychology, Kenyatta University, for their continued guidance and advice without which this study would not have been a success. Secondly, I wish to thank all my lecturers who selflessly shared their knowledge that has enabled me reach this far. My gratitude also goes to all the other lectures and support staff who contributed to my comfort during the years I was undertaking my research study. I am grateful to my classmates and in particular Dr. Samuel Mutweleli who assisted me in data analysis. I shared a lot of information with Charity, Dorothy and Rhoda. Without their teamwork, I would not have come this far. I wish to thank my relatives and friends. I especially wish to thank my husband, Mr. Samuel Macharia who supported me morally and financially together with my children: Mumbi, Nyambura, Wairima and Waweru. They were there for me when I needed to format my document and even at very odd hours. Through them, I was able to enhance my computer knowledge and skills. When I looked tired and weary, they were quick to shower me with praises that motivated me to move on. My friends, Wangechi and Freshia gave me the much needed moral support. My relatives, Roseberry, Mercy and Priscilla stood by me by encouraging me to persist to the end. My friends constantly enquired about my graduation and this acted as a challenge that motivated me to work harder.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page
Title ... i
Declaration ...………... ii
Dedication ………... iii
Acknowledgement ...………... iv
Table of Contents………. v
List of Tables ………... xii
List of Figures ... x
Abstract ………... xiv
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ………... 1
1.1 Overview ....………... 1
1.2 Background to the Study ……… 1
1.3 Statement of the Problem .……….. 8
1.4 Purpose of the Study .………. 9
1.5 Objectives of the Study ……….. 9
1.6 Research Questions ……… 10
1.7 Assumptions of the Study...……… 10
1.8 Limitations of the Study ..………... 11
1.9 Delimitations of the Study .……… 12
1.10 Significance of the Study ….……….. 12
1.11 Theoretical Framework ……….. 13
1.11.1 Theory of Attribution as Applied to Teachers’ Causal Attributions for Adolescent Problem Behaviors ....……….. 14
1.11.2 Theory of Perceived Self-efficacy as Applied to Adolescent Problem Behaviors ………... 16
1.12 Conceptual Framework for Teacher Causal Attributions and Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors ….. 18
1.13. Operational Definition of Terms ……… 20
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE ... 24
2.1 Introduction ..………... 24
2.2 Adolescent Problem Behavior, Teacher Causal Attributions and Perceived Self-Efficacy ……… ………. 24
2.3 Prevalence of Health Risk Behaviors among Adolescents ...……….. 31
2.4 Teachers’ Causal Attributions for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors 42 2.5 Gender Differences in Teacher Causal Attributions for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors ………... 51
2.6 Differences in Teacher Causal Attributions Based on Teaching experience ....……... 53
2.7 Teachers’ Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors……….... 55
2.8 Gender Differences in Teachers’ Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors ... 59
2.9 Differences in Teacher Perceived Self-efficacy Based on Teaching Experience ... 60
2.10 Relationship between Teacher Causal Attributions and Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors ……… 62
2.11 Summary of literature Reviewed .……….. 65
CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY ………... 68
3.1 Introduction ………. 68
3.2 Research Design ...……… 68
3.3 Research Locale ...……….. 69
3.4 Study Variables ...……….. 69
3.5 Population of the Study ………... 69
3.6 Sampling Techniques and Sample Size .……….. 70
3.6.1 Sampling Techniques ...………..70
3.6.2 Sample Size ... 70
3.7 Research Instrument ... 71
3.8 Pilot Study ... 73
3.9.1 Validity of the Study Instrument ... 73
3.9.2 Reliability of the Research Study Instrument ... 74
3.10 Data Collection Procedures ... 74
3.11 Data Analysis Procedures ... 75
3.12 Logistical and Ethical Considerations ... 76
CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGS, INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSIONS .………... 77
4.1 Introduction ………... 77
4.2 Demographic Information ………... 77
4.2.1 Return Rate ………... 78
4.2.2 Teaching Experience ………... 78
4.3 Prevalence of Health Risk Behaviors ... 89
4.4 Teachers’ Causal Attributions for Adolescent Health Risk behavior 83 4.5 Gender Differences in Teacher Causal Attributions for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors ………... 109
4.6 Difference in Teachers’ Causal Attributions for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors Based on Teaching Experience ... 111
4.7 Level of Teachers’ Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors ... 133
4.8 Gender Differences in Teacher Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adoles- Cent Health Risk behavior ... 137
4.9 Differences in Teacher Perceived Self-Efficacy Based on Teaching Experience ………... 139
4.10 Relationship between Teachers’ Causal Attributions and Per- ceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors ... 140
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE STUDY ... 146
5.1 Introduction ………... 146
5.2 Summary of the Study Findings ………... 146
5.3 Conclusion of the Study ………... 148
5.4.1 Recommendations for Policy ... 150
5.4.2 Suggestions for Further Research …………... 151
REFERENCES ………. 153
APPENDICES ………... 168
Appendix I: Questionnaire for Teachers ………... 168
Appendix II: Location of the Study – Nairobi County Map ... 175
Appendix III: Research Approval ………... 176
Appendix IV: Research Authorization ………... 177
LIST OF FIGURES Page
Figure: 1.1 Conceptual Framework for Teachers’ Causal Attributions
for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors ……….. 18
Figure: 4.1 Teaching Experience …..………... 79
Figure: 4.2 Reasons for Bullying (themes) ……... 84
Figure: 4.3 Personality Factors on Bullying .…………... 85
Figure: 4.4 Family Factors on Bullying ………... 87
Figure: 4.5 Socio-Economic Factors on Bullying ...………. 88
Figure: 4.6 Peer-Related Factors on Bullying ……….. 90
Figure: 4.7 School-Related Factors on Bullying ………... 91
Figure: 4.8 Reasons for Early Sex Initiation ………... 93
Figure: 4.9 Personality Factors for Early Sex Initiation ………... 94
Figure: 4.10 Family Factors for Early Sex Initiation ………. 96
Figure: 4.11 Socio-Economic Factors for Early Sex Initiation ………... 98
Figure: 4.12 Peer Related Factors for Early Sex Initiation ……….... 99
Figure: 4.13 School Factors for Early Sex Initiation ...…... 100
Figure: 4.14 Reasons for Drug and Substance Abuse ……….... 102
Figure: 4.15 Personality Factors for Drug and Substance Abuse ……... 104
Figure: 4.16 Socio-Economic Factors for Drug/Substance Abuse ……… 105
Figure: 4.17 Peer Factors For Drug/Substance Abuse... 107
Figure: 4.18 School Factors for Drug/Substance Abuse ..……... 108
Figure: 4.19 Level of Teacher Perceived Self-Efficacy for Bullying ... 133
Figure: 4.20 Level of Teacher Perceived Self-Efficacy for Early Sex Initiation ………... 134
LIST OF TABLES
Table: 3.1 Sampling Matrix ... 71
Table: 4:1 Return Rate of the questionnaires by the teachers ... 78
Table: 4.2 Prevalence of Health Risk Behaviors ………... 80
Table: 4.3 Gender Differences in Teacher Causal Attributions ... 110
Table: 4.4 Differences in Teacher Causal Attributions for Bullying Based on Teaching Experience ... 112
Table: 4.5 Locus of Causality ... 115
Table: 4.6 A Student Suspended from School for Forcing another to Wash Clothes ... 117
Table: 4.7 A student Impregnating another ………... 119
Table: 4.8 A Student Found with Contraceptives ...…………... 121
Table: 4.9 A Student Accusing another of Infecting Her with STD ... 129
Table: 4.10 A Student Arrested in a Chang’aa Den ...……… 127
Table: 4.11 A Student under Influence of Marijuana Falls Asleep during an Exam ... 129
Table: 4.12 A Student Suspended for Taking and Selling Drugs ... 131
Table: 4.13 Gender Differences in Teacher Perceived Self-Efficacy ……. 137
Table: 4.14 T-test for Independent samples ... 138
Table: 4.15 Causal Attribution in Bullying and Level of Perceived Self- Efficacy ... 139
Table: 4.16 Causal Attribution in Bullying and Level of Perceived Self- Efficacy ... 141
Table: 4.17 Causal Attribution and Level of Perceived Self-Efficacy for Early Sex Initiation ... 143
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Overview
This chapter provides the background to the study which highlights the general status of adolescent problem behaviors starting with a global overview of the studies and reports available concerning these behaviors. This is followed by regional data narrowing down to adolescent health risk behaviors and the impact on adolescent learners. The role of the teachers and their response to these behaviors in terms of the causal attributions and perceived self-efficacy is also examined. In addition to this, the chapter provides information relating to the nature of the study. This includes: Statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, research questions, assumptions, limitations, delimitations, significance, theoretical framework, conceptual framework and operational definition of terms. All these components of the chapter are based on the study which was directed towards establishing teachers’ causal attributions and their perceived self-efficacy for controlling adolescent health
risk behaviors, in secondary schools in Nairobi County, Kenya.
1.2 Background to the Study
the problems facing American public schools. One category of problem behavior that teachers have to deal with in and out of class is health risk behaviors. These are behaviors that cause psychological or physical harm to the perpetrators and those on the receiving end. This study concentrates on teachers’ views about the causes of three health risk behaviors and their belief in their competence in handling them. These behaviors include bullying, early sex initiation and drug/substance abuse which are associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality (Rugulies, Aust, & Syme, 2004). Given the seriousness of such outcomes, this study has examined teachers’ views about the prevalence of these behaviors amongst the adolescents they teach, the reasons they give for these behaviors and their beliefs in their ability to deal with these behaviors. Specifically, the study examined teachers’ causal attributions and their perceived self-efficacy for controlling bullying, early sex initiation and drug/substance abuse.
smoking, drinking alcohol, drug abuse, bullying and teenage pregnancy. These behaviors usually result in a lifetime suffering for those involved. In September 2001, the Kenya Ministry of Education Science and Technology constituted a task force to gather views on causes of unrest and indiscipline in secondary schools (Republic of Kenya, 2001). This Endeavour was motivated by student unrest in St. Kizito high school where 19 girls died, Kyanguli Secondary school incident where 68 students were burnt to death, and Nyeri high school, where four prefects were burnt to death by fellow students. Results indicated that cheap alcohol and drug/substance abuse were among the major causes of these destructive behaviors. In a newspaper report, Situma and Rotich (2014) described an incident in which 21 people among them a 16 year old form one and 2 university students had died after drinking adulterated drinks in Eldoret. This trend must be addressed by teachers and other education stakeholders. This study is directed towards addressing this matter by studying the reasons that teachers give for adolescent learners’ involvement in drug/substance abuse and their belief in their competence in handling it.
Kenyan bill on issuing of condoms to school going children due to the rising cases of sexual involvement among learners. This study examines the prevalence of involvement in early sex in Kenyan schools creating a basis for intervention.
Studies indicate that bullying is common in Kenyan schools. Ndetei, Khasakhala, Syanda, Mutiso, Otieno, Odhiambo, and Kokonya (2007) in a study, reported that bullying is highly prevalent in Kenyan schools. In a related case, Kiplangat (2013) reported that a form one boy was fighting for his life at a Karbanet hospital in Kenya after senior students forced him to take a laboratory chemical - ethanol - in a bullying incident.
In an attempt to comprehend and manage the health risk behaviors among learners, teachers give explanations about the causes of these behaviors and this determines their response to the adolescents involved. Their success in supporting the young learners is highly dependent on their responses. The current study investigated teachers’ causal attributions and perceived self-efficacy for handling adolescent health risk behaviors.
This study established the internal and external attributions that teachers make for adolescent health risk behaviors with a view of coming up with appropriate interventions.
Perceived self-efficacy according to Bandura (1994) refers to people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. A teacher’s perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behavior is a teacher’s belief in their ability or inability to deal with adolescent problem behaviors. A teacher’s strong perceived self- efficacy contributes to his or her success in handling adolescent health risk behavior. It will determine how teachers feel, think and behave when confronted with issues of bullying, early sex initiation and drug and substance abuse amongst students. Teachers with a strong sense of self-efficacy will have an intrinsic interest in assisting students with health risk behaviors. This will produce disciplined students, improved academic achievement and teacher job satisfaction. This study established whether teachers have a strong perceived self-efficacy for controlling adolescent health risk behaviors.
result to students getting involved in more maladaptive behaviors that may destroy them and the learning environment. Teachers may also develop a low morale leading to job dissatisfaction. However, personal mastery experiences, which involve one's accomplishments, are the strongest source of enhancing perceptions of personal efficacy (Bandura, 1997; Schunk, 2003). Studies show that as one's mastery or proficiency at an activity increases, so does one's self-efficacy (Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 1996). With increased years of experience, teachers may acquire a strong belief in their ability to handle adolescent health risk behaviors.
The increased cases of adolescent health risk behaviors in Kenyan secondary schools may be a sign of weak teacher self-efficacy. A task force established to examine the causes of indiscipline in Kenyan secondary schools found inadequately trained teachers who lacked confidence in themselves (Government of Kenya, 2001).
1.3 Statement of the Problem
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to establish teachers’ causal attributions and perceived self-efficacy in handling adolescent health risk behaviors (bullying, early sex initiation and drug/substance abuse). This was to determine whether teachers are in control.
1.5 Objectives of the Study
The study sought to achieve the following objectives:
i. Establish the prevalence of adolescent health risk behaviors (bullying, early sex initiation, drug/substance abuse) among adolescents in secondary schools.
ii. Identify teachers’ causal attributions for adolescent health risk behaviors.
iii. Determine gender differences in teachers’ causal attributions for adolescent health risk behaviors.
iv. Identify teachers’ causal attributions for adolescent health risk behaviors based on teaching experience.
v. Determine the level of teachers’ perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors.
vi. Determine gender differences in teacher perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors among teachers.
vii. Determine teachers’ perceived self-efficacy in handling adolescent health risk behaviors based on teaching experience.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study:
i. What is the prevalence of bullying, early sex involvement and drug/substance abuse among adolescent learners?
ii. What causal attributions do teachers make for adolescent health risk behaviors?
iii. Are there gender differences in teachers’ causal attributions for adolescent health risk behaviors?
iv. Are there differences in teacher causal attributions for adolescent health risk behaviors based on teaching experience?
v. What are teachers’ levels of perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors?
vi. Are there gender differences in teachers’ perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors?
vii. Are there differences in teacher perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors based on teaching experience?
viii. Is there a relationship between teachers’ causal attributions and perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors?
1.7 Assumptions of the Study
adolescent health risk behaviors if they become aware of their styles of attribution and their level of perceived self- efficacy. Thirdly, health risk behaviors are a major problem in Kenyan schools and need to be addressed. This can only be done through findings from researches like the current one. Lastly, results on teachers’ perceptions of ascriptions of adolescent health risk behavior and their level of belief in their competence in handling these problems may help in ensuring effective and efficient management of adolescent learners.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
1.9 Delimitations of the Study
This study was conducted in public secondary schools in Nairobi County. Teachers from twenty two secondary schools were included in the study owing to the fact that they were important in providing information on adolescent health risk behaviors for all categories of secondary schools making the study inclusive. A total of 364 teachers from these schools were sampled. The study only examined one dimension of attribution - internal and external attributions. This study did not attempt to discuss every possible problem behavior but confined itself to adolescent health risk behaviors. These are bullying, drug/substance abuse and early sex initiation. The researcher has made recommendations that include important aspects related to this study.
1.10 Significance of the Study
they make. Teacher awareness may help them to become more realistic and think of causes of health risk behaviors from a wider perspective. With the knowledge of attributions and their relationship to teacher-efficacy levels, teachers may see the need to adjust and develop a positive mental assessment of their abilities; thus design learning and work environments that provide the necessary feedback and support for adolescents involved in health risk behaviors.
The knowledge may also reduce the level of stress that teachers experience as they try to discipline problematic students. The findings are a major breakthrough in establishing a basis for designing the appropriate interventions in understanding and dealing with adolescent problem behavior. These may be useful to the Ministry of Education and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in designing a teacher curriculum that may instill skills that are appropriate to the response of health risk behaviors in schools. Education stakeholders may use the results in making the appropriate policies. Furthermore, the results may add more literature and enhance the existing theories on attributions and perceived self-efficacy as they have confirmed some aspects of these two theories. The study may act as a basis for future studies related to the two theories.
1.11 Theoretical Framework
1.11.1 Theory of Attribution as Applied to Teachers’ Causal Attributions for Adolescent Problem Behaviors
Attribution theory is focused on assisting people to understand the causes of their behavior and that of others. Heider (1958) proposed a psychological theory of attribution. Based on this, Weiner (1985) developed a theoretical framework that has contributed heavily to today’s understanding of Psychology. Attribution theory assumes that people try to determine why people behave the way they do. The theory proposes that an attribution is a process that involves three stages: observing the behavior in question, determining it to be intentional and attributing it to internal or external causes. Weiner (1985) classifies attributions along three causal dimensions: Locus of control (internal as opposed to external), stability (whether causes change over time or not) and controllability (whether one is in control of the causes or not). Human beings tend to attribute success to internal aspects for instance, one’s creativity and other people’s success to external aspects for instance luck. Contrary to this trend, they tend to attribute their failure to external factors and the failure of others to internal factors. Attribution is therefore accompanied by biases.
Teachers make many decisions as they handle adolescents’ behavior. The decisions they make and the actions that result from these decisions are based on whether they attribute the behavior to the student or others. To make attributions, teachers will in school observe the behaviors, determine whether they are intentional or not and then make an internal or external attribution. A teacher whose student is found smoking may for instance, attribute it to the student’s personality, which would be internal attribution, or peer pressure, which would be external attribution. If they attribute the behavior to the students’ personality, they may decide to punish them, whereas if they blame poor upbringing, they may decide to advise them. Teachers no doubt, in an attempt to understand adolescent behavior, attribute it to internal or external events or situations.
teachers are in control if complemented by the theory of perceived self-efficacy.
1.11.2 Theory of Perceived Self-efficacy as Applied to Adolescent Problem Behaviors
Bandura (1977) in his theory of perceived self-efficacy has defined it as “one's belief in his or her ability to succeed in specific situations.” Self-efficacy represents the personal perception of external social factors (Mischel & Shoda, 1995). According to Bandura's (1977) theory, people with high self-efficacy are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered. People will be more inclined to take on a task if they believe they can succeed. People with a high self-efficacy are generally of the opinion that they are in control of their own lives; that their own actions and decisions shape their lives. On the other hand, people with a low self-efficacy may see their lives as somewhat out of their hands, eventually leading to a sense of helplessness. The theory describes what happens when a person comes to believe that they have no control over their situation and that whatever they do is futile. The person will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful, or damaging situation, even when they actually do have the ability to improve the circumstances.
Teachers with a low self-efficacy may result to being uninvolved or unresponsive to the adolescents. It may also lead to increased stress for the teacher. This will lead to more serious cases of problem behavior in schools.
Attribution style and perceived self-efficacy are interrelated. Self-efficacy affects how people respond to failure. A person with a high self-efficacy will attribute the failure to external factors, whereas a person with a low self-efficacy will attribute it to low ability. Bandura demonstrated that people of differing self-efficacy perceive the world in fundamentally different ways (Bandura, 1977). The theory of learned helplessness posits that when confronted with a negative event, individuals who attribute poor outcomes to internal, stable, and/or global factors are more likely to have depressive responses than those who attribute negative outcomes to external, unstable, or specific factors.
levels of self-efficacy for adolescent problem behaviors should not be underestimated. The current study focuses on establishing teachers’ causal attributions and perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors. The two theories proved applicable to this study. These results will be used to design a more realistic approach to handling health risk behaviors among adolescent learners.
1.12 Conceptual Framework for Teachers’ Causal Attributions and Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescents’ Health Risk Behaviors
Source: Researcher 2013
Teachers’ Causal Attributions and Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors
Adolescents’ Health Risk Behaviors: Bullying
Early sex initiation Drug and substance abuse
experience Teachers’ Causal
Internal (able to modify students’ Behavior) External (Unable
to modify Students’ Behavior)
Teachers’ Perceived Self-Efficacy:
Strong (able to modify students’ Behavior) Weak (unable to
Understanding a teacher’s attributions and perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors has positive implications in learning as the teacher is the best placed person to impact on the adolescent’s behavior. The theory of attribution is vital in understanding the teacher’s role in dealing with adolescent health risk behaviors. Attribution theory according to Weiner (1985) proposes an attribution theory process which includes observing behavior and determining whether it is internally or externally motivated. Based on this theory, teachers will observe adolescent health risk behavior for instance bullying and will assign a cause that is either internal or external. Teachers who make internal attributions blame the student, for instance, the student’s personality while those who make external attributions blame other factors for instance, poor upbringing. If they blame the student, they may be willing to persist in aiding him/her in modifying the behavior. This may lead to a positive behavior whereas if they blame poor upbringing they may adopt an attitude of helplessness resulting in the persistence of the behavior.
On the other hand, teachers with a strong level of perceived self-efficacy in handling adolescent health risk behaviors will work towards modifying the behavior of the adolescents without reservations. This will correct or improve the adolescents’ behavior while those with a weak level of efficacy may not take the necessary steps in helping the adolescent resulting in the persistence of the health risk behavior. On the same note, gender differences and teaching experience could contribute to differences in attribution and teacher perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors. This
conceptual framework guided the current study in establishing teachers’ causal attributions and their perceived self-efficacy for controlling adolescent health risk behaviors.
1.13 Operational Definition of Terms
This section explains the meaning of terms in the context of this study. Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors: Bullying, early sex initiation and drug/ substance abuse.
Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Any behavior that causes conflict between the adolescent learner and the teacher, other students, parents and other members of the society. It also refers to any learner behavior that interferes with learning or distracts other students.
Bullying: A behavior involving a person or a group repeatedly trying to harm someone who is weaker or who they perceive to be weaker. Sometimes it
involves direct attacks such as hitting, insulting, teasing or embarrassing.
Chang’aa Den: A place where illicit brews are served to customers.
Drug and Substance Abuse: Non-medical use of drugs or other chemicals leading to health problems or non-productivity.
Early Sex Initiation: Any form of involvement in a sexual relationship among secondary school learners.
External Attributions: Causes of problem behavior that are assigned to factors outside the individual involved in the behavior.
Health Risk Behavior: Any behavior that causes psychological or physical injury to the student carrying out the action or to the recipient of that action. The health risk behaviors to be examined in this study include: bullying, early sex initiation and drug/substance abuse.
Internal Attributions: Causes of behavior assigned to characteristics within the individual student involved in the health risk behavior.
Locus of Causality: This refers to whether the cause of problem behavior is assigned to the student (internal) or other factors (external).
Peer Gang: A group of three or more student learners that is characterized by problem behavior.
Peer Influence/Peer Pressure: when one copies his/her peers’ actions with or without any physical force or threat from them.
Peer Related Factors: These are determinants of a student’s health risk behavior that originates from pressure or influence by agemates with whom he/she spend a lot of time.
Personality Factors: These are determinants of health risk behaviors that originate from the student. They have to do with something within the student.
Socio-Economic factors: These are determinants of health risk behaviors that originate from the social and economic environment of the student.
School Factors: These are determinants of health risk behavior that originate from the school.
Teacher Causal Attributions: Explanations or causes that teachers give for adolescent health risk behaviors.
Teacher Perceived Self-Efficacy: A teacher’s belief in their competence in dealing with adolescent health risk behavior. It may be strong or weak, high or low.
Vignette: A brief description or illustration of a health risk behavior.
Weak Self-efficacy: A teacher’s belief that they are not fully competent in controlling adolescent health risk behavior.
1.14 Summary to Chapter One
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter begins with a general overview of the prevalence of adolescent health risk behaviors, followed by literature on causes that teachers assign to these behaviors and the teachers’ perceived self-efficacy in dealing with these behaviors. The main themes include: prevalence of health risk behaviors among adolescents, teachers’ causal attributions, gender differences in attribution and differences in teacher causal attributions based on teaching experience. The other theme revolves around teacher perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors, gender differences in perceived self-efficacy, differences in teacher perceived self-efficacy based on teaching experience and relationship between causal attributions and perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors.
2.2 Adolescents’ Problem Behaviors, Teacher Causal Attributions and Perceived Self-Efficacy
Semi-structured questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. Using content analysis, the researchers found that noisemaking, teasing other learners, truancy, bullying, verbal attacks, substance abuse, sexual harassment and indecent assaults were common problem behaviors among adolescent learners. The researchers went ahead to conclude that there were numerous discipline problems. In the same area, Kindiki (2009) carried out a study on “Effectiveness of Communication on Students’ Discipline in Secondary Schools in Kenya.” Using purposive sampling design and simple random sampling, the researcher obtained a sample of 200 teachers and 100 students. The researcher used questionnaires, interviews and documentation tools to collect data. Qualitative and descriptively approaches were used for data analysis. The researcher found out that the level of discipline in Kenya was very low. The researcher on realizing the nature of problem behavior in secondary schools focused on the teachers’ views about the causes of the problem behaviors and their feelings concerning their ability to handle these behaviors. This would create a deeper understanding of problem behaviors in secondary schools in Kenya.
cases of disruptive behavior. The teacher’s ability to control the class environment which includes ability to handle disruptive behavior in class is an important prerequisite to achieving his or her academic goals in addition to safeguarding the student’s mental, emotional and physical wellness. This will create a conducive environment for both the teacher and the learner. Unfortunately, quite a number of teachers are unable to control discipline in their classrooms and outside leading to disorderly classes and strikes in certain situations. Students in the hands of such teachers develop all types of problem behavior that extend to other environments including outside class and home. This directly affects the teacher in different ways. This study focuses on adolescent health risk behavior and teachers beliefs about their level of competence in dealing with these behaviors.
heavily on teachers. When teachers experience burnout, they cannot control problem behavior. This may lead to increased problem behavior amongst the students. This could be one of the reasons that problem behavior amongst adolescents has become a major concern in the field of education. This study gives some insight into the prevalence of problem behavior among adolescents and in particular, health risk behaviors which include: bullying, early sex initiation and drug/substance abuse. The study goes further to establish whether the teacher is in control of the students’ health risk behaviors.
There is available evidence that links teachers’ attribution to their subsequent help giving behavior. Weiner, Perry & Magnusson (2001) detail the process involved in transferring teachers’ attitudes into particular behaviors that can be beneficial or detrimental to the welfare of the attitudinal object. As teachers struggle to understand the increasingly complicated cases of problem behavior confronting them, they naturally assign causes that are both intrinsic and extrinsic to the learner. Intrinsic factors causing problem behavior include low self esteem and psychotic disorders (Carson & Buther 1996). The personality of a student may in many cases influence the way they respond when confronted with undesirable situations. The learners will react in ways that are harmful to themselves and others in their environment.
and sexual involvement. These problems will not only interfere with the learner’s academic performance but will also affect their health. Enamiraro (2008) in a study on “Absenteeism and Lateness Among Secondary School Students in Nigeria,” reported that poor health conditions, lack of transportation, parents’ poor financial conditions, the inability of parents to provide instructional materials, teachers’ non-commitment to teaching, going to bed late and the media are major causes. Since it is important for teachers to understand students’ problem behavior and have the capacity to determine the real causes of these behaviors, this study examines the explanations teachers give for problematic behaviors displayed by their students. This will give an insight that will give the teachers a clearer picture of the actual causes of health risk behaviors.
reported that the quality of teacher training is less than satisfactory. Teachers expressed the feeling that the training they received was inadequate in preparing them for the demands of a typical classroom. On the same subject, Linfoot and Stephenson (1999) interviewed 130 primary school teachers, and most of them believed they were in need of information designed to deal with student misbehavior.
In Kenya, Choge, Tanui and Ndegwa (2011) in a study on “Challenges facing Guidance and Counseling Teachers in Secondary Schools in Kenya: A case study of Nandi District,” using ex-post facto techniques, stratified sampling, interviews, questionnaires, documents and resources study, found that majority of teacher-counselors are untrained in guidance and counseling. They also pinpointed that students had a negative attitude towards counseling. This poses a dire need to empower teachers with skills that will assist in modifying behavior among adolescent learners. An intensive training will not only equip the teachers with the best methods of correcting behavior among their students but will also give the teacher a feeling of being in control as their perceived self-efficacy will be strengthened. This study determines whether the teachers need more training to enhance their disciplining skills and the study will also determine their level of perceived self-efficacy. This will yield a basis for further training.
dealing with learner problem behavior must be understood in the effort of understanding why problem behavior persists in schools. Perceived self-efficacy is frequently cited, as a chief determinant of individuals’ personal goal lever. Cervone, Mor, Orom, Shadel and Scott (2004) concluded that individuals who have a high perceived-efficacy believe in high levels of achievement. Contrary to this, those with a low level of perceived self-efficacy do not have the power to pursue their goals as they believe they are out of their reach. Teachers in such situations will end up giving up when confronted with serious adolescent problem behaviors. This could explain why problem behavior among learners is prevalent.
McCluskey (2012) in an essay on “Youth is Present Only When its Presence is a Problem. Voices of Young People on Discipline in School,” in Edinburgh, United Kingdom reported that ending corporal punishment signaled a move towards more humane and child-centered educational systems in schools and that schools developed behavior management systems to replace older discipline system. In the same field, Choge, Tanui and Ndegwa (2011) during Kabarak University First International conference, on the topic, “Challenges Facing Guidance and Counseling Teachers in Secondary Schools in Kenya, pointed out that the Government of Kenya through legal notice 56/2001 banned use of the cane on students on 12th October 200l. With the current use of a more student- centered approach to student problem behavior, there is evidence that teachers feel a stronger sense of self-efficacy than in the past (Croxford et al 2006 as reported by McCluskey 2012). Such evidence is necessary in the Kenyan situation due to the increased rates of problem behavior in Kenya secondary schools. In view of this, this study focused on the feelings of teachers about their ability to deal with adolescent health risk behaviors. It also sought to establish whether the teachers felt the need for further training.
2.3 Prevalence of Health Risk Behaviors among Adolescents
aim of establishing the extent to which bullying occurs in institutions of higher learning. Turkmen, Dokgoz, Adgoz, Eren, Vural and Polat (2013) investigated “The Prevalence of Bullying Behavior, its Victims, Types and Places of Bullying among 14-17 Year Old Students” in Bursa, Turkey. Using a Cross-section Survey design and a questionnaire, they found out that majority (96.7%) were involved in bullying behavior as aggressors or victims. In a related study, Chen and Cheng (2013) on “Prevalence of School Bullying among Secondary Students in Taiwan” used a Survey design on 7-11 grade secondary children, a sample of 3, 554 students and a self-report to collect data. The results indicated that the prevalence rate of bullying, victimization, witness to bullying and bully/victims was 10.5 %, 10.7% and 5.5% respectively.
Survey of “Bullying in Singapore Secondary Schools,” using a questionnaire, an interview, a population of 513 secondary school students, random and stratified sampling, found that 1 in 4 secondary students was a victim of bullying, both males and females are likely to be bullied, bullies and victims tended to be of the same gender, ethnic group and same class. The current study examines the prevalence of bullying as reported by teachers unlike most of the studies where respondents were students. The results will enrich the existing findings by adding the teachers’ views.
researchers found out that approximately 30% of the respondents reported their victimization while 11% had been cyber bullied. There is need to determine the teachers’ points of view in relation to bullying prevalence as they are the ones who handle bullying cases in schools. The current study was aimed at filling this gap.
Bullying in secondary schools has resulted in both physical and psychological problems. Due, Holstein, Lynch, Diderichsen, Cabain, Scheidt and Currie (2005) on “Bullying and Symptoms among School-aged Children: International Comparative Cross Sectional Study” in 28 countries using a sample of 227 students in Europe and North America, reported that prevalence varied and was lowest among girls in Sweden and highest among boys in Lithuania. They found a relationship between bullying, and physical and psychological symptoms. In most of these studies, the students are the respondents. The results from the students require some reinforcement from results from studies on teachers as teachers remain an important part in understanding the impact of bullying in schools. This study sought to find out the prevalence of bullying from the teacher’s point of view.
reported various types of bullying. In the same subject, Wambui (2014) highlighted a case in which four form four boys in Tirige Boys secondary School in Nandi, Kenya, gorged out a form one student’s eye in a bullying incident. This calls for urgent measures in dealing with bullying cases among adolescent learners. The current study examined the prevalence of bullying amongst adolescent learners in Nairobi County, Kenya. This has provided meaningful data from teachers concerning the current bullying situation within Kenyan institutions of higher learning.
those 12 and younger while older teens aged 17-19 are sexually active. Approximately 30% aged 15- 16 have had sex. Contraceptive use among girls as young as 15, was similar to that of those between 15 and 16. The current study examines the extent to which adolescent learners engage in sexual activities according to teachers.
Using purposive sampling technique and a questionnaire to collect data, the findings showed that there was the prevalence of a permissive attitude towards sexual practices. The factors influencing adolescents’ sexual attitudes included: exposure to pornographic films, peer pressure, use of contraceptives and parental indifferences. Boys were found to be more sexually active than girls. The current study examines the prevalence of sexual involvement as reported by teachers. The results will add more literature to the existing literature that is largely informed by student respondents.
current study collected data from teachers on the prevalence of sexual activities among adolescent learners in Kenya.
Kenyan media reports and research studies confirm involvement of adolescents in early sex. In a study in Kenya, Muriithi (2010) found teenage pregnancies a significant challenge to school principals. On the same line, Okong’o (2013) noted in a study in Nyanza, that majority of victims of HIV/AIDS are students. He reported that the Nyanza provincial Aids and sexually transmitted diseases coordinator had indicated that 103,144 people in the province had HIV and that half of them were students. He attributed this to the failure of parents to highlight the dangers of the scourge to their children. In a related study, Lawrence, Ikamari and Towett (2013) concluded that female adolescents had an early onset of sexual activity and use of contraceptives.
pregnancy was on the rise. The current study used teachers to give the extent of early sex initiation among adolescent learners.
Similarly, Rositch et al (2012) in a study in Nairobi County on “HIV Infection and Sexual Partnerships and Behavior among Adolescent Girls in Nairobi,” using a sample of 761 adolescent girls and a cross-sectional survey, established that nearly one-quarter of sexually active adolescent girls believed they were too young to become infected with HIV. There was a low prevalence of condom use. Still in Kenya, Lawrence Ikamari and Towett (2013) in their study on “Sexual Initiation and Contraceptive Use among Female Adolescents,” using data drawn from the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey established that the onset of sexual activity is early and contraceptive use is a reality. The current study was to confirm this using the population of teachers instead of students as in previous cases.
ever users and 34.93% regular users. Alcohol use was highest followed by tobacco.
establishing the prevalence of drug and substance abuse among high school learners as reported by teachers who spend most of their day time with students. This will help to examine the issue from another angle as most of the researches done use students as the respondents.
drugs with the majority being in boys’ schools. Drug/substance abuse is among adolescent learners is therefore, a problem that requires attention. The current study examines the prevalence of drug and substance abuse from a teacher’s point of view. The study uses vignettes that have not been used in the studies in the literature review. The results will be used in making important recommendations that may see an improvement in the way teachers deal with the incidents of drug/substance abuse among adolescent learners.
(2010) conducted a study in Sweeden on “Risky Alcohol Use, Peer and Family Relationships and Legal Involvement in Adolescents with Antisocial Problems,” using a sample of 1163 adolescents and an interview. Findings indicated that leisure, peer, family, background and relationship problems were risk factors for alcohol use. The current study examined the reasons that teachers give towards adolescent health risk behavior as opposed to these studies that largely used students as respondents. Results will complement the existing research results.
Some studies report that teachers would be more sympathetic and willing to help students who are viewed as victims of circumstances (external attributions). On the other hand, students are more subject to punitive measures if they are perceived to have control over the cause of the problem behavior (Tollefson, 2000). A number of external attributions for adolescent problem behavior including health risk behaviors have been reported in studies. In a study on Attributions for Problem Behavior amongst Turkish Teachers of Special Education, Yasemin, Yesim, Gulecand Glen (2010) concluded that poor parenting and the child’s disability are causes of problem behavior.
more in-depth and authentic. The study used special education teachers limiting generalization as opposed to the current study whose population is all secondary school teachers in Nairobi County, Kenya. In another study, Giavrimis and Papanis (2009) examined Greek Teacher’s Perceptions about “Efficient” and “Non-Efficient” Students in the North Aegean region using a questionnaire administered to 377 primary, secondary and university teachers. Results indicated that five factors characterized “bad” students: Some of these are parent involvement and school achievement.
Enamiroro (2008) in a study on “Absenteeism and Lateness Among Secondary School Students in Nigeria,” using a questionnaire and a sample of teachers, revealed poor health conditions, lack of transportation, poverty, lack of instructional materials and teachers non-commitment as causes of absenteeism. These findings are consistent with those of Ubogu (2004) and Malcolm, Valerie, Davidson and Kirk (2003). The researcher will in the current study examine attributions for health risk problem behavior using the attribution theory by Weiner (1985) who concentrates on the way people explain causes of behavior unlike these studies based on the Ecological systems theory by Bronfenbrenner (1979) who concentrates on the
actual causes of behavior. The study went a step further and distinguished
between the internal and external causes identified by the respondents.
Duckett, 1996). With this increased peer contact, it is more likely that adolescents will influence one another more than is true for younger children. There is considerable evidence that association with deviant peers puts adolescents at higher risk for problem behavior. Furthermore, in a longitudinal study of adolescent substance use, Dishion, Capaldi, Spracklen and Li (1995) demonstrated that having substance-using friends at age 13 or 14 significantly increased adolescent boys’ substance use two years later. In another longitudinal study, Vitaro, Tremblay, Kerr & Bukowski (1997) maintained that boys who had moderate levels of problem behavior became more delinquent later if they had hyperactive and aggressive friends at age 11 or 12, compared to other boys with moderate problem behavior who did not have friends with those negative qualities. Battin, Hill, Abbott, Catalano and Hawkins (1998) noted that gangs promote the cycle of substance use, as the appeal of delinquent behavior can attract adolescents to a gang. These studies have used longitudinal research design unlike the current study that used a questionnaire. The respondents in this study are teachers unlike in these studies.
investigations point out that the quality of communication with parents is closely related to an adolescent’s behavioral and psychological adjustment behavioral problems (Liu, 2003). In a study, Oghuvbu (2008) identified illness, financial hardship, age, social class, geographical area, truancy and institutional influence as causes of problem behavior among students. This study will use vignettes - short hypothetical demonstrations of problem behavior - enabling the teachers to spontaneously give a variety of attributions. This will give more satisfying results as opposed to a closed questionnaire that provides choices that may restrict the respondents’ contribution.
On the same issue, Muchai (2005) on investigating “Causes of Indiscipline in Secondary Schools in Ol. Kalau Division Nyandarua Kenya,” using a sample of 33 teachers and 82 students and a questionnaire reported that school administration, lack of guidance skills and school rules were causes of indiscipline. Using a sample of 40 principals and a questionnaire and interview, in Tigania County, Kenya, Muriithi (2010) in a study on “Challenges Principals Face in Enhancing Student Discipline,” found humiliation by students, parental resistance, students’ strikes, political interference, drug abuse and teenage pregnancies to be major challenges. ALaoniramai, Laosee, Somrongthong, Wongchalee and Sitthi-Amorn (2005) in a study in Bangkok, India on “Factors Affecting the Experiences of Drug Use by Adolescents,” in a Bangkok slum using a survey research design, a sample of 354 students and a questionnaire to collect data found out that about (7%) had used drugs. The researcher also established that personal, family and social environment factors influenced adolescent drug use. Unlike these studies that have examined problem behavior in general, the current study examined attributions for health risk behaviors.
community influence, lack of parental guidance as the causes of problem behavior. The current study explored teachers’ explanations on the causes of drug abuse in secondary schools, and their perception about their ability to deal with the problem.
Respondents in a study by Maithya (2009) in secondary schools in Kenya attributed the abuse of drugs to curiosity, acceptance by peers and ignorance. This is according to a report by African journal of food and agriculture and nutrition based on a study of 458 students using closed ended questionnaires at higher institutions of learning. Reasons given for use are friend influence, experiment and treatment for ailments. The study concluded that drug use in secondary schools is widespread and affects both sexes. In another study, on “Motives for Cocaine Use,” Boys, Marsden, Griffiths, Fountain, Stillwell and Strang (1999a) reported that cocaine was used to enhance an activity and to stay awake. Among the respondents, 60% used it to feel more confident, deal with depression and to stop worrying. None of these studies have examined teachers’ views about their ability to deal with drug and substance abuse amongst the students, which the current study has done.
older than the victims are causes of a student bullying another student. In a similar area , Ngesu, Gunga, Wachira, Muriithi, K'Odhiambo and Atieno (2013) on “Bullying in Kenyan Secondary Schools,” using a mixed design method and a sample of 10 head teachers and 240 students and found that intra school and extra school factors are related to bullying. Outcomes of bullying included absenteeism, violence dropout and low self esteem. An observation was made by Kuchio and Njagi (2008) that up to the late 1970s, bullying was a sort of compulsory disciplinary drill in most Kenyan schools. Recently a report was provided by the Kenya Television Network that a form one boy was fighting for his life after he was forced to drink ethanol by form four boys in a case of bullying (“Form I boy fighting for his life,” 2013). The researcher in this study focused towards establishing whether teachers are in control of bullying in school.
Logistic-regression analyses suggested that the personality of an individual may determine involvement in problem behavior. Cooper, Wood, Orcutt and Albino (2003) on “The Role of Personality in Multiple Risk of Problem Behaviors,” using a longitudinal study from a sample of 1,978 black and white adolescents explained that dysfunctional styles of regulating emotions and emotionally driven behaviors are core features of risky or problem behaviors during adolescence.
2.5 Gender Differences in Teacher Causal Attributions for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors
Evidence from studies bearing heavily on Weiner’s attribution theory suggest that attribution tend to vary by gender (Trenthan & Larwood, 2001). Females tend to attribute blame to self while males tend to lean towards blaming others in situations involving failure (Beyer, 1999). The current study established differences in attribution among teachers for adolescent health risk behaviors, area researchers have not extensively ventured into. Green and Holeman (2004) proposed that females tend to blame self while males place blame elsewhere. Thus women make more internal attributions. As opposed to this general conclusion, the current study is specific on attribution among teachers for adolescent health risk behaviors, an area that has not been widely ventured into though important.
Cormick (2000). In a study on teachers’ attributions for responsibility for occupational stress in Australia and China,” using a random stratified sample consisting of 487 teachers, it was found that there were sex differences for internal and external attributions. Males generally made more internal attributions.
These results are supported by those of Fatemi and Asghari (2012) who in a study in Mashhad, Iran on “Attribution Theory, Personality Traits, and Gender Differences among English as a foreign language,” using a sample of 216 intermediate English language learners, an inventory attribution questionnaire for data collection and a t-test for data analysis found no significant gender differences in attributions on learning English as a foreign language. The current study examined teacher attributions for health risk behaviors, an area with scarce literature.
effort, interest, task difficulty, strategy, ability and luck as foremost causes of failure in mathematics. The study highlighted a statistically significant gender difference in students’ failure attributions in mathematics.
In a study in a related area, Green and Holeman (2004) drawing on the ego serving theory of attribution examined “Male and Female Attribution Patterns for Group Performance Outcomes in England.” They found that females were less ego enhancing than males in situations involving collective failure. They also noted that females tend to adopt a neutral stand or to blame self hoping to study and learn from performance outcomes. Males try to protect the ego of the team by placing blame elsewhere. Thus women tend to ascribe internal attributions or shy away from ascribing blame while men tend to be more ego serving and tend to put blame external attribution. This study was centred on attributions towards self unlike the current study where teachers are giving attributions for others’ behavior. Most of the studies on attribution towards others’ behaviors have not studied gender differences in attributions. On the other hand, most of the studies in this field have concentrated on academic failure as opposed to indiscipline problems. This study attempted to fill this gap by examining teachers’ causal attributions for health risk behaviors and in particular, bullying, early sex initiation and drug/substance abuse.
2.6 Differences in Teacher Causal Attributions for Adolescent Health Risk Based on Teaching Experience
problems to causes external to their own context and themselves, although they did not differ significantly from teachers with the shortest experience in their family-related causal attributions for behavior problems (Cooper, Smith & Upton, 2004). As a result, they turn to external factors to explain such behaviors in order to protect themselves from explanations that constitute a direct threat to their ability to handle students’ problem behaviors. Kulinna (2008) in a study on “Attributions and Strategies for Student Misbehavior,” in Arizona USA, used a sample of 199 physical education teachers, a survey research design and a questionnaire. Results indicated that misbehavior was mostly attributed to home, student, teacher and school factors. There was no significant difference in attribution based on teaching experience. In the current study, the population comprised of all teachers in Nairobi County, Kenya, making the results more generalizable unlike the study by Kulinna (2008) whose population comprised only of physical education teachers.
causal attributions for adolescent health risk behaviors in particular, unlike other studies that examined other categories of problem behaviors. This study will avail more literature in this area.
2.7 Teachers’ Perceived Self-Efficacy for Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors
Teachers determine the behavior of adolescent learners in and outside the classroom. A teacher’s efficacy is the teachers’ motivation to persist when faced with obstacles, and the willingness to exert effort to overcome those obstacles (Woolfolk, 2001). Yero (2002) proposes that a teacher’s thinking is a significant antecedent to teacher practice. Therefore, the teachers’ ability to deal with adolescent health risk behavior will highly depend on their belief about their ability to deal with them. One's sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges (Luszczynska & Schwarzer, 2005). This is important for teachers of adolescents, who are in many occasions the direct recipients of adolescent problem behavior. Therefore, providing knowledge and skills in this domain is a prime need for teachers that could help them modify dysfunctional educational and disciplinary strategies and reduce stress caused by troublesome behavior among their students. Consequently, this study focused on teachers’ perceived self-efficacy in handling bullying, involvement in early sex and drug and substance abuse.
Self-Efficacy in Dealing with Violent Events.” Using a sample of 147 teachers and a questionnaire to collect data, he found a significant relationship between teachers who reported receiving high levels of support and teacher outcome efficacy in handling violence cases among students. On the same subject, Giallo and Little (2003) carried out a study in Australia on “Classroom Behavioral Problems: The Relationship between Preparedness, Classroom Experiences, and Self-Efficacy in Graduate and Student Teachers.” Using a sample of 53 primary education teachers with less than 3 years of teaching experience and 25 student teachers, they found a significant positive relationship between perceived self-efficacy in behavior management and classroom experiences. Further to this, 83% indicated that they would like educational training. This study examined the classroom behavior problems unlike the current study which examined the teachers’ perceived self-efficacy for adolescent health risk behaviors.
not assist a problematic student successfully. If their perceived efficacy is strong they will be able to deal with the problem behavior in a way that will maintain a class atmosphere conducive for learning. If teachers’ efficacy for problem behavior is weak, it creates an atmosphere that makes learning difficult for both the deviant and non-deviant students in class. It is therefore important to establish the perceived efficacy of teachers and anything that may affect it to the disadvantage of students.
Although teachers’ efficacy in general has been linked to their behavior in the classroom, classroom management has specifically been correlated with preferences for using positive strategies for classroom management (Morin & Battalio, 2004). They state that the strategies used to deal with adolescent problem behavior may be helpful or destructive. A teacher with a strong self-efficacy will be able to come up with corrective strategies that will help the problematic students modify their behavior to the desired direction. Isabel and Moran (2010) in a research on “Levels of Self-Efficacy among Harassed Teachers,” examined the differences among harassed teachers and unharassed ones, regarding coping strategies, self-efficacy and locus of control. Participants were 255 teachers who completed a set of three questionnaires. The results showed differences in self-efficacy, locus of control and use of coping strategies depending on the teachers’ degree of mobbing perceived.