A comparative study of the seriousness attributed to disruptive classroom behaviors

Concepción Gotzens Busquets, Mar Badia, Cándido Genovard, Teresa Dezcallar

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15 Citations (Scopus)


© Education & Psychology I+D+i and Editorial EOS (Spain). Introduction. In this paper we present a comparative analysis of three samples of teachers from Coimbra, Barcelona and Murcia that provides insight into the importance teachers attach to disruptive behavior and how different perspectives and values affect their daily work. Method. This research is framed within a quantitative empirical-analytic design. It is a descriptive study that compares the data obtained from applying a questionnaire to a sample of 146 school teachers from primary and secondary education in three European cities: Barcelona, Murcia and Coimbra. This unobtrusive questionnaire was developed by the authors to minimize language distortions. Results. Results consistently confirm the trend proposed in the study's hypothesis. In general, inappropriate social behaviors receive stronger ratings than behaviors that hinder instruction, except in the case of disobedience, which receives the highest score. Male teachers tend to assign higher scores to instruction-related behaviors than do their female colleagues, and there is a trend toward stronger ratings for instruction-related behaviors with increasing years of teaching experience. Discussion and Conclusion. The teachers sampled in this study show greater concern for the general social transgressions that occur in the class group, relegating disruptive behaviors to positions of lesser importance, despite their rigorously-demonstrated implications in teaching-learning processes. Moreover, the variable years of experience appears to exert a moderating effect on the concern for inappropriate social behaviors, nearly equating their seriousness with that of instruction-related behaviors. This leveling effect is observed more strongly with male teachers than with their female colleagues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-58
JournalElectronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Classroom discipline
  • Comparative study
  • Teachers' perceptions
  • Teaching experience


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