Publication - Report

Positive behaviour in the early years: research report

Published: 12 Sep 2008
Directorate:
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Education
ISBN:
9780755918102

Report of research into perceptions of staff, service providers and parents in managing and promoting positive behaviour in early years and early primary settings.

186 page PDF

956.8 kB

186 page PDF

956.8 kB

Contents
Positive behaviour in the early years: research report
ANNEX 3 - RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS AND CODING CATEGORIES EXAMPLES

186 page PDF

956.8 kB

ANNEX 3 - RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS AND CODING CATEGORIES EXAMPLES

Summary of instruments used -

* Parenting Daily Hassles

The Parenting Daily Hassles Scale (Crnic and Greenberg, 1990; Crnic and Booth, 1991) scale aims to assess the frequency and intensity/impact of 20 potential parenting 'daily' hassles experienced by adults caring for children. It has been used in a wide variety of research studies concerned with children and families - particularly families with young children. It has been found that parents (or caregivers) generally like filling it out, because it touches on many aspects of being a parent that are important to them. The statements in this questionnaire describe a lot of events that routinely occur in families with young children. These events sometimes make life difficult. Parents were asked to read each item and circle how often it happened to them (rarely, sometimes, a lot or constantly) and then circle how much of a 'hassle' they felt that particular item had been for them for the past 6 months. If they have more than one child, these events are able to include any or all of their children.

* Strength & Difficulties Questionnaire

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (Goodman, 1997; Goodman et al, 1998; Goodman et al, 2000) are a modification of the very widely used instruments to screen for emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents - the Rutter A + B scales for parents and teachers. Although similar to Rutter's, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire's wording was re-framed to focus on a child's emotional and behavioural strengths as well as difficulties. The actual questionnaire incorporates five scales: pro-social, hyperactivity, emotional problems, conduct (behavioural) problems, and peer problems. Use was made of the versions of the scale to be completed by adult caregivers, or teachers for children from age 3 to 16. We also developed a modified version for use with under-threes. For each item, the response box is marked Not True, Somewhat True or Certainly True. Participants were asked to answer all items as best as they could even if they were not absolutely certain or the items seem daft! Answers were asked for on the basis of the child's behaviour over the last 6 months of this school year. Multi-informant responses add potential to increase parent - teacher correlations.

*Adult Strategies Questionnaire

Parents want their children to behave in a manner that they, their family and those around them find acceptable. We call this 'positive behaviour'. This questionnaire was designed to tap into how parents support their child to behave in a way that they and others find acceptable and what support they need to do this.

* Transition Questionnaire

Transitions into, within and between settings are an exciting time of change. Settling into nursery or primary school is a great adventure but can also be a challenge. This is also true when a child moves to another room or group within the nursery setting.

In this questionnaire we are interested in parent, teachers and children's recent experience of nursery or primary school start, or when a child moved to a new group or room within nursery.

Set of Guidance on Instruments for Practitioners

* Process Oriented Monitoring Scale ( POMS) / Leuven Involvement Scale ( LIS)

Well-being and involvement are highly indicative of quality in education. The level of well-being in children indicates how they are developing emotionally. Children who are in a state of well-being, feel like 'fish in water'. Involvement means that a child is intensely engaged in an activity.

Please screen the children in your group by observing his/her levels of well-being and involvement. Use the whole-class screening forms to note down your observations.

* Strength & Difficulties Questionnaire

This questionnaire looks at a range of behaviours in the areas of emotions, concentration and relationships.

For each item, please mark the box for Not True, Somewhat True or Certainly True. It would help us if you would answer all items as best as you can even if you are not absolutely certain or the items seem daft! Please give your answers on the basis of the child's behaviour over the last 6 months or this school year.

* Adult Strategies Questionnaire

In this questionnaire we want to know how you support the children in your setting to behave in a way that you and others find acceptable and what support you need for promoting children's positive behaviour.

* Transition Questionnaire

Transitions into, within and between settings are an exciting time of change. Settling into nursery or primary school is a great adventure but can also be a challenge. This is also true when children move to another room or group within the nursery setting.

In this questionnaire we are interested in your and the children's recent experience of when the children in your setting started nursery or primary school, or moved to another room or group within nursery.

Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire Scales

Three questionnaire versions have been used for the different age groups (strata): 0-3, 3-4 and 4+. The first version was created by the research team by modifying the standardised Goodman scales for older children and includes a number of items on appetite, sleeping and toileting. The items as listed below appear in the 4+ version; a number of items in the other questionnaires are worded slightly differently to reflect difference in age and stage of development. There is also a slight variation of wording in the parent versions.

Emotional Symptoms Scale

  • Often complains of headaches, stomach aches
  • Many worries, often seems worried
  • Often unhappy, downhearted or tearful
  • Nervous or clingy in new situations
  • Many fears, easily scared

Conduct Problems Scale

  • Often has temper tantrums or hot tempers
  • Generally obedient, usually does what adults request
  • Often fights with other children or bullies them
  • Often lies or cheats (in 3-4 version: often argumentative with adults)
  • Steals from home, school or elsewhere (in 3-4 version: can be spiteful to others)

Hyperactivity Scale

  • Restless, overactive, cannot stay still for long
  • Constantly fidgeting or squirming
  • Easily distracted, concentration wanders
  • Thinks things out before acting
  • Sees tasks through to the end, good attention span

Peer Problems Scale

  • Rather solitary, tends to play alone
  • Has at least one good friend
  • Generally liked by other children
  • Picked on or bullied by other children
  • Gets on better with adults than with other children

Pro-social Scale

  • Considerate of other people's feelings
  • Shares readily with other children
  • Helpful if someone is hurt, upset or feeling ill
  • Kind to younger children
  • Often volunteers to help others

A Total Difficulties Score is generated by summing the scores from all scales except the pro-social scale.

Total Scores on each of the scales and a Total Difficulties Score can be classified into the three following categories: normal, borderline and abnormal.

Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale Revised Edition ( ITERS-R)

The ITERS is designed for use in centre-based child care settings for infants and toddlers up to the age of 30 months.
Space & Furnishings

  • Indoor space
  • Furniture for routine care and play
  • Provision for relaxation & comfort
  • Room arrangement
  • Display for children

Personal Care Routines

  • Greeting/departing
  • Meals/snacks
  • Nap
  • Diapering/toileting
  • Health practices
  • Safety practices

Listening and Talking

  • Helping children understand language
  • Helping children use language
  • Using books

Activities

  • Fine motor
  • Active physical play
  • Art
  • Music & movement
  • Blocks
  • Dramatic play
  • Sand and water play
  • Nature/science
  • Use of TV, video and/or computer
  • Promoting acceptance of diversity

Interaction

  • Supervision of play and learning
  • Peer interaction
  • Staff-child interaction
  • Discipline

Program Structure

  • Schedule
  • Free play
  • Group play activities
  • Provisions for children with disabilities

Parents and Staff

  • Provisions for parents
  • Provisions for personal needs of staff
  • Provisions for professional needs of staff
  • Staff interaction and cooperation
  • Staff continuity
  • Supervision and evaluation of staff
  • Opportunities for professional growth

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale Revised Edition ( ECERS-R)

ECERS is designed for use in pre-school, kindergarten and child care classrooms catering for children of 2.5 through to 5 years of age.

Space & Furnishings

  • Indoor space
  • Furniture for routine care, play and learning
  • Furniture for relaxation
  • Room arrangement for play
  • Space for privacy
  • Child-related display
  • Space for gross motor
  • Gross motor equipment

Personal Care Routines

  • Greeting/departing
  • Meals/snacks
  • Nap/rest
  • Toileting/diapering
  • Health practices
  • Safety practices

Language-reasoning

  • Books and pictures
  • Encouraging children to communicate
  • Using language to develop reasoning skills
  • Informal use of language

Activities

  • Fine motor
  • Art
  • Music & movement
  • Blocks
  • Sand/water
  • Dramatic play
  • Nature/science
  • Math/number
  • Use of TV, video and/or computers
  • Promoting acceptance of diversity

Interaction

  • Supervision of gross motor activities
  • General supervision of children
  • Discipline
  • Staff-child interactions
  • Interactions among children

Program Structure

  • Schedule
  • Free play
  • Group time
  • Provisions for children with disabilities

Parents and Staff

  • Provisions for parents
  • Provisions for personal needs of staff
  • Provisions for professional needs of staff
  • Staff interaction and cooperation
  • Supervision and evaluation of staff
  • Opportunities for professional growth

Adult Strategies Questionnaire Coding

Age

1. 0-3
2. 3-4
3. 4-5
4. 3-5
5. 5-6
6. 0-5 (P1)

P 2 Q1 Other, please specify

1. Speech / language
2. Parenting skills
3. General welfare

P2 Q1 Please tell us more (about behaviours you experience as causing difficulty..)

Reduced categories

Covering previous categories

1.Developmental/behaviour difficulty or concern (development) (including immaturity and separation issues)

1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 12,

2. ASN (where a diagnosis or condition is specified)

7, 8, 10,

3. parent related

11,

4. setting related

3, 6,

OMIT

13, 14

1. Duration of care - length of day leads to challenging behaviour. (Comments - "children spend longer than their workers in the environment"; "should be with parents")
2. Individual characteristics - affecting group dynamic
3. Mixture of ability needs; some children need more support than others
4. Emotional immaturity - separation issues
5. Can be easily distracted; children lose concentration
6. Quality if staff has impact on (behaviour of) children
7. Diagnosed ASN
8. Sensory / physical condition
9. Negative development comment / concern, eg sharing difficulties
10. Amount of staff
11. Parenting skills / concern
12. General welfare / skills
13. Positive overall comment
14. Negative overall comment

P3 Q2 Do you feel skilled and prepared… Please tell us more

Reduced categories

Covering previous categories

1. qualifications and training

1, 2, 5,

2. personal/work experience

3, 7,

3. examples of strategies

4,

4. support from colleagues

12,

5. need training

6

5a.need more support e.g. learning support

8,

5b. need more time

11

6. child-related (depends on mix/home)

10

OMIT

9

1. Ongoing academic courses ( BA)
2. Previous qualification (nursery nurse, 'better behaviour, better learning' programme
3. Personal experience of children
4. Various responses explaining strategies / use of strategies
5. Ongoing training / CPD
6. Lack of training
7. Work experience
8. Need learning support
9. Comment affirming / elaborating
10. Depends of mix of children / home circumstances
11. Not enough time
12. Support from co-workers / other staff

P3 Q3 How do you support children's positive behaviour

Reduced categories

Covering previous categories

1. positive reinforcement/ reward

1, 27,

2. negative reinforcement

30, 38

3. behaviour management approaches (e.g time out, distract)

24, 29, 31, 33

4. correcting, explanation, teaching rules and behaviours ( e.g. aplogising)

14, 15, 16,

5. relationship with child/ praise and encourage child

2, 3, 4, 5, 36, 40

6. classroom activity structure and approaches

7, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 39

7. parent related

9, 11

8. setting and staff related (staff training, recording, planning, consistency in staff approach)

6, 8, 10, 13, 17, 28, 32, 34, 37

9. external agencies

12, 35

OMIT

1. Reward system / positive reinforcement (individual and group points, special games and golden time for those who earn it)
2. Praise and encouragement / supporting
3. Trust and bond
4. Attentive listening
5. Different responses according to individual children's needs
6. Observation and recording / planning
7. Displaying children's work
8. Leading by example / modelling
9. Communicate directly with parents - homework diaries
10. Staff training and development / support
11. Parent training workshops
12. External agencies
13. Consistency in staff approach
14. Correct negative behaviour (by explanation)
15. Encourage child to apologise
16. Explaining what is acceptable behaviour
17. Speak to child at their level
18. Pupils self-evaluate
19. Cooperative learning
20. Provide challenges for more able children
21. Structure play
22. Effective use of classroom assistants / special needs assistants
23. Role models
24. Time out
25. Working in small / large groups
26. Appropriate materials
27. Reinforcement / persistence
28. Remain calm / patient
29. Offer choices
30. Negative reinforcement
31. Behaviour strategies (eg 'traffic lights', 'brain gum', bush bee') / positive behaviour policy
32. Happy environment
33. Distract
34. Staff evaluate practice
35. Involving external sources (professional)
36. One-to-one
37. Clear rules and routines
38. Remove attention
39. Strategies for developing concentration
40. Developing self-esteem

P4 Q4 Do you feel you would benefit from more training…

1. All - benefit from more training; very interested in more training; gain a greater
2. understanding of how children think and learn
3. Particular behaviour area
4. No - already have training

P4 Q5 In what areas would you like more training…

Reduced categories

Covering previous categories

1. supporting emotions and feelings

13, 15, 16, 17, 19, 24

2. Supporting behaviour and concentration

2, 3, 14, 23

3. eating and appetite

22

4. ASN related training

9,

5. supporting parents and home/family related

6, 11, 18, 20,

6. setting related (e.g managing paperwork)

12,

7. all kinds of training/general supporting

1, 4, 5

8. no training needed

10,

9.inservice and joint-training with other professionals

8, 21,

OMIT

7

1. All
2. Behaviour management strategies / behaviour strategies / wants strategies; in a documented form / greater understanding of negative behaviour
3. Promoting positive behaviour
4. Current thinking practice
5. Supporting children in a 20/20 environment
6. Supporting parents
7. Has had no training
8. In-service training
9. Dealing with ASN ( ADHT / Autism)
10. No training required
11. Strategies for dealing with a lack of parental support
12. Managing paperwork
13. Increasing self-confidence of children
14. Supporting communication and language
15. Supporting children dealing with bereavement issues
16. Supporting children dealing with separation issues from one parent
17. Supporting children in foster care
18. Home visits
19. Supporting emotional needs
20. Impact of family dynamic on child's behaviour (genetics)
21. Joint training with other professionals
22. Eating and appetite
23. Bullying
24. Emotions and feelings
25. Increasing concentration

Staff Focus Groups - Case Study Settings

Preamble

Explanation of Project
Explanation of Well-being and Involvement

What ages are the children in this setting?

Ques. 1 What is the extent and nature of behaviour difficulties among children in early years and early primary settings?

  • How would you describe behaviour of children in this group?
  • Can you give us any examples?
  • How do you decide what is acceptable behaviour?
  • Do you think the standards of behaviour are generally acceptable?
  • Are there any children that you think behave in a way that is outwith the norm for this group? (please do not name)
  • What types of behaviour do they exhibit?
  • Have you noticed changes in behaviour at times of transition (transition may be wider in this group)?
  • What do you do to promote positive behaviour?
  • How would you rate children in this group in terms of their well-being and their involvement in activities?
  • Are there any that you would rate particularly low or high (do not give names but describe behaviours)?

Ques. 2 What practices can be identified by staff and parents as successful in relation to supporting transitions from nursery/pre-school to primary school?

  • When children are settling in the group, how do you help ease the transition?
  • Are there any methods that you think are particularly effective?
  • Are there any methods that you think have not been successful?
  • When children are leaving to settle in another group/school, do you provide any support? What?
  • Do you meet with any other provision that children attend/have come from/will be going to?
  • How do you involve parents in supporting children at time of transition?
  • What do you think works best when supporting children and families at transition points?

Ques. 3 What effective approaches to training and support can be identified for staff in early years settings?

  • Have you had any training in dealing with children's behaviour or transition - when, who provided the training, was it useful?
  • What support is available to you to help you to promote positive behaviour amongst children?
  • What support is available when you face a difficulty?
  • Do you feel adequately prepared or skilled in dealing with children's behaviour?
  • Are there any areas in which you need more training/support?
  • Do you have contact with any other agencies?
  • How do they support you?
  • Which agencies do you have most contact with?
  • How do you liaise with parents? What information do you share with parents?

Parental Focus Groups

Preamble

Explanation of Project

Explanation of Positive Behaviour

Light introductory statements illustrating an aspect of typical behaviour of young children

What ages are your children?

Ques. 1 What is the extent and nature of behaviour difficulties among children in early years and early primary settings?

How do you expect young children to behave?

Do they always meet your expectations?

What kind of behaviour do you think is acceptable?

How do you get children to behave in the way you want?

What kind of behaviour worries you? (Does this relate to behaviour with others, feeding/toileting, emotional, activity?)

How often does it happen?

What do you do about it? (strategies in general and for specific behaviours; i.e. toileting, eating & appetite, feelings, concentration, sleeping, relationships)

Who would you talk to? Why?

Who wouldn't you talk to? Why?

Would you like more support? In what area and with what behaviours?

Ques. 2 What practices can be identified by staff and parents as successful in relation to supporting transitions from nursery/pre-school to primary school

Do your children behave in the same way with you as with other people/in the group? What is the difference? Why do you think that happens?

Has behaviour been affected when changing rooms/moving to nursery/school?

How?

How did you help your child cope?

Did you get any support from staff in nursery/school?

What was/wasn't useful?

What kind of support would you have liked to have had?

Ques. 3 What effective approaches to training and support can be identified for staff in early years settings?

Do you think that staff help children develop positive behaviour?

What kind of things do they do?

Have you learned anything from staff?
Do you share information with staff on your child's behaviour? In what way do they share information with you?
Do you get support from any other services?

Does the nursery help you get support from other agencies?

Do the nursery and other agencies work together?