Taking “Steps” toward Positive Social Relationships

A Transactional Model of Intervention

Authored by: Karin S. Frey , Susan B. Nolen

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872


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Recent years have seen increased concern about the threat of violence in schools (e.g., Jimerson & Furlong, 2005). Thankfully, such traumatic events are relatively rare. Yet many children are affected by more mundane conditions that nevertheless impact their development, and not incidentally, may be linked to more explosive episodes (Leary, Kowalski, Smith, & Phillips, 2003). A classroom learning environment can suffer a thousand small cuts from disruptive behavior (Fleming et al., 2005) and teachers may spend an inordinate amount of time reacting to unresolved conflicts (Johnson & Johnson, 1996). Children who are not deterred from aggressive, oppositional behaviors follow a developmental trajectory that puts them at risk for substance use, conduct problems, and academic failure (Barker, Tremblay, Nagin, Vitaro, & Lacourse, 2006; Dodge, Greenberg, Malone, & CPPRG, 2008; Fite, Colder, Lochman, & Wells, 2008). Research on victimization also shows links between social, emotional, and academic aspects of development. Those who become chronic targets show decreases in class participation (Buhs, Ladd, & Herald, 2006), attendance, and academic performance (Nishina, Juvonen, & Witkow, 2005; Schwartz & Gorman, 2003), and increases in emotional distress (Hanish & Guerra, 2002; Juvonen, Nishina, & Graham, 2000).

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