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This action research project implemented and evaluated an intervention to reduce inappropriate behavioral incidents among early adolescent students. The targeted population consisted of middle school students in an urban area and high school students in a rural area in the Midwest. The problem of inappropriate behaviors was documented by means of teacher observations, office discipline referrals, and student surveys. Analysis of the site information suggested that issues related to inadequate facilities, understaffing, and parental involvement were possible probable causes. Further analysis of the middle school site revealed demographic changes such as population shifts, single parent families, and low socioeconomic status as possible contributing factors. Review of the literature suggested negative peer influences, poor classroom social climate, inadequate character education, and lack of student acceptance of responsibility as additional possible causes. A review of solution strategies resulted in the selection of a cooperative learning intervention, a community/school service project, and a conflict resolution program. Post-intervention assessment results indicated that the intervention had a positive influence on the behaviors of the targeted students. The number and severity of the discipline problems were reduced. The degree of success depended on the frequency and severity of the inappropriate behaviors. The age of the students also effected the degree to which the intervention was successful. Contains 45 references. (Author/SD)

Descriptors: Aggression, Behavior Change, Behavior Problems, Change Strategies, Classroom Environment, Cooperative Learning, Discipline Problems, Early Adolescents, High School Students, Intermediate Grades, Interpersonal Competence, Intervention, Middle School Students, School Community Programs, Secondary Education, Social Behavior, Social Development, Student Problems, Violence

Autor: Borquist, Mollie; Schmidgall, Jacquelyn


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