Elementary School Students Aggressive or/and Delinquent Behavior: Teachers Perceptions about Their Etiology and Management

Maria Smyrnaki1 & Elias Kourkoutas2

1PhD in Department of Primary Education, University of Crete, Psychologist, Head of Out-Patient Unit in Therapeutic Program KETHEA Ariadne, Apollodorou 12, Heraklion, 71409, Crete, Greece, tel: +302811102525, +302810319505, E-mail: marsmyrn@hotmail.com, smirnaki@kethea-ariadni.gr

2Professor of Psychology, Chairman of the Interfaculty Post Graduate Program in Special Education, Department of Primary Education, University of Crete, University Campus, Gallos 74100, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece, tel: +302831077608, fax: +302831077596, E-mail: hkourk@edc.uoc.gr



This qualitative study investigates the perceptions of primary school teachers on the etiology and management of aggressive or/and delinquent behavior in elementary school students. This is a case study, which was conducted in the three elementary schools of a semi-urban area in Heraklion of Crete. Two focus groups were conducted, where eight teachers of the fourth, fifth and sixth grades of elementary school participated in each group. The content analysis of the two focus groups of teachers revealed the following main findings: 1) the aggressive or/and delinquent behaviors of students are attributed to the family and school malfunction, as well as to the specific characteristics of the particular study area (semi-urban area, characteristics of dominant region of origin, work-houses, immigrants), 2) factors that make difficult for teachers to manage these students’ behaviors are the lack of meaningful cooperation on the part of parents and mental health professionals, but also their own personal difficulties (management of negative emotions, inflexibility, interaction/relationship difficulties, delimitation), 3) in their suggestions for more effective treatment of these students teachers emphasize the need about the existence of psychologists in schools on a constant basis to support and intervene with parents, teachers and students. The study results emphasize the necessity of enhancing teachers’ efforts to manage aggressive or/and delinquent behaviors of their students and can be used in the design and implementation of relevant interventions aimed at supporting-empowering these students and preventing the development of their symptomatic behaviors.


Key-Words: etiology, management, teachers, aggression, delinquency.

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