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Why do students misbehave? An initial examination of antecedents to student misbehavior.

Zachary W. Goldman, PhD Z. D. Johnson C. Claus
Communication Quarterly. August 16, 2018

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The current study utilized constant comparative thematic analysis to uncover antecedents of student misbehavior from the perspective of collegiate instructors. Results indicated nine distinct antecedents of student misbehavior that were classified into three distinct categories: deficiency antecedents, belief antecedents, and external antecedents. These findings extend previous research on antecedents of student misbehavior by forwarding a more nuanced classification structure that centers on attribution theory as an explanatory mechanism. Overall, by understanding the potential reasons that underlie student misbehavior, educators can create more meaningful and enriching experiences for students by thoughtfully addressing these problematic behaviors and the underlying conditions that promote them.

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