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‘Self-control reduces classroom problems’

india Updated: Mar 08, 2010 14:37 IST

You find it hard to control your anger and emotions? Learning anger and emotion management skills can improve your classroom behaviour, claims a new study.

A research by the University of Rochester Medical Center found that children, who learn skills to monitor and control their anger and other emotions, improved their classroom behaviour and had significantly fewer school disciplinary referrals and suspensions.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, children in a school-based mentoring programme were about half as likely to have any discipline incident than the other kids.

In over three-month period of the study, the researchers found that such children also had a 43 per cent decrease in mean suspensions as compared to the control group, which did not receive mentoring of the self-control skills.

“The study suggests that with appropriate guidance from a trained adult, young children are capable of learning a great deal about their emotions and skills for handling their emotions effectively and those skills can have direct, positive benefits for their functioning in school,” said lead author Peter Wyman. “Being a successful student in elementary classrooms establishes a foundation that makes healthy development more likely in the future,” Wyman said.

In the study, 226 children from kindergarten up to third grade in two urban elementary schools took part. They had manifested emerging behavioural, social-emotional and/or on-task learning problems at school.

Children who received the intervention showed improved functioning in all domains of classroom behaviour rated by teachers.