Predictors of Problem Behaviours in the Student Population Served by the Saskatoon Tribal Council
Mykota, David Brian
Children and adolescents at risk for school failure have become the focus of increased attention because the severity of problems facing them has been intensifying. Teachers report that at-risk children and adolescents in the classroom are not only effecting their own educational opportunities but also those of their peers. Furthermore, in the area of education services for First Nation communities, biases in the identification of at-risk students has been suggested to exist. In order for effective remediation to occur, it is necessary to examine those processes which place children and adolescents at-risk. As problem behaviours have been identified as placing children and adolescents at risk for failure in school or life, those variables which influence the development of problem behaviours need be understood. Thus the purpose of the present study is to investigate the predictors of problem behaviours which place the student population served by the Saskatoon Tribal Council at risk for failure in school. Specifically, the study examines the predictors of problem behaviours as measured by the Teacher Rating Scale of the Behaviour Rating Profile-2nd Edition with the variables sex, age group, school, nonverbal reasoning ability as measured by the Matrix Analogies Test-Short Form, and academic performance as measured by the teacher completed Academic Performance Rating Scale. In determining the strength of the relationship between the variables problem behaviours, academic performance, non-verbal reasoning ability, age group, sex, and school correlates are presented. Further analysis of the data using multiple linear regression, with problem behaviours as the criterion variable and non-verbal reasoning ability, academic performance, school, sex, and age group as the predictor variables are reported. The present study also determined if there is a significant difference in problem behaviours for the student population served by the Saskatoon Tribal Council as based on age group (6 to 9 years of age, 10 to 13 years of age, and 14 to 18 years of age), sex (male and female), and school (Band or provincial). The results of the study indicate that because academic performance continues to be such a strong predictor of problem behaviours, underscores the importance of the school as an ameliorative factor in the prevention and treatment of behavioural problems. As well, because females 10 to 13 years of age attending provincial schools are rated with fewer problem behaviours than their counterparts attending Band schools, or those in other age groups, is indicative of the need for the appropriate allocation of resources for children and youth at-risk. Given these findings, the present study recognizes the significance of intervention as a preventive measure for all age groups and the responsibility of federal and provincial funding agencies to continue to make available to First Nation communities resources appropriate for the development of educational services for students at-risk.