Is motivational interviewing an effective intervention for improving the behaviour of targeted primary aged pupils?

Mahon, Charlotte (2016) Is motivational interviewing an effective intervention for improving the behaviour of targeted primary aged pupils? DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

[img] PDF (Thesis - as examined) - Repository staff only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (5MB)


Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a treatment approach which over the last 25 years has received increasing evidentiary support. In recent years efforts have been made to explore the effectiveness of MI in educational settings. Research has highlighted favourable outcomes in terms of increasing academic achievement (Strait, Smith, McQuillin, Swan and Malone, 2012, Terry, Strait, McQuillin and Smith, 2014),reducing levels of obesity (Flattum, Friend, Neumark-Sztainer and Story (2009) and improving teacher-student interactions (Wells, Jones and Jones, 2015) in secondary and higher education settings. However, a literature search revealed that only one published study, (Atkinson and Cryer, 2015) adopting a case study methodology, has investigated the use of MI with Primary aged pupils.

The aim of the current study was therefore to investigate whether a 4/5 week MI intervention could improve the disruptive classroom behaviour of six primary aged pupils. A Single Case Experimental Design (SCED) was implemented adopting an AB design. Repeated observation measures were taken to assess the efficacy of the MI intervention. This data was triangulated with a pre and post measure of class teacher’s perception of pupil’s behaviour, assessed using Goodman’s (1997) Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).

The results of the study show improvements in three of the participants’ disruptive classroom behaviour, highlighted by the repeated observation measure. In the remaining three cases there were no clear changes in any of the targeted behaviours that could be reliably attributed to MI. In addition the single case data is supported by a reduction in the Total Difficulties Score for all pupils on the SDQ (Goodman, 1997). Limitations of the study are highlighted and implications of the findings in relation to Educational Psychology practice are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Durbin, Nick
Lambert, N.
Keywords: Motivational inerviewing, classroom management, teacher-student interactions
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 37889
Depositing User: Mahon, Charlotte
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 10:55
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2017 18:14

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View