The Perceptions of Elementary Teachers Regarding Literacy Challenges Linked to Behavioral Difficulties



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Background: Behavioral difficulties can negatively influence literacy skills among students in elementary classrooms. Behavioral difficulties often cause students to experience learning loss due to attention deficits, emotional factors, anxiety, and other factors. Early attention and appropriate educational services for children and their family members can help change behavior patterns to foster the successful acquisition of literacy skills. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to establish a relationship between literacy comprehension challenges and behavioral problems in elementary students. This study explored the perceptions of teachers regarding the relationship between literacy comprehension challenges and behavioral difficulties among elementary students. The following research question guided this study: What are teachers’ perceptions regarding the relationship between literacy comprehension challenges and behavior difficulties among elementary students? Methods: This qualitative study consisted of a purposeful sampling of five urban school district elementary educators. The researcher conducted a 30-minute one-on-one interview with each of the five participants to ask semi-structured and open-ended items. The first series of interviews were followed by a second series of one-on-one interviews to check for informational accuracy. Finally, a focus group interview was conducted to collectively share information, to clarify earlier provided responses, and to offer additional information. Each virtual interview was led by the researcher. During the study, the researcher recorded reflections in a journal to make connections with comments gained during the interviews. Data from the interviews and the researcher's journal were analyzed using Creswell’s constant comparative process to sort and group themes. The data collection and analyses were reviewed by an educator to adjust for researcher biases. Findings: This study found that there is a relationship between literacy challenges and behavior difficulties among elementary children. Research data revealed four emerging themes: 1) literacy challenges in students cause a reduction in academic engagement; 2) literacy challenges in students cause anger and anxiety; 3) literacy challenges in students cause classroom disruption events; and 4) literacy challenges in children cause a limitation in achieving academic success that often results in students “acting out” during daily events at school. Conclusion: Literacy challenges can cause various types of behavioral difficulties to develop in elementary students. Therefore, it is important to assess and to address literacy challenges among students so that students can feel a sense of academic achievement.



Literacy, Education, Behavioral, Difficulties