Figure 1The Conflict Cycle
Students Self Concept -
A stressful incident occurs (i.e.,
frustration, failure) which ACTIVATES a troubled students irrational beliefs (i.e.,
"Nothing good ever happens to me!" "Adults are unfair.").
These negative thoughts determine and
trigger his feelings.
His feelings and not his rational forces
DRIVE his inappropriate behavior.
His inappropriate behaviors (yelling,
threatening, sarcasm, refusing to speak) INCITE adults.
Adults not only pick up the students
feelings, but also they frequently MIRROR his behaviors (yell back, threaten, etc.)
This negative adult REACTION increases the
students stress escalating the conflict into a self-defeating power struggle.
Although the student may lose the battle
(i.e., he is punished), he wins the war! His SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY (i.e. irrational
belief) is REINFORCED and therefore, he has no motivation to change or alter his beliefs
or his inappropriate behaviors.
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