A comparison of frequencies of stress behaviors observed in kindergarten children in classrooms with developmentally appropriate versus developmentally inappropriate instructional practices

Diane C. Burts, Louisiana State University
Craig H. Hart, Louisiana State University
Rosalind Charlesworth, Louisiana State University
Lisa Kirk, Louisiana State University


This research was an initial study designed to explore differences in the frequency of stress behaviors exhibited by children (n = 37) in developmentally appropriate (n = 20) and developmentally inappropriate (n = 17) kindergarten classrooms. Results indicated that children in the developmentally inappropriate classroom exhibited significantly more stress behaviors than children in the appropriate classroom. In looking at stress within various activity types, higher frequencies of stress behaviors were found during whole group and workbook/worksheet activities for children in the inappropriate classroom, whereas those in the appropriate classroom had higher levels of stress during center and transition activities. Differences were also found between the two classrooms in amount of time spent in various activities. More center, group story, and transition activities were found in the appropriate classroom, whereas there were more whole group and workbook/worksheet activities in the inappropriate classroom. Marginal gender differences were also noted, with males exhibiting more overall stress behaviors than females. © 1990.