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Robert Goyette, Robert Doré and Éric Dion

The sequential analysis of self-observations was used to study the reactions of Physical Education student teachers (N = 154) toward elementary school pupils’ misbehaviors. Reactions were categorized as direct or indirect indicating whether or not they represent a direct appeal to the student teacher’s authority status. Causal attributions of misbehaviors made by student teachers as well as their level of intensity were noted. In general, student teachers resorted to direct reactions and attributed the cause of the misbehavior to personal characteristics of the pupil. Their reactions and attributions differed, however, as a function of the level of the misbehavior’s intensity. In response to misbehaviors of high intensity, student teachers were more likely to resort to a combination of direct and indirect reactions and even more to systematically attribute the cause of these misbehaviors to the pupil. This pattern of results suggests that direct and indirect reactions have complementary functions in the management of high intensity misbehaviors.