Reducing Violence in Non-controlling Ways: A Change Program Based on Self Determination Theory

Avi Assor, Ofra Feinberg, Yaniv Kanat-Maymon, Haya Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This paper presents and examines the first school change program focusing on violence and caring based on self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2012). The program aimed at promoting teachers' capacity to cope with violence and enhance caring without becoming more controlling. Comparisons of the effects of a 22-month-long program in three intervention schools and three control schools indicated that the program (a) reduced violent student behavior and controlling teacher behavior and (b) enhanced caring student behavior and active teacher response to violence. The results suggest that exposure to self-determination theory (SDT) concepts may promote a firm, yet non-controlling, teacher response to violence. More generally, the results highlight the potential for incorporating SDT ideas in violence reduction programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-213
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • Autonomy
  • caring among students
  • controlling teacher behavior
  • intervention program
  • motivation
  • school violence
  • self determination theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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