Macro-social validation: Referencing outcomes in behavioral disorders to societal issues and problems

Hill M. Walker, Steven R. Forness, James M. Kauffman, Michael H. Epstein, Frank M. Gresham, C. Michael Nelson, Phillip S. Strain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


During the past two decades, the field of special education has become politicized and fragmented as a result of internal strife and turf battles among professionals. Special education often is perceived by professionals in other fields as strife ridden, expensive, litigious, consumed with legislative mandates and court orders, and ineffective. These perceptions have damaged special education's status and hindered its ability to pursue its agenda. By association, the field of behavioral disorders also has suffered from these perceptions. We need to rededicate ourselves to empirical inquiry and use our collective expertise to find solutions to problems that are of great concern to children and families as well as the larger society. In so doing, we may achieve a degree of macrosocial validation for our efforts. The term macrosocial validation, as used herein, refers to recognition, approval, and valuing of a field's professional activities by the larger constituencies affected by them, such as the general public, the U.S. Congress, and policymakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalBehavioral Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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