Psychopharmacological Intervention I: Teacher Perceptions of Psychotropic Medication for Students with Serious Emotional Disturbance

Nirbhay N. Singh, Michael H. Epstein, Jerry Luebke, Yadhu N. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 27-item questionnaire was used to explore the perceptions, knowledge, and opinions of 146 teachers of students with serious emotional disturbance regarding medication used with their students. The results indicated that the student's doctor was perceived as the leading professional responsible for taking steps to have the student on or off medication for behavior disorders. Parents, the school psychologist, and the student's case committee had a moderate degree of influence on such decisions. The doctor and school psychologist were perceived to be responsible for determining the type of assessments used for evaluating drug effects. Teachers rated global impressions as the assessment procedure used most frequently for such evaluations, but suggested that informal teacher diary would be their choice. Hyperactivity and delusions/hallucinations were seen as the behavior disorders that most likely would lead to medication and, to a lesser extent, acting out and aggression. In general, the teachers desired more involvement in drug decisions and better liaison with the doctors. In addition, they uniformly suggested that their preservice and inservice training in matters related to drug treatment was inadequate, and indicated that there was a great need for further training in this area. Changes in current school policies and practices were suggested by the teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Special Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation


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