The children and youth we serve: A national picture of the characteristics of students with emotional disturbances receiving special education

Mary Wagner, Krista Kutash, Albert J. Duchnowski, Michael H. Epstein, W. Carl Sumi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

232 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article provides a national perspective of children and youth with emotional disturbances (ED) served in special education using data from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study and the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2. Data sources comprise teachers, school records, the students, and their parents. Results indicate that children and youth with ED live in households in which multiple risk factors exist for poor life outcomes. As a group, these children and youth have serious and multiple impairments that include an array of emotional disabilities, poor communication skills, and low academic achievement. There is a considerable gap between initial identification of problems and the onset of service delivery, a high rate of suspension and expulsion, and an unstable school environment. Parents of children and youth with ED work harder to secure services for their children and are less satisfied with services than parents of children in other disability groups. Implications of the findings point to a need to emphasize programs that address both the academic and the behavioral needs of these children and youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-96
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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