Mathur, Sarup R.
Liaupsin, Carl J.
Clark, Heather Griller
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Name: Education & Treatment of Children Publisher: West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Education; Family and marriage; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia ISSN: 0748-8491
Date: Nov, 2012 Source Volume: 35 Source Issue: 4

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This special issue of Education and Treatment of Children (ETC) explores social and institutional factors affecting students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), as well as school-based interventions aimed at supporting these students. This issue consists of six peer-reviewed articles originally presented at the 35th annual Teacher Educators of Children with Behavioral Disorders (TECBD) Conference, hosted by Arizona State University in Tempe Arizona in October 2011. The co-editors of this special issue, along with the reviewers from both ETC and Behavioral Disorders reviewed and recommended these articles.

From different vantage points, the six articles herein address issues affecting the lives of students with El3D. While sharing the common interest in children with EBD, the authors focus on different aspects of, and impacts on, the lives of these children in school. The journal opens with a view of the role and influence of teachers--their preparation and practices, and follows with an examination of a specific classroom-based intervention. The second half of the journal investigates a range of social factors including race, ethnicity, gender, disability, and their relationship to disciplinary actions and one's perception of self and others.

In the opening article, Gable and colleagues compare the knowledge and skills of special education and general education teachers. The survey results from their study indicate that many special education teachers and general education teachers lack the necessary preparation to implement a number of evidence-based classroom practices effectively for students with 'HD. These findings have major implications for pre-service teacher education and in-service professional development and highlight the need to increase efforts to prepare school personnel to address the academic, social, and behavioral needs of this population of students.

The second article by Thompson, Marchant, and colleagues also involves general education teachers. The researchers used a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework to provide professional development instruction to three elementary-level general educators. The professional development focused on the evidence-based teaching skill of offering behavior-specific praise. Like the preceding article, the results of this study have important implications for teacher development.

Oakes, Lane, and colleagues, authors of the third article, explore the utility of a character development intervention focused on improving goal-setting, decision-making, and self-management skills to meet the behavioral and instructional needs of fourth-grade students who have behavioral challenges and limited work completion but who have adequate literacy skills. Their study offers a methodological illustration of how to conduct a development study consistent with the parameters delineated by the Institute of Education Sciences to explore the utility of an existing Tier 1 intervention applied as a Tier 2 support within a three-tiered model.

In the fourth article, Vincent, Sprague and Tobin investigate exclusionary discipline practices across students' racial/ethnic backgrounds and disability status using 2009-2010 data from one state in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and found that American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN), Hispanic, and African-American students were over-represented in exclusionary discipline practices. ANOVA results indicated that both disability status and race significantly impacted the duration of exclusions. The findings highlight the need for additional research to fully understand the differential patterns of discipline outcomes across students from different racial/ethnic groups.

The penultimate article of this special issue reports on a study that examined characteristics of girls with EBD and a history of arrest. Like the authors of the study described in the preceding article, Gage, Josephs, and Lunde investigate the relationship between demographics and disciplinary actions. Comparisons between girls with EBD and girls without EBD and a history of arrest indicated that low-income, urban, African-American girls with EBD were more likely to be arrested. Girls with EBD exhibiting elevated hyperactivity during elementary school were more likely to have a history of arrest by middle and high school. Findings from this study have implications for developing targeted interventions for girls with EBD and for conducting further research.

The final article in this year's special issue also looks at the experiences of girls. Srsic and Rice examine the perceptions of adolescent girls with EBD who were participating in a gender-responsive support group. The study explored the girls' perceptions of their friendships, connectedness with others, ability to establish and maintain relationships, and self-perceptions within the group. Themes important to the girls in the study included 1) the appearance of normalcy; (2) the influence of negative experiences; (3) the lack of opportunity for exposure to female relationships and role models; (4) the positive influence of gender-responsive programming; and (5) the effects of the environment. The authors emphasize future examination of this topic so that research will go beyond simple consideration and truly influence the implementation of gender-responsive programming for girls with EBD.

We invite you to read this special issue of ETC and engage in continued interaction and collegial discussions to advance the field of EBD. The authors of these articles have highlighted the value of addressing specific issues and needs of students with EBD and their teachers using different research methodologies. We hope readers will find these articles interesting and thought provoking and will be able to identify a number of valuable ideas and implications for future practice and research. We extend our sincere thanks to Kathleen Corley from Arizona State University and Candace Lane from University of Arizona who effectively managed the details of the review process. Finally, we want to invite readers to join us at the next TECBD conference ( and consider contributing their work to the 2013 special issue.
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Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.