We are pleased to introduce this special issue of Education and Treatment of Children (ETC), which presents several social, emotional, and behavioral issues affecting students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), as well as guidance for specialized interventions and programs for supporting these students. This issue consists of eight peer-reviewed articles originally presented at the 36th annual Teacher Educators of Children with Behavioral Disorders (TECBD) Conference, hosted by Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in October 2012. While sharing the common interest in children with EBD, the authors of these eight articles focus on different issues related to the lives of these children and youth. The journal opens with a research review of school-based interventions for immigrant students who experience academic and behavioral issues and then presents challenges of disproportionality, issues of teacher efficacy and burnout, administrative support for teachers, and programming for post-secondary education, among others. In the first article, using an international base of research, Bal and Perzigian have reviewed six studies; three of them were conducted in the United States while the remaining three in Israel, Canada, and Norway. The results of this review show an urgent need for robust intervention studies for immigrant students who experience behavioral and academic issues.
To further understand the issues of poverty and disproportionate identification of minority students Wiley and colleagues suggested that disproportionality can be a result of bias against the members of overrepresented groups or, conversely, a result of disproportionate exposure to poverty. Since research has not provided strong evidence in favor of either position, Wiley and colleagues examined disproportionality in EBD at the national level (50 states and DC) for two ethnic groups, African American and Hispanic students. Disproportionate poverty was positively associated with representation of these two groups in EBD classification. The authors also suggested that the general under-identification of individuals from all ethnic groups may be a larger problem that needs further investigation.
In an effort to provide some understanding of perceptions of specific challenging behaviors that teachers find to be most prevalent and/or problematic, Alter and colleagues analyzed the role of teacher demographics (gender, race, grade level, and years of experience) in terms of perceptions of specifically defined challenging behaviors. Analyses indicated that ‘Off task’ was the most prevalent and problematic challenging behavior and ‘Isolation/No social interaction’ was [End Page 1] the least prevalent and problematic challenging behavior reported by teachers. Statistically significant differences in ratings were noted according to gender, grade level, and years of teaching.
Administrative support has been identified as one of the factors that influence teacher retention and job satisfaction. Cancio and colleagues conducted a survey and examined the effects of perceived administrative support on teacher stress, job satisfaction, and school commitment with intent to stay in the field. Four hundred five teachers of students with EBD completed the survey reporting their perceptions of the type of and the extent to which they received administrative support. Authors examined survey results to identify contemporary factors affecting teacher longevity in the field. The results of the study indicated characteristics of administrative support significantly correlated with intent to stay in the field, opportunities for growth, appreciation and trust, job satisfaction, and positive views of their school. In addition, the findings indicated that specific administrative behaviors influenced the decision of teachers of students with EBD regarding longevity in the field.
Teacher efficacy and burnout have also been viewed as factors that are likely to affect teacher practice. Oakes and colleagues examined teacher efficacy and burnout within Comprehensive, Integrated, Three- tiered (CI3T) models of prevention, as implemented in two middle schools in a southern state. Findings indicated both schools implemented the CI3T model with high integrity and teachers rated their plans with high social validity. The correlational analyses indicated there were not statistically significant relations between most of these variables; regression analyses indicated that teachers with higher levels of education reported more Emotional Exhaustion. Compared to the national sample, teachers in these CI3T schools showed higher levels of Emotional Exhaustion overall, although they had lower levels of Depersonalization and higher Personal Accomplishment.
In the next three articles some specific...