With great pleasure we introduce this special issue of Education and Treatment of Children (ETC), which presents a compilation of articles addressing a range of topics related to students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). This issue features seven peer-reviewed articles originally presented at the 37th annual Teacher Educators of Children with Behavioral Disorders (TECBD) Conference, hosted by Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, in October 2013. The authors of these seven articles have focused on various issues and aspects related to the lives of these children and youth and their caretakers. Although most manuscripts are written by university-based scholars, the authors also include doctoral students and practitioners working in applied settings. With the help of some very committed and thoughtful reviewers, we are able to put forth this special issue.
While the contributions to this issue do not fit any particular theme, this special issue highlights the importance of evidence-based practices for students with EBD. The special issue opens up with the White, Houchins, and colleagues’ article that examined the effects of an Expressive Writing (EW) curriculum on the expository writing of adolescents with EBD in a residential school setting, as well as the additive effect of supplementing EW with a procedural facilitator (PF). One group received EW alone and the other group received EW with a PF. Students in both groups received daily 50-min instruction for 11 consecutive weeks. Although the findings indicated that both EW instruction alone and EW with PF have the potential to significantly improve the writing skills for adolescents with EBD with writing deficits, the EW plus PF group showed faster linear growth across the duration on the intervention. The authors suggested the need for more research to identify effective academic instructional strategies for this particular group of students.
In the next article Hirn and Scott examined teacher use of effective instructional practices and student engagement in high school classrooms that included at least one student identified with challenging behavior. Behaviors of the teacher student dyads were observed in typical academic content classrooms for nearly 200 hours. Differences in the use of instructional practices were found for students with and without challenging behaviors. Findings revealed lower rates of opportunities to respond and higher rates of negative feedback compared to positive feedback for students with identified challenging behaviors. Differences were observed in student [End Page 563] engagement between those with and without challenging behavior. Despite tremendous evidence for positive instructional practices, few opportunities to engage in instructional activities and negative feedback continue to be prevalent in high school classrooms for students with EBD.
Bruhn and colleagues respond to the recommendation by the Council for Behavioral Disorders for screening for early detection of mental health services by gathering initial evidence about current screening practices. These authors conducted a national survey of school or district-level administrators representing a range of school levels, locales, and socioeconomic status. Findings show there is great need for increasing awareness at the school and district levels about conducting school-wide emotional or behavioral screening. Many schools continue to use reactive measures to monitor students’ behavior. Others are using district created tools that have not been fully tested for technical adequacy. The authors argue that schools are the primary providers of emotional and behavioral health supports, and as such, should be viewed as an ideal setting for screening and prevention. Research is needed on ways to increase access and awareness for screening and subsequent supports to improve the academic, behavioral, and social outcomes of students.
In the next article, Hawken and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to summarize outcomes of the Check-in Check-out (CICO) intervention across elementary and secondary settings. The authors included 28 studies utilizing both single subject and group (experimental and quasi-experimental) designs in this review. Authors reviewed findings for student outcomes, treatment integrity, and social validity. Both the group and single subject studies favored the implementation of CICO. Studies found that CICO was implemented with fidelity and rated with high levels of satisfaction. Evidence supports the use of CICO for a Tier 2 intervention for improving the behavior of students...