Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Christopher Maddox, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Leslie Loughmiller, Ph.D.

Content Reader

John Mendes, Ed.D.

Keywords

Emotional disorders, ED, educational placement, ED Guidelines

Abstract

Decades of research indicate that students with Emotional Disorders (ED) are often not identified and therefore do not receive the support they require to meet their academic and socio-emotional needs. Federal guidelines and definitions of Emotional Disorders are ambiguous, and this affects the identification and educational placement of students with emotional disorders. This quantitative research study examines the relationships between the clarity of Emotional Disorder guidelines and the educational placement of students with emotional disorders. This study consisted of an anonymous survey of special educators and special education administrators. There were strong, significant, and positive correlations between the clarity of Emotional Disorder guidelines and variables involving the educational placement of students with emotional disorders: role in educational placement, restrictions on educational placement, type of placement, alternative placement considerations, and needs addressed. In order to test these associations, a categorical variable was created from the clarity of guidelines scale score that ranged from lack of clarity to crystal clarity. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was conducted for these groups, noting significant differences in the mean scores for groups in clarity of Emotional Disorders and restrictions on educational placement, type of placement, and needs addressed. These results suggest that clarity of Emotional Disorder guidelines is important and that special educators and administrators would benefit from education about Emotional Disorder guidelines. Further empirical research should be conducted to examine the impact of the clarity of Emotional Disorder guidelines on the educational placement of students.

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