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A FOLLOW-UP STUDY OF PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS IN REGULAR CLASSES FOLLOWING PLACEMENT IN SPECIAL CLASSES FOR THE EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED

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posted on 2023-08-05, 07:33 authored by Judith Ann Caldwell

The purpose of this study was to describe 30 students formerly placed in special classes for the emotionally disturbed in terms of their educationally relevant characteristics and their behavioral and academic status as compared to regular classmates. Subjects for the study were enrolled in grades 2-12 during school year 1979-80. School records were studied to determine the subjects' age at time of placement, length of time in the special class, presenting problem, family structure, sibling position, and mental ability. Behavioral status was assessed by regular classroom teachers' ratings of subjects and randomly-selected, same sex classmates on the Peterson-Quay Behavior Problem Checklist. Academic assessment was derived from the final 1979-80 report card grades in reading or English and mathematics for the subjects and the same group of their classmates. The differences between group means for behavior and academic areas were tested for significance using the t-test with a significance level of .05. Results of the analysis of demographic data showed that subjects were likely to be identified for special class placement during their elementary school years and to remain in the placement for just over two years. No relationship was evident between age at time of placement and length of stay in the special class. Male subjects who exhibited aggressive behavior were the predominant group in the study. Females remained in special classes longer than males, regardless of the type of presenting problem. Children from one-parent families were seen in the study group at a rate considerably higher than in the national population. Oldest and youngest children were represented in the sample more frequently than only or middle children. Mental ability of the subjects was in the average range; however, significant differences between verbal and performance measures occurred more frequently than expected in a normal population. Testing of behavior and academic differences revealed significant differences between group means of subjects and regular classmates for behavior (p = .001), reading or English (p = -.001), and for mathematics (p = .001). Classroom teachers regard former special class students as performing less well than their regular classmates in behavior and academic areas. However, these students are being maintained in regular classes and are making grades that denote some degree of academic progress. The problems of re-entry to regular classes during the critical pre-adolescent and adolescent years is compounded by the lack of a transition support system in the regular education setting. Recommendations are made for further research and for improvements in preparation of school personnel for dealing with returning special class students.

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American University

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English

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Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 42-03, Section: A, page: 1094.; Educat.D. American University 1981.; English

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:965

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