Academic journal article School Psychology Review

Developmental Links between Externalizing Behavior and Student-Teacher Interactions in Male Adolescents with Psychiatric Disabilities

Academic journal article School Psychology Review

Developmental Links between Externalizing Behavior and Student-Teacher Interactions in Male Adolescents with Psychiatric Disabilities

Article excerpt

Supportive and close interactions with teachers have a direct and significant impact on students' behavioral problems (e.g., Cornelius-White, 2007). However, it may be challenging for teachers to promote supportive interactions when students exhibit high levels of externalizing behaviors (e.g., Henricsson & Rydell, 2004). Although the conditions under which student-teacher interactions may blossom or deteriorate are often examined among young children, less is known about bidirectional links between student-teacher interactions and adolescent students' behavioral problems, let alone among adolescents who exhibit very challenging behaviors. As there is some evidence that, also during adolescence, students may benefit from supportive interactions with their teachers and suffer from negative interactions (e.g., Al-Yagon, 2012; Roorda, Koomen, Spilt, & Oort, 2011; Wang, Brinkworth, & Eccles, 2013), it is important to examine such links among adolescent students. Therefore, this study presents an overview of the challenges teachers and students encounter in schools that are specialized in educating students with high levels of behavioral problems and findings of earlier research on developmental links between student-teacher interactions and students' behavioral problems, mostly during childhood and some during adolescence. This study also extends existing work on developmental links by testing the possible bidirectional links between student-teacher interactions and male adolescent students' externalizing behaviors and addresses consequences of its findings for practice and research.

Students exhibiting behavioral problems often have special educational needs. Across various Western countries, 1-6% of adolescents are placed in a separate special education settings (Meijer, Soriano, & Watkins, 2003; U.S. Department of Education, 2002). Many of them have psychiatric disabilities, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, often in combination with emotional and behavioral disabilities (Meijer et al., 2003). This type of special education differs from general and inclusive education in that students who are referred to the specialized schools all have severe psychiatric disabilities (Meijer et al., 2003). Given the problems by which their psychiatric disabilities are characterized, they are at increased risk for adverse outcomes, such as substance abuse and any psychiatric diagnoses in adulthood, specifically disruptive disorders (Hofstra, van der Ende, & Verhulst, 2002). As a result of their special educational needs, students may be placed out of general education and receive services that are specified to their needs in separate settings. In fact, with higher symptom severity, these students are more likely to be placed in specialized schools relative to receiving special education services in general and inclusive education (Stoutjesdijk, Scholte, & Swaab, 2012). These schools are self-contained; class sizes are small; teachers have generally received special training; and additional resources are available, such as the assistance of paraprofessionals or school psychologist (Albrecht, Johns, Mounsteven, & Olorunda, 2009).

Despite their referral, their future prognosis for improving their behavior and social skills remains poor (Heijmens Visser, van der Ende, Koot, & Verhulst, 2003). As further efforts are needed to improve their outcomes, key elements should be identified that may optimize their educational settings. Positive interactions between young people and their teachers may be such an element (for a review on this well-examined link, see Cornelius-White, 2007), especially during adolescence, when young people's interactions with parents may temporarily deteriorate (De Goede, Branje, & Meeus, 2009). However, interactions between teachers and students with psychiatric disabilities are also likely to deteriorate; their interactions may suffer from the high levels of externalizing behaviors (e. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.