Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth (Volume 23)

By Rutherford Jr., Robert B.; Mathur, Sarup R. | Education & Treatment of Children, August 2000 | Go to article overview

Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth (Volume 23)


Rutherford Jr., Robert B., Mathur, Sarup R., Education & Treatment of Children


This issue of Education and Treatment of Children contains a set of research based articles that were originally presented at the 23rd Annual Teacher Educators for Children with Behavioral Disorders national conference in Scottsdale, Arizona in November, 1999. These peer-reviewed articles, which should be of interest to practitioners, researchers, and teacher trainers, were selected from among the 125 paper presentations and panels which dealt with various aspects of educating and treating children and youth with emotional and behavioral disorders. The articles contained herein represent Volume 23 of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders continuing monograph series on Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth.

This volume begins with the keynote article by C. Michael Nelson. As a premier scholar in the area of emotional and behavioral disorders, Nelson provides his perspective on the field as we enter the 21st Century. He points out that the educational system's response to students with challenging behavior is in a state of flux. His article presents his views with regard to the brief history of our field, what we know about students with difficult behavior, how schools respond to them, and what might be accomplished by using what we know to build the capacity of schools to work with all student behavior.

The next two articles address older youth with antisocial behavior problems who enter the criminal or juvenile justice system. Kemp and Center evaluated Eysenck's antisocial behavior hypothesis with a sample of recently paroled young adults. The authors suggest that Eysenck's hypothesis is particularly useful for identifying school-aged children and youth at-risk for developing serious antisocial behavior and becoming adult criminals. Their findings suggest that there is a clear need for preventive and corrective programming to help stem the rising tide of antisocial behavior in our public schools and our communities. Malmgren and Leone, in their study with incarcerated adolescents, found that it is possible to significantly improve reading skills in low-achieving juvenile delinquents with a relatively brief intervention. The authors point out that successful integration of delinquent youth into society requires that they possess reading skills that enable them to find and maintain competitive employment. The success of this short-term, intensive reading program described here is heartening.

In light of the perception that violence has permeated the fabric of public schools, Rock points out that many teachers are fearful, unprepared, and ill equipped to deal with dangerous student behavior. She suggests that a lack of active crisis planning and management have lead to unsafe classroom environments. Her article presents eight strategies to enhance the effective implementation of collaborative processes teachers can employ to manage student crisis episodes.

In three related articles, Scott, Meers, and Nelson, Gable and Hendrickson, and Jolivette, Barton-Arwood, and Scott provide further analysis of the role of functional behavioral assessment in the education and treatment of students with mild disabilities. Scott and his colleagues present the results of a survey of 60 professionals involved in research and training with functional assessment procedures to see how these individuals conceptualize these procedures for high incidence populations. The results of their survey indicate that there is little consensus as to the necessary and sufficient procedures for performing functional behavioral assessments with these populations. Gable and Hendrickson point out that as functional behavioral assessment moves from clinic to classroom, researchers and practitioners must work together to develop measurement systems and intervention procedures that are responsive to the complex demands of treatment in applied settings. They suggest that knowledge that student misbehavi or can have multiple forms and functions that change over time magnifies both the challenge and importance of finding ways to promote maintenance and generalization of behavior changes that stem from functional behavioral assessment. …

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