WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM SCHOOL-BASED EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE ASSESSMENT PRACTICES? IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE AND PREPARATION IN SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY
Article first published online: 24 JAN 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Psychology in the Schools
Special Issue: Preparing the Next Generation of School Psychologists: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities
Volume 50, Issue 3, pages 290–299, March 2013
How to Cite
Allen, R. A. and Hanchon, T. A. (2013), WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM SCHOOL-BASED EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE ASSESSMENT PRACTICES? IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE AND PREPARATION IN SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY. Psychol. Schs., 50: 290–299. doi: 10.1002/pits.21671
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 24 JAN 2013
The federal definition of emotional disturbance (ED) provides limited guidance to educational professionals charged with making Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act eligibility determinations. Despite calls to revise the definition, the ED category remains largely unchanged nearly four decades after being codified into federal law. To navigate the vague, ambiguous, and outdated eligibility criteria, school psychologists must adhere to comprehensive assessment strategies whenever an ED placement is considered. In this study, we examined the ED assessment practices of 214 school psychologists. The results indicated that respondents all too frequently relied on only select sources of data (e.g., behavior rating scales), rather than taking a multimethod, multisource approach, when evaluating children referred for emotional and behavioral concerns. Implications for both the practice and preparation of school psychologists are discussed.