ERIC Number: EJ694473
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of a Psychiatric Diagnosis on School Psychologists' Special Education Eligibility Decisions Regarding Emotional Disturbance
Della Toffalo ,Douglas A.; Pedersen ,Jason A.
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, v13 n1 p53-60 Mar 2005
In this analogue investigation, 215 practicing Pennsylvania school psychologists reviewed hypothetical referral forms and related data (vignettes). Vignettes represented children who met eligibility criteria for special education as well as children who did not. Participants were most likely to recommend, as eligible due to emotional disturbance, children who met eligibility criteria and carried a psychiatric diagnosis; they were least likely to recommend children who neither met criteria nor carried a diagnosis. Participants were just as likely to consider children eligible by virtue of emotional disturbance when they carried a diagnosis but did not meet eligibility criteria, as when they met criteria but had no diagnosis. These results suggest that school psychologists may allow the presence of a psychiatric diagnosis in referral information to inappropriately influence their recommendations regarding eligibility under the special education category of emotional disturbance.
Descriptors: Identification, Criteria, Special Education, Referral, School Psychologists, Eligibility, Emotional Disturbances
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania