Date of Award

Winter 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Stephen W. Tonelson

Committee Member

Robert A. Gable

Committee Member

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

John P. Morgan


This research examined current educational practices utilized by administrators and teachers to provide services to students with emotional disturbances in an urban school district in the least restrictive environment. In addition, training needs to improve the delivery of education services to students identified as emotionally disturbed also were identified. Data was gathered through the use of a survey and was expanded through focus group interviews. All schools in the urban school district which provide services to students identified as emotionally disturbed were requested to participate in this research. Surveys were distributed to special education and regular education teachers who provided services to students identified as emotionally disturbed.

The collected data served two purposes. First, the data assisted in the identification and operationalization of factors which are regarded as “best practices” for the successful “inclusion” of students identified as emotionally disturbed into the least restrictive environment. Second, the data gathered assisted the school system in: (a) identifying the practices they use to serve students identified as emotionally disturbed; (b) determining the effectiveness of current practices utilized on student outcomes as identified by teachers; and (c) identifying staff development training needed to assist in the school district fulfilling the goals of IDEA 97 and GOALS 2000.


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