Issues related to inclusion of youths with social maladjustment (SM) in the category of serious emotional disturbance (SED) are examined. Differing views advocated in professional literature are conceptualized into four schools of thought: (1) The exclusion perspective conceptualizes SM as behavior disorders and advocates for exclusion from special education services; (2) The delinquence perspective defines SM as delinquent behaviors and excludes virtually all students exhibiting these behaviors from services; (3) The irrelevance perspective advocates for inclusion of youths with SM if they also satisfy the criteria for SED; and (4) The inclusion perspective promotes a broadening of the SED definition to include youths with SM/behavior disorders. Identification and evaluation of these perspectives can enhance communication and lead to more effective services for youths with emotional and behavioral needs. Suggestions to improve communication across these differing perspectives are presented.
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Rosenblatt, J.A., Furlong, M.J. Serious Emotional Disturbance and Social Maladjustment: A Critical Examination of Four Schools of Thought. Contemp School Psychol 2, 5–30 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03341095
- Special Education
- Behavior Disorder
- Delinquent Behavior
- Conduct Disorder
- Emotional Disturbance