The psychology of containment : mis/representing emotional and behavioural difficulties in Australian schools

Van Bergen, Penny, Graham, Linda J., Sweller, Naomi, & Dodd, Helen F. (2015) The psychology of containment : mis/representing emotional and behavioural difficulties in Australian schools. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 20(1), pp. 64-81.

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Abstract

The number of students in special schools has increased at a rapid rate in some Australian states, due in part to increased enrolment under the categories of emotional disturbance (ED) and behaviour disorder (BD). Nonetheless, diagnostic distinctions between ED and BD are unclear. Moreover, despite international findings that students with particular backgrounds are over-represented in special schools, little is known about the backgrounds of students entering such settings in Australia. This study examined the government school enrolment data from New South Wales, the most populous of the Australian states. Linear and quadratic trends were used to describe the numbers and ages of students enrolled in special schools in the ED and BD categories. Changes between 1997 and 2007 were observed. Results showed an over-representation of boys that increased across the decade and a different pattern across age for boys and girls. Consistent with international findings, these results indicate that trends in special school placements are unrelated to disability prevalence in the population. Rather, it is suggested that schools act to preserve time and resources for others by removing their more challenging students: most typically, boys.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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10 since deposited on 27 Oct 2014
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ID Code: 78054
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special edition: New Psychologies of Behaviour: Doing education differently?
Keywords: Emotional disturbance, Behaviour disorder, Enrolment patterns, Special schooling, Disproportionate representation
DOI: 10.1080/13632752.2014.947101
ISSN: 1741-2692
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Special Education and Disability (130312)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor and Francis
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2014 23:27
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2016 22:27

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