To Find Out More:

Carl E Paternite
Director, CSBMHP
Psychology Building
Oxford, OH 45056

Office Phone

Center for Adolescent Research (CARS)


Consultation Services


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CARS Supplemental Study:
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Secondary Education
Current Challenges Examined Across Federal, State, and Local Levels

As has been frequently noted, school personnel across all positions continue to wrestle with how to best meet the needs of students with EBD.  Since the implementation of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, schools have sought to directly address the educational needs of students with EBD within the special education system.  Yet in the almost thirty-five years since this implementation, there is little consensus as to what actually constitutes EBD, which impacts the lack of agreement among researchers, educators, and clinical practitioners regarding proper assessment and classification.  Since both definition and assessment remain under scrutiny and debate, it is not surprising that empirical research related to effectively serving students with EBD is sorely lacking.  While the debates continue to circulate in the halls of policy and academia, educators and clinicians remain at a loss for how to best serve their students.  In some respects, schools are caught in a double-bind: although schools do not have clear evidence-based guidelines and best-practices needed to assess and serve students with EBD, they are nonetheless required by law to provide these students with a “free and appropriate education” (FAPE).

Important questions being explored to enhance an understanding of current and “best practice” methods and procedures for making placement decisions for students with EBD: