Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Children and youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) present tremendous challenges to families, schools, and communities. The causal factors for which some evidence has accrued overlap and interact with one another—and with genetic factors—in ways that make identifying a precise cause of EBD elusive. Nonetheless, four categories of causal factors are most often discussed: biological factors, family factors, school factors, and cultural factors. Children and youth with EBD frequently have problems with attention, and may also have problems with high levels of activity. Conduct disorders are not subtle, and typically involve a level of antisocial behavior that impairs a child's functioning at home, in school, and in the community. Three major purposes of assessment are considered with regard to EBD: screening, determining eligibility, and classification. The chapter also discusses the educational programming for students with EBD in early childhood, in elementary school, and in secondary school.