Self-concept, depression, behavior, and achievement of at risk and not at risk adolescents for emotional and behavioral disorders

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Marjorie Montague - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to examine students who were identified in kindergarten and first grade as at risk for developing emotional and behavioral disorders (McKinney, Montague, Hocutt, 1998). These children were in eighth and ninth grade when this study occurred. This study investigated students' self-concept, depressive symptomology, behavior, and achievement. Measures included the Multidimensional Self-Concept Scale (MSCS, Bracken, 1992), The Children's Depression Inventory (CDI, Kovacs, 1982), The Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC, Reynolds & Kamphaus, 1992), and specific reading and math subtests in the Woodcock-Johnson III Test of Achievement Battery (W-J III, McGrew & Woodcock, 2001).The analysis of the self-concept and depression measures indicated no differences between risk groups. There was, however, a significant main effect for gender on the self-concept scale, the MSCS. But follow-up revealed, no significant differences were found between boys and girls on the six domains or for the total score of the MSCS. On the CDI, no significant differences were found for either risk group or gender. On the BASC Teacher Rating Scale, there were significant differences between the teacher perceptions of at risk and not at risk students on behavior. It appears that these middle and high school students who were identified in kindergarten and first grade for being at risk for EBD continue to display behaviors that are perceived negatively by their classroom teachers. In contrast, on the BASC Self Report of Personality, there was no significant difference between risk groups for student perception of their own behaviors. In other words, teachers perceived behavioral differences between the groups but the students did not. At risk students in special education performed significantly more poorly on the math and reading achievement measures than both at risk peers who were not in special education and not at risk peers.


Education, Special; Psychology, Clinical

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