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

van Bergen, P., Graham, L. J., Sweller, N. and Dodd, H. F. (2014) The psychology of containment: mis/representing emotional and behavioural difficulties in Australian schools. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 20 (1). pp. 64-81. ISSN 1363-2752

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/13632752.2014.947101

Abstract/Summary

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.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY)
ID Code:40179
Publisher:Taylor and Francis

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