Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

David Roseborough


Social Work


Less than one half of students educationally labeled Emotionally or Behaviorally Disordered (EBD) graduate. Previous research findings suggest some reasons for this lack of success including: lack of educator training, mental health issues of students, the effect of poverty and how the nature of early childhood attachment impacts learning. Specific attention has been given to early childhood attachment patterns form the neurological pathways upon which a student may base future interactions. This qualitative study focused on the nature of the student-educator relationship and how that relationship can impact the learning of EBD students. There were ten participants interviewed for this study: four educators, one grandparent of a former EBD student and five former EBD students. The findings of this study suggest a need for increased teacher training to broaden understanding of mental health issues, the barriers EBD students face outside of an educational system, and the importance of the educator-student relationship as an essential component needed for EBD students to succeed. Additionally, the findings included the need for increased funding for education to decrease class size and a need for increased mental health supports in schools.

Included in

Social Work Commons