An Intervention for Secondary Students At Risk for Emotional Disturbance

Students who are at risk for emotional disturbance need help. To provide this assistance, a class called Achievement Plus was designed, developed, and implemented as a school elective to  work with these students. The class curriculum targeted four areas for instruction: self-management, social skills, emotional resiliency, and academic strategies.  To help motivate the at-risk students, a variety of teaching tools were used, including music, literature, video, and history. The teacher implemented behavioral interventions that included effective and instructive praise, corrective teaching, and direct instruction.

Students were selected for the class using a modification of the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (SSBD). Approximately 4,000 students from two experimental schools and two control schools were screened, and teachers were asked to nominate two to five students who showed behavior problems. After the initial screening and ranking, the data were summarized categorically, and each student was assigned a frequency score: the number of teachers who nominated him or her. The students were then randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group received intervention in the Achievement Plus class.

The research assessed the effectiveness of the class by comparing its participants with students with similar problems who were put on a wait list. Research questions included whether class members increased academic performance and decreased behavioral and academic difficulties, as well as which components of the Achievement Plus class contributed to positive behavior change. To help improve the class, anecdotal and descriptive data were obtained from teachers and students to help identify strengths and weaknesses.

Conference Presentations

The following links are provided to show the presentations as they took place at the conferences. This information was given in two conference presentations.

  1. At the 28th annual National Conference on Severe Behavior Disorders of Children and Youth, Becky Kraner, Ben Young, Andy Armstrong, Ruel Haymond, JoAnn Munk, Darlene Anderson, & Ellie Young made the following presentation. 
    1. Achievement and Curriculum
  2. At the 28th annual TECBD National Conference©, Andrew Armstrong, Darlene Anderson and Ellie Young made the following presentation.
    1. Secondary Level Interventions