Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Differentiated Instruction

Capstone Instructor

Sally Baas


emotional behavioral disorders, social competence


Almost thirty years of research on the importance of social competence and social skills in the overall development and adjustment of students with emotional-behavioral disorders is discussed. Research reviews that definitively demonstrate that children with adequate social skills are much more likely to enjoy high levels of self-esteem and self-confidence, be accepted by others, be successful academically, and be emotionally well adjusted in later life are presented. Alternatively, research reviews show that rejection by peers and failure in elementary school results in anti-social behaviors, involvement in later delinquent activities, and excessive alcohol/drug use. Furthermore, these behaviors, if left untreated, can have devastating effects on not only emotional well-being but also overall success in work and social situations. As adults, these antisocial youths frequently demonstrate poor job stability, domestic violence against partners and children, divorce, and increased risk of psychiatric commitment. Currently, because of high-stakes testing and mandated curriculums, many educators are concerned that these students will be shortchanged when it comes to improving their anti-social behaviors. The fear is that there will be less time available for curriculum focusing on social development, because of the need for teachers to raise test scores so schools will not be penalized.


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