Identification and Assessment of Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) Among Children With and Without Special Educational Needs (SEN) based on Parent and Teacher Perceptions: A Comparison Study

Charalambous, Angeliki (2019). Identification and Assessment of Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) Among Children With and Without Special Educational Needs (SEN) based on Parent and Teacher Perceptions: A Comparison Study. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f3c8

Abstract

Parents and teachers define, identify and perceive in various and diverse ways the concept of ‘special educational needs’ (SEN), which might lead to different interpretations as to what can be considered problematic and what cannot (Laluvein, 2010; Kristoffersen, et al., 2015). This study aimed to assess and compare the views and perceptions of parents and teachers of children with and without Special Educational Needs, on Social, Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties (SEBD). The purpose is to present an overall picture of the situation, to provide an indication of the existence or absence of agreement between parents and teachers concerning children’s social emotional and behavioural problems and subsequently make suggestions and recommendations to facilitate both educators and parents to acknowledge and attend more efficiently to children’s needs. Parents and teachers of 77 children, aged 6 to 13 years, with (n = 24) and without (n = 53) Special Educational Needs from a mainstream school in the rural area of Nicosia, Cyprus, took part in the study. Assessment of behaviour problems from both parents and teachers were obtained from the Child Behaviour CheckList 6/18 (Achenbach and Rescorla, 2001) and the Teacher Reference Form 6/18 (Achenbach and Rescorla, 2001) respectively. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were used with 5 parents and teachers, complementary of the questionnaires. The data were analysed using the Assessment Data Manager software and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences 21. The key findings suggest that parents and teachers of children with SEN agree more compared to parents and teachers of children with NoSEN. It also emerged that parents of children with SEN tend to report more internalizing, externalizing and total/overall problems compared to teachers (e.g. anxiety, depression, withdrawal, rule breaking and aggressive behaviour, jealousy, social issues). Furthermore, gender variance was found, with parents of children in both groups (SEN and NoSEN) viewing boys differently compared to girls. Regarding the latter, parents of children in the SEN group view girls as exhibiting more internalizing and overall difficulties (which is the sum of all scales namely internalizing, externalizing, thought problems, attention problems and social problems) compared to boys, while parents of children in the NoSEN group view boys as exhibiting more internalizing and overall difficulties.

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