General Educators’ Perceptions of Social Inclusion of Elementary Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Stacy N. McGuire, Hedda Meadan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) exhibit challenging behaviors and social skills delays that can interfere with their ability to build relationships. Intervening early (e.g., in elementary school) can prevent short- and long-term consequences of these challenging behaviors. General educators serve as the primary teacher of these students, with some students with EBD spending more than 80% of their school day in the general education setting. In addition, given the amount of time elementary students spend with their general educators, these educators may be able to build a community that can help students establish and maintain positive relationships while engaging equally and actively in classroom activities. The purposes of this study were to (a) explore elementary general educators’ perceptions of social inclusion of students with EBD, and (b) identify facilitators of and barriers to social inclusion. We identified four themes: social inclusion, relationships, facilitators, and barriers and needs. Findings indicated that general educators work to socially include students with EBD, but they faced barriers related to collaboration with special educators and needed professional development. Implications include the need for more collaboration between practitioners to promote socially inclusive environments for students with EBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-28
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • emotional and behavioral disorders
  • general education
  • social inclusion
  • special education
  • teacher perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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