Profiles of Behavioral, Academic, and Demographic Characteristics of Middle School Students With Emotional or Behavioral Needs

Jennifer Farley, Kristin Duppong Hurley, Matthew C. Lambert, Thomas J. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Often the characteristics of students with emotional and behavioral disturbances (EBDs) are described in terms of how they compare to students with and without other disabilities. However, such a conceptualization or categorization may overshadow differences that exist among these youth, and few studies examine unique subpopulations within this group. To explore meaningful differences and similarities among students with EBD, which could help to facilitate customization of interventions and supports, we conducted a latent profile analysis of over 300 middle school student receiving special education services for emotional or behavioral needs. Results identified four profiles using demographic variables, school setting (alternative school or not), teacher ratings of behavior and academic competence, and parent report on child suspensions. Criterion variables were then tested, with significant differences identified in use of mental health services, parent empowerment, and caregiver strain. However, significant differences were not found in parent satisfaction with school. Limitations, implications, and the need for additional research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number3
Early online dateJun 3 2022
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • emotional and behavioral disturbances (EBDs)
  • student characteristics
  • student profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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