Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Mathews, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen C. Keith, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Ruth L. Meese, Ph.D.


One of the purposes of this study was to investigate the perceptions of regular and special education teachers toward behavioral interventions and psychopharmacology for students with emotional disturbances . Another purpose was to investigate which interventions were considered the most effective and least effective in the teachers' classroom . The subjects of this study included regular and special education teachers from four school divisions in central Virginia. One hundred thirty seven (N=137) of the 250 surveys sent out were returned. A self-developed questionnaire, using a five point Likert scale for Part II and open-ended questions for Part III, was used to collect the data for this study. Data were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative statistics .

Chi-square {x 2 ) was used to investigate if there was a significant difference between the special and regular education teachers regarding the interventions used based on the grade level the teacher taught. "x 2 value was 213.32, df 192, p<.05. An item analysis done by chi-square regarding the use of interventions other than drug therapy as the first method of intervention indicated there was a significant difference among teachers and their perceptions ."X 2 value was 79.68, df 64, p <.05.

A qualitative analysis of the open-ended questions in Part III indicated that regular education teachers regard medication as the most effective intervention. Special education teachers regard behavior modification as the most effective intervention . Both regular and special education teachers regard negative reinforcement as the least effective intervention .

A limitation of this study is the unequal group size between the special education and regular education teachers. A recommendation for further research is to conduct interviews instead of using surveys in order to get more in-depth information about the teachers' perceptions.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.