Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Ruth L. Meese, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen C. Keith, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Terry L. Overton, Ed.D.


Over the last decade, educators, administrators, and parents have become increasingly concerned regarding the identification and appropriate placement of children with serious emotional disturbance. These special individuals need a variety of services to enable them to function at their greatest level in the school system and in the community. The literature suggests that there are differences in the availability of programs in various school divisions and communities which may contribute to a child being prematurely placed in a residential treatment facility. Through surveying members of eligibility committees in various areas of the state, both urban and rural, this study has discovered that professionals in rural school divisions were more likely to refer a child for placement as well as to score the child as having more severe behavior problems than the professionals in the urban school divisions.



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