An epidemiological study of behaviour disorder in the Saskatoon Tribal Council student population
Robert, Lorna Jean
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School failure can be the result of inappropriate programming brought about by failure to recognize the specific needs of individual students. Members of the Saskatoon Tribal Council were concerned about the number of students in their jurisdiction who were not successfully completing a high school education. A large study was commissioned to ascertain the number of students with exceptionalities so that the Tribal Council could advocate for appropriate funding and programming to ensure success for more students. As part of the larger study of exceptionality, this research studies the number and nature of Behaviour Disorder in the Saskatoon Tribal Council student population. A two-phase study was designed using the Behaviour Rating Profile-2 (teacher rating) as an initial screen. Those students meeting cut-off criteria on the screening device were administered the Behavioral Assessment System for Children. The Teacher Rating, Student Self-Report and Parent Rating Scales were used to collect behavioral data. Results showed that 86 students met clinical cut-off criteria on one or more scales of the Behaviour Assessment System for Children. This number when extrapolated to the total population represents 27%. Teachers identified more boys than girls on every scale with the exception of the Leadership and Study Skills scales. In contrast to teacher ratings, a higher number of girls were identified on the Student Self-report of Personality on all scales with the exception of the Attitude to Teachers and the Relations with Parents subscales. The highest numbers, regardless of sex or age, were identified as suffering from externalizing behaviours by teachers. Students identified the most numbers on those scales which measure internalizing behaviours, the development of self-identity and self-reliance. Age did not appear to be a significant factor in the identification of behaviour problems, with students from all age groups being identified on most scales; however, the largest number of problems were experienced by the 10 to 14 year old age group.