Publication Date

Summer 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Carl Myers (Director), Jenni Redifer, and Ryan Farmer

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


The current study examined the most common reason for behavioral referrals and the effects of student gender, teacher age, teacher experience, and school setting on reasons for behavioral referrals to the schools intervention team or the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team. Additionally, it examined the self-efficacy of teachers and compared the self-perceptions of teaching general education students with behavior problems with perceptions of teaching students identified as having an Emotional Disturbance (ED). Participants included 179 general education teachers, grades K-12, from the state of Kentucky and additional teachers recruited from Facebook from across the U.S. Participants completed a survey about their self-efficacy in working with general education students and students with ED and their most recent male and female behavioral referral, either to an intervention team or to the IEP team. The most common reported reason for referral was defiance. This was true for both male and female students. Teachers reported referring more male than female students. Additionally, teachers reported significantly higher self-efficacy when working with general education students compared to students with ED. The relevance of findings to current research, the implications for school districts, limitations, and future directions are discussed.


Gender Equity in Education | School Psychology | Special Education and Teaching