Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Robert A. Williams

Second Advisor

Robert Cruise

Third Advisor

Ruth Murdoch



Behavior-problem children constitute a main concern in the field of education today. The ability to recognize when the needs of the individual student call for procedures beyond the scope of the school is a professional necessity. The purpose of this research was to investigate whether students with school-related problems referred for psychiatric evaluation can be distinguished by a set of selected characteristics.


Using multiple-discriminant analysis, students who had been referred for psychiatric evaluation were compared with students not referred for psychiatric evaluation on such criteria as teacher-pupil rating, as measured by Burks' Behavior Rating Scales; self-concept as measured by the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale; generalized anxiety, as measured by the General Anxiety Scale for Children; cognitive ability, as measured by the Cognitive Abilities Test, Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Test, or the Otis-Lennon Mental Ability Test; and family concept, as measured by the van der Veen Family Unit Inventory. One hundred and forty-eight children in grades four through ten were studied. Of this number fifty were referred for psychiatric evaluation and ninety-eight were non-referred.


Those variables within the Teachers'-Ratings Sample contributing the most to the separation of the non-referred and referred groups were (+) poor social conformity, (-) excessive resistance, (+) poor attention, and (-) poor ego strength. Those variables within the Pupils'-Ratings Sample contributing the most to the separation of the non-referred and referred groups were (+) self-concept, (+) generalized anxiety, and (+) cognitive ability. The results of both samples, however, should be interpreted with caution in view of an inequality of dispersion matrices.


The two variables common to all divisions of the three analyses/instrument were poor attention and poor social conformity. These data could indicate that teachers are more influenced by overt, acting-out behavior than by other indicators of emotional disturbance. The non-referred group in the teachers'-ratings Scunple were rated as less anxious than the referred group. However, these same students were rated as being more anxious than the referred group when they rated themselves. It is possible that the students were experiencing more anxiety than was detected by the teachers. In the main the non-referred group can be described as having multiple assets, while the referred group can be described as having multiple problems.

Subject Area

Child psychiatry--United States.