Parent Support Services for Families of Children with Emotional Disturbances Served in Elementary School Special Education Settings: Examination of Data from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study


Duchnowski, A. J., Kutash, K., Green, A. L., Ferron, J. M., Wagner, M., & Vengrofski, B. (2013). Parent support services for families of children with emotional disturbances served in elementary school special education settings: examination of data from the special education elementary longitudinal study. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 24(1), 36-52. doi: 10.1177/1044207312460889


Using data from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study, we describe parent involvement and support activities in schools educating a nationally representative sample of students with emotional disturbances (EDs). We describe the extent to which programs aimed at encouraging family involvement are offered by schools and received by families and their relationship to child, family, and school characteristics. Student-level information was obtained from students, teachers, and parents, whereas school-level information was obtained from school administrators. Although schools attended by 71% of the students reported offering at least one type of family involvement activity, teachers reported only 17% of families of children with ED received a parent support service. Compared with families who did not receive support services, those who did were more involved in their school, and their children received more services in the community and had higher achievement levels. The need and potential methods for increasing parent engagement are discussed.

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