Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Special Education and Literacy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Sarah E. Summy


A relationship between emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD) and language deficits has been validated by researchers in special education (Cantwell & Baker, 1991; Beichman, Cantwell, Forness, Kavale, & Kaufmann, 1998; Cohen, Barwick, Horodezky, Vallance, & Im, 1998) as well as researchers in speech-language pathology (Hyter, 2003; Hyter, Rogers-Adkinson, Self, Simmons, Jantz, 2001; Ruhl, Hughes, & Camarata, 1992; Gallagher, 1999; Fujiki, Brinton, Morgan, & Hart, 1999). The exact prevalence rate between E/BD and language deficits was not definitive as it varies between 35% and 97% depending on the study reviewed (Benner, Nelson, & Epstein, 2002). While it has been documented that a relationship exists between children with E/BD and language deficits, a current prevalence rate regarding the speech-language pathologists involvement with this population was nearly 20 years old (Casby, 1989). Furthermore, a gap in the research exists between the most effective therapy interventions for students with E/BD and language deficits.

The purpose of this investigation was two-fold; (a) to determine a prevalence rate of speech-language pathologists in Michigan serving students diagnosed with E/BD and language deficits, and (b) to explore the types of interventions speech-language pathologists were employing with students with E/BD and language deficits. A survey was used to determine the extent to which speech-language pathologists provide services to students with E/BD and a focus group was employed to determine language interventions speech-pathologists use with this population. Survey results indicated 56.8% of the speech-language pathologists reported serving students with E/BD and language deficits. Focus group results indicated speech-language pathologists utilized a variety of language interventions while simultaneously incorporating behavioral management strategies into their service delivery.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access