at-risk Latino students, early adolescent students, social–emotional screening
Previous research has shown that Latino/a middle school students exhibiting emotional or behavioral disturbance are at risk for undesirable academic outcomes. The purpose of this study was to understand the perceptions and experiences of at-risk Latino/a students to identify ways to improve interventions designed to promote their academic retention and success. Participants included 11 Latino/a students between the ages of 11 and 13, 8 male and 3 female, who were screened for being at risk for behavior disorders using the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders. These students shared their perceptions and experiences of schooling during in-depth qualitative interviews. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to understand how students made sense of their school experiences. Students’ descriptions tended to be contextualized within relationships with peers, teachers, and family members. Many students shared experiences of being the target of overt racism and microaggressions from peers. Students believed they were more likely to be successful in school when teachers displayed flexibility with deadlines, provided extra help, and communicated a sense of warmth and caring. The data from this study suggested that school psychologists can benefit from attending to the perceptions of at-risk students, which in the context of this study would entail facilitating an inclusive school climate, fostering effective teacher and student relationships, and facilitating parent-teacher relationships during the difficult transition from elementary to middle school.
Original Publication Citation
Balagna, R., Young, E., & Smith, T. B. (2013). School experiences of early adolescent Latinos/as at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders. School Psychology Quarterly, 28, 101-121.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Balagna, Ryan M.; Young, Ellie L.; and Smith, Timothy B., "School Experiences of Early Adolescent Latinos/as at Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders" (2017). All Faculty Publications. 2007.
American Psychological Association
David O. McKay School of Education
Counseling Psychology and Special Education
American Psychological Association. The final published version of this article can be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/spq0000018.
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