Universal Screening to Detect Emotional and Behavioral Risk Among English Language Learners

Imelda Murrieta, Katie Eklund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Universal screening for emotional and behavioral risk (EBR) within K–12 schools can identify students who might benefit from interventions within Multitiered Systems of Support. As few studies have examined emotional and behavioral risk levels for English Language Learners, the present study used a brief behavior rating scale to examine EBR rates among elementary-aged ELLs and non-ELLs as rated by their classroom teachers. EBR was also examined according to students’ language classifications (i.e., Initial Fluent English Proficient [IFEP], Reclassified, ELL, or English-Only) and gender. Study results demonstrated no relationship between student’s ELL status or language classification and the identification of EBR. However, a significant relationship was found between gender and the identification of EBR among all students, where a higher number of males demonstrated EBR. In addition, students’ reading ability, age, and gender predicted whether ELL and non-ELL students would be identified as at-risk for emotional and behavioral concerns. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. Impact Summary The current study provides initial evidence demonstrating that student levels of English language proficiency does not differentially contribute to the identification of students with emotional and behavioral risk using a universal behavior screening measure in an elementary student sample. A logistic regression analysis determined students’ reading ability, age, and gender predicted whether ELL and non-ELL students would be identified as at-risk for emotional and behavioral concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSchool Psychology Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • English Language Learners
  • Lillian Durán
  • behavior assessment
  • reading
  • universal screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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