Scientifically Supported Practices in EBD: A Proposed Approach and Brief Review of Current Practices


Both No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act require educators to use research-validated practices in classrooms. And yet education, special education, and the field of emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) continue to show large gaps in the consistent use of best practices. The authors propose that the research-to-practice gap can be traced to the lack of clear, consistent criteria to determine what are research-based practices and the absence of support structures to assist educators in implementing such practices. A four-phase review process was developed based on current recommendations from the E/BD literature, and a brief review of classroom-based strategies was conducted. Four practices were identified as being research based. The authors discuss each of these practices and call for the field of special education, and E/BD in particular, to develop and adopt a universal set of standards to determine research-based practice and look to school systems to support their use.


Behavioral Disorders


  • S. Hudson
  • N. Johnson
  • Timothy J. Lewis
  • M. Richter

Prevention Level

  • Primary


  • Administrators
  • District Contacts
  • PBS Coaches
  • PBS Teams
  • Specialists

System Impact

  • Whole School


  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Elementary School