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Title: Psychological and behavioural disorders among young people in pupil referral units
Author: Goodwin, Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 4683
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms contribute to impairment and negative outcomes that are evident from a young age in education. Those with ADHD often fall behind their peers and exhibit challenging behaviours, and a number of strategies may be put in place to try and support them. However, many experience repeated exclusions that lead them into alternative education provision and little is known about whether support provided to them at school is tailored to their needs. Fifty-two young people aged 11 to 16 from pupil referral units and a special educational needs school completed screens for ADHD, Conduct Disorder (CD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Learning Disability (LD), psychiatric distress and traumatic brain injury. Informant-ratings were collected for externalising disorders and school records reviewed to identify behavioural incidents and explore the support received in previous and current education settings. Results indicated high rates of symptoms with 44% screening positive for ADHD and almost one-third for CD. A screening prevalence of 18% was found for LD and just under one-third reported a history of head injury. Those with ADHD were significantly more impaired and responsible for significantly more behavioural incidents than those without. Despite this, there was only one historical diagnosis of ADHD. Those with ADHD were more likely to have received a non-therapeutic one-to-one intervention in their mainstream school but were no more likely than those without ADHD to receive any of the identified categories of support in their alternative placement. Results indicate a need for mental health professionals to support education providers to expand their awareness of the mental health needs of young people and to tailor school-based support around those needs. Agencies must work closely to implement feasible and effective screening protocols and develop accessible pathways to facilitate both the identification and treatment of young people.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ADHD ; alternative education ; pupil referral unit