Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Higher Education

First Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Second Committee Member

Kyle Higgins

Third Committee Member

Monica Brown

Fourth Committee Member

Iesha Jackson

Number of Pages



After school, students with EBD often have poor outcomes related to employment, postsecondary education, and independent living. Individualized strengths-based transition planning that provides a multitude of services and supports can improve these outcomes. There is limited research on the perspectives of students with EBD and how these viewpoints compare with those of teachers. Additional research in this area can provide researchers and practitioners with a more complex understanding of youth perspectives that can influence the development of authentic, strengths-based, and culturally responsive interventions. This mixed-methods study analyzed the transition-related strengths, needs, and social supports of students with EBD. Across three traditional public high schools, participants included students (n=8) with EBD between the age of 14 and 17 who received instruction in a self-contained Pre-Vocational course and their special education teachers (n=3). To reveal strengths and needs, students and teachers completed the Transition Planning Inventory-2 (TPI-2), and to reveal perceptions of social supports students completed the Child and Adolescent Social Support Survey (CASSS). Then, students and teachers completed semi-structured interviews. Lastly, educational documents were reviewed to triangulate findings and increase the trustworthiness of findings. Students rated themselves significantly higher on the TPI-2 than teachers. Interview data confirmed differences in how students perceive their strengths and needs for the transition to adulthood. On the CASSS, students indicated that they received the most social support from teachers and close friends and the least from classmates and people in school. Interviews confirmed that most students received frequent social support from teachers. Students and teachers had similar perspectives on their support from parents and teachers. However, they had differences in their opinions of support from friends, classmates, extended family, and people in school (i.e., administrators, counselors, transition specialists). Additional research is needed to address the limitations in this study, in particular, by identifying a more representative sample and including the perspectives of additional stakeholders (i.e., parents, extended family, transition specialists).


emotional and behavioral disorders; mixed-methods; social support; strengths and needs; student and teacher perceptions; transition planning


Special Education and Teaching

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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