School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Randall Dunn


Emotional Behavior Disorder, Female, Behavioral Strategies, Graduation


Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this transcendental, phenomenological study is to describe the lived experience of public high school female college preparatory graduates diagnosed with an emotional behavior disorder (EBD) in the United States. The queries are: (a) how do female students with EBD describe their high school experience, and (b-d) what learning factors, behavioral supports, and environmental influences contributed to their ability to meet graduation requirements. The theory guiding this study is Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive theory as it is firmly grounded in behaviorism and explains the impact of complex interactions on behavior, learning, personal development, and social outcomes. Miller’s (1976) relational-cultural theory also applies as a framework because it emphasizes a unique perspective on female differences in psychological and emotional development. The study involved 9 participants who were found through snowball sampling. Data collection followed qualitative procedures and involved interviews, an electronic format focus group discussion board, and written reflections. Data analysis included coding, peer review, triangulation, and textural and structural description. Results included recognizing the importance of testing and classroom accommodations, one-on-one time with teacher, proactive and strategic planning, a plan for crisis times, and smaller learning environment for female students with EBD.