The present study tested three conflicting hypotheses as to how students with social/emotional/behavioural difficulties (SEBD), who showed similar social-emotional, behavioural and academic functioning prior to placement, function socially and academically after they have received additional support either in inclusive regular education or in exclusive special education. Thirty-six included and 15 excluded students with SEBD participated. We collected data from students and teachers with classroom surveys, individual testing sessions with students with SEBD, and from application files. Using Bayesian statistics, our results suggest that excluded students are better socially embedded in exclusive special education and that they perform better academically than comparable included students with SEBD. Special education services in exclusive settings may thus afford certain benefits to some students with SEBD, not typically found in regular education, which can be considered a first indication that there may be valid counterarguments against the ‘inclusion for all’ perspective on educational needs.

Zweers, I., Tick, N. T., Bijstra, J. O., & van de Schoot, R. (2019). How do included and excluded students with SEBD function socially and academically after 1, 5 year of special education services?. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1-19. DOI: 10.1080/17405629.2019.1590193