Friends, foes, and self-defence: students with EBD navigating social conflicts and bullying

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Students with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) are more likely to struggle than their peers, which can lead to disengagement and early dropout. Although there are alternate programmes for these students, they are rarely consulted about their struggles, or about their perceived needs. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of students with EBD from their entry in mainstream classrooms to their placement in an alternate programme. During a semi-structured interview and visual mapping activity, six participants described their schooling experiences and their depictions were analysed using an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Participants described the social process of school and emphasised the importance of relationships with peers and teachers, and the challenges they experienced in these relationships, which included relational, psychological, and physical aggression. Findings highlight the need to consider the reciprocal nature of bullying for students with EBD, and its influence on their schooling.


This article was originally published in Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties