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Chartbook on Mental Health and Disability

Section 3: Children and mental health disabilities

3.4. Do boys and girls experience different rates of emotional disturbance?

More boys and young men in special education are reported to have an emotional disturbance, compared to girls and young women. In 1994, the Elementary and Secondary Schools Compliance Reports for the Office of Civil Rights show 79.4% of students with an emotional disturbance are males while only 20.6% are female. Similarly, the National Longitudinal Transition Study of Special Education Students found that 76.4% of students were male, and 23.6% were female.

More than three-fourths of students with emotional disturbance are boys.

Figure 18 (see data table for text-only version)

Figure 18: Gender of elementary and secondary-aged students with emotional disturbance

Source: U.S. Department of Education, OSERS (1998), p. II-27; Valdes, Williamson, & Wagner (1990).

Surveys: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 1994 Elementary and Secondary School Compliance Reports

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