Developmental Regulation in Adolescents With and Without Emotional and Behavioral Disturbances Attending Different School Types
Adolescents are (co-)producers of their own development as they construct, pursue, and adapt developmental goals (Heckhausen et al., 2010). Internal and external conditions as well as the attainability of goals affect the goal content and the goal pursuit. Research implies that especially adolescent...
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|Zusammenfassung:||Adolescents are (co-)producers of their own development as they construct, pursue, and adapt developmental goals (Heckhausen et al., 2010). Internal and external conditions as well as the attainability of goals affect the goal content and the goal pursuit. Research implies that especially adolescents with EBD who are distinguished by behavioral problems and adverse internal and external conditions might lag behind their undisturbed peers in several aspects of psychosocial development (Davis & Vander Stoep, 1997). In this context, school type differences have not been taken into account even though in Germany adolescents with EBD either attend a regular school or a special school focusing on students with EBD. However, different school types might as well lead to systematic differences in the goal attainment of adolescents with and without EBD. Although research results imply a poorer goal attainment of adolescents with EBD, reasons for those outcomes have not been analyzed so far. Thus, the present thesis is the first to systematically study the developmental regulation of adolescents with EBD attending different school types while considering possible explanations for their lower goal attainment: future expectations and goal striving processes. Adolescents with and without EBD attending a regular or a special school were compared cross-sectionally and longitudinally. In the cross-sectional studies, 261 special school students (153 with EBD, 108 without EBD) and 294 regular school students (116 with EBD, 178 without EBD) were included. In the one year follow-up, 124 students from special schools (72 with EBD, 52 without EBD) and 133 students from regular schools (55 with EBD, 78 without EBD) participated. Whereas adolescents with EBD were less successful than adolescents without EBD in their perceived attainment of seven out of 12 developmental tasks, only one school type difference was found. Regarding expectations about the timing of adulthood transitions, adolescents with EBD expected to marry at an earlier age and students from special schools were more likely to anticipate remaining unmarried. Neither goal engagement nor the goal engagement’s efficacy regarding the attainment of academic competence and career choice differed as a function of school type or EBD status. Interventions, such as life skills programs or resource-building interventions that focus on single goals, need to be employed to promote a successful development of adolescents with EBD. Reducing symptoms of EBD might also have a positive impact on adolescents’ progress with developmental goals. Future research focusing on other explanations for the lower attainment of developmental goals of adolescents with EBD is needed.|