Teacher Perspectives on Indicators of Adolescent Social and Emotional Problems Article

Greif Green, J, Keenan, JK, Guzmán, J et al. (2017). Teacher Perspectives on Indicators of Adolescent Social and Emotional Problems . 2(2), 96-110. 10.1080/23794925.2017.1313099

cited authors

  • Greif Green, J; Keenan, JK; Guzmán, J; Vinnes, S; Holt, M; Comer, JS



  • Teachers are a primary source of referral to mental health services for children and adolescents. However, studies find that students identified by teachers differ from those identified by standardized screening scales. This suggests possible discrepancies in conceptualizations of student emotional and behavioral challenges. The current article describes results of a study that explores how teachers conceptualize the emotional and behavioral challenges of adolescents. Middle and high school teachers across the United States were identified using a stratified random sampling process and recruited for participation. Twenty-nine teachers (26% of those recruited) were interviewed and asked to describe markers that indicated to them that a student was experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges. Themes in teacher responses were identified and coded. Teachers identified multiple, diverse markers that they perceived were indicators of emotional and behavioral challenges among their students. Markers described by teachers were compared to those typically measured by standardized screening scales. Discrepancies between markers identified by teachers and screening scales are highlighted as potential areas for professional development and enhanced school-based intervention efforts. These findings underscore the importance of integrating teacher perspectives in understanding the referral process for students.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 96

end page

  • 110


  • 2


  • 2