Outcomes In Relation to EBD
The literature indicates that outcomes for students with EBD were, by and large, positive and indicated that dropout interventions geared toward students with behavioral issues show some potential success for students. Sinclair, Christenson, & Thurlow (2005) found 44% of students within the treatment group with EBD as the primary special education qualifier were more likely to persist in school, whereas only 33% of students with EBD in the control group had the same likelihood.
Hindsight and seeming regret in regard to measurement and study design weren’t uncommon across the literature. A pervasive “should have, would have, could have” existed among certain of the studies. The Vannest et al. (2009) study concluded with researchers lamenting the lack of a “quality measurement” in regard to the mentor-mentee interactions. The writers also bemoaned the study’s reliance on time units (that were not described), components of mentor-mentee interactions at school and via email, and, puzzlingly, a reliance on “measurable and observable data”. Both Munoz (2002) and Franklin et al. (2007) determined that without a control or comparison group, validity is shaky. However, none of the examined dropout prevention researchers were remorseful that the current span of literature didn’t consider race or gender in program design or measurement (including research projects explicitly aimed at students upon the basis of their race and/or gender).
Mobility and Attrition
Throughout the literature, mobility and it’s effect on student success rates in dropout prevention programming is noted but not consistently considered in the intervention findings, which is curious considering the possible dynamics between frequent moves and socioeconomic status, which appears as a qualifying factor throughout much of the literature. Stranger still is that the dynamic between high mobility and behavioral issues is not considered in the extant research on drop out prevention programs serving students who have behavioral issues.
Attrition as noted in the literature received similar but not completely identical recognition. The difference being that in at least one instance, Sinclair, Christenson, & Thurlow (2005) attempted to explain “why” in relation to the attrition, by recognizing 14 students from the treatment group and 6 students from the control group were “lost due to attrition”, with researchers claiming they could not find the students at any home or address. Of these, 4 “never entered the district” and 8 could “never be found at school”. The reasons and dynamics behind mobility remained largely unexamined by the literature, including the particular study referred to in this section.
Across the literature, few examples existed in regard to researcher persistence in relation to mobility and attrition. Much of the literature suggests a tunnel vision approach to examining the variable of mobility and attrition as if...