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The Post-High School Outcomes of Youth With Disabilities up to 4 Years After High School
NCSER 2009-3017
April 2009

Youth With Emotional Disturbances

  • Youth in several categories were more likely than those with emotional disturbances to have enrolled in postsecondary programs, including those with visual or hearing impairments; autism; other health, speech/language or orthopedic impairments (34 percent vs. 78 percent, 72 percent, 58 percent, 55 percent, and 54 percent, respectively). Youth with emotional disturbances who were enrolled in postsecondary programs were more likely than youth in several other disability categories to report that they did not consider themselves to have a disability, including those with autism, hearing or visual impairments, and multiple disabilities (63 percent vs. 31 percent, 29 percent, 17 percent, and 19 percent, respectively). Thus, youth in several other categories were more likely to have informed their schools of a disability than were those with emotional disturbances, including youth with visual, hearing, or orthopedic impairments; multiple disabilities; mental retardation; and autism (21 percent vs. 79 percent, 65 percent, 63 percent, 79 percent, 56 percent, and 55 percent, respectively).
  • Involvement with the criminal justice system also was more common for youth with emotional disturbances than those in many other categories. They were more likely to have been stopped by the police other than for a traffic violation (82 percent) than youth in all other categories except traumatic brain injury (17 percent to 54 percent).
  • Youth with emotional disturbances also were more likely to have spent a night in jail (39 percent) than youth with other health or speech/language impairments (18 percent and 8 percent, respectively), visual or hearing impairments (6 percent), mental retardation (14 percent), traumatic brain injuries (12 percent), learning disabilities (11 percent), multiple disabilities or deaf-blindness (4 percent), or autism or orthopedic impairments (2 percent).
  • Arrest was more common among youth with emotional disturbances (60 percent) than youth in all of the other categories, whose arrest rates ranged from 3 percent to 27 percent. They also were more likely to have been on probation or parole (39 percent) than youth in all other categories except traumatic brain injury (1 percent to 16 percent).