The overall purpose of this research study was to gain an understanding of the significance of the policy and practice of seclusion and restraint interventions used with individuals in the public school system in the United States and to determine how the policy and practice of those interventions are currently being implemented in schools across the United States. Despite the research that shows that the use of seclusion and restraint interventions is harmful, these interventions continue to be used in school settings across the United States. Policies and regulations have been established regarding the use of seclusion and restraint in federally funded residential and hospital facilities, however, there are currently no federal laws that monitor and regulate the use of seclusion and restraint in public and private schools.
A descriptive, cross-sectional research design was used to implement this study, as data was collected from the research study participants at only one point in time, using an electronic survey. A comprehensive review of the literature regarding the use of seclusion and restraint interventions was conducted. The data collected included a focus on laws, statutes, rules and regulations, and policies developed and implemented regarding the use of seclusion and restraint interventions with individuals under the age of 18. In addition, an electronic survey was developed and sent to school administrators and other support staff, teachers, and paraprofessionals currently employed in school districts across the United States. The participants asked to complete the electronic survey were randomly selected based on the physical location of their school of employment within the division of the regions in the United States.
The data collected in this research study supports the need to have clear, consistent policies and procedures provided for all school staff in all states regarding the use of seclusion and restraint interventions with all students. The data shows that many school staff are unaware of their State's policies and procedures regarding the use of seclusion and restraint interventions and that many school staff are not trained on the proper use of these interventions, yet continues to implement them with the students in their schools. The use of seclusion and restraint interventions continue to occur in schools across the nation and the risk of injury during these interventions is present for both students and school staff.
Date of Degree
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Strunk, L. L. (2014). Seclusion and Restraint Policy and Practice: Are We Doing the Right Thing? [Doctoral dissertation, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/381/
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