Emotional and behavioral disorders

Emotional and behavioral disorders

Emotional and behavioral disorders
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 F90–F98
ICD-9 312-314
DiseasesDB 28908
MedlinePlus Behavior Disorders.htm Child Behavior Disorders
MeSH F01.145.126.100

Emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) is a broad category which is used commonly in educational settings, to group a range of more specific perceived difficulties of children and adolescents. Both general definitions as well as concrete diagnosis of EBD may be controversial as the observed behavior may depend on many factors.

The 5 models that are used in EBD are:


  • U.S. federal definition 1
  • Internalizing disorders 2
  • Externalizing disorders 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

U.S. federal definition

A child exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics to a marked degree for a long duration of time that adversely affects their education:[1]

  1. Difficulty to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
  2. Difficulty to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
  3. Inappropriate types of behavior (acting out against self or others) or feelings (expresses the need to harm self or others, low self-worth, etc.) under normal circumstances.
  4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

The term includes schizophrenia, and does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

Internalizing disorders

A child with an internalizing disorder is said to be suffering from depression, and experience loss of interest in activities including social activities, work, and life. This goes with one part of the EBD federal definition; a general pervasive mood of depression of disturbed behavior. Young adults between the ages of 19–32 internalizes can also suffer from anxiety, separation anxiety, fears and phobias (trusting people), obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), autism spectrum disorders, and panic disorder.

Teachers of these children are asked to:

  • monitor medications for side effects and behavioral fluctuations
  • assist with behavioral treatments in the classroom
  • reinforce cognitive behavioral interventions related to classroom

Externalizing disorders

Words and phrases that are commonly used with children who externalize are extroverted, under-controlled, and acting out. This includes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder. These children act out their emotions instead of holding them in, exhibiting behaviors such as fighting, bullying, cursing, and other forms of violence.


  1. ^ "Code of Federal Regulation, Title 34, Section 300.8 (c) (4) (ii)". 

External links

  • What is an emotional or behavioral disorder?
  • Behaviour Management (EBD) Review Group: Published reviews
  • Intervention Central