The present study aims to analyse the risk and protection factors of a sample group of children and teenagers with special educational needs in primary and secondary schools, who require intensive educational support due to the fact that they are experiencing difficulties with behavioural regulation.
A theoretical revision is performed of the different ways of compression, in relation to the conduct disorders, the process of acquisition of the capacity of regulation among children, their relationship with adverse life experiences and finally their consequences in adult life.
Age, gender, family socioeconomic status (SES), and clinical diagnosis were collected using a consecutive sampling on one hundred children and adolescents (N = 100) who were referred by the schools to two specialised psycho-educational teams. Risk factors such as the presence/absence of addiction in parents or caregivers, mental disorders, or family history in situations of abuse and lack of protection are also considered.
The findings suggest that there exists far more demand for intensive support services among boys versus girls, in secondary schools and within socially disadvantaged families. Protection and risk factors that stand out above the others have been identified. The teachers’ awareness of the presence or absence of such factors among students, should allow early detections that might allow the planning of preventive actions in order to promote a full development of people from the point of view of wellbeing and health.
The results are discussed in relation to the importance of adopting a socio-ecological and multisystemic approach to address the behavioural problems that in many cases are interpreted as symptoms or expressions of Adverse Childhood Experiences.