Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Deirdre Hon

LC Subjects

High school students--Mental health services; High school students--Psychological aspects; High school students--Evaluation; Academic achievement


The purpose of this bound, exploratory case study was to investigate how students with ED (Emotional Disorder) and students with OHI (Other Health Impairment) for ADHD experience success at a recovery high school (RHS). The five participants in this qualitative study, current RHS students and recent alumni, were asked to participate in a pre-interview activity followed by a semi-structured interview to gather the student voice and discover how students with ED and students with OHI for ADHD experience success within this specialized and seldom-studied educational environment. Through their pre-interview activities and their responses in semistructured interviews, it was evident that participants in this study felt that they achieved success while attending their recovery high school.

This research provides important implications for helping students experience success in school. First, build and provide a positive school environment, and second, guide students to self-realization to assist them in making positive behavioral changes. Participant reflections in this research also made evident elements of their path to success: building positive relationships, gaining self-realizations, changing their behaviors, and realizing their purpose. This research displays how the RHS not only lead students to success but also helped them to flourish educationally and emotionally.

Participant responses in this research also exhibited elements of Social Cognitive Theory’s (SCT’s) triadic reciprocal causation and how it impacts students and their achieving success at an RHS. Triadic reciprocal causation reflects the mutually influenced relationship among personal, behavioral, and environmental

factors (Bandura, 1986). As evidenced by this research, if educational programs, such as RHSs and any others that service students in special education, provide an education that strongly considers and incorporates these factors of SCT to support students, then this population of students is more likely to experience success.


Copyright for this work is retained by the author.