Identifying obstacles to a multidisciplinary understanding of ‘disruptive’ behaviour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the possibilities and challenges presented by an interdisciplinary approach to the study of disruptive behaviour. It is argued that whilst such an approach is to be welcomed, work needs to be done in order to ensure that educational research joins the discussion as an equal partner. The paper begins with a demonstration of how big the gap is between different approaches through a consideration of studies in educational sociology that take a ‘soft’ qualitative approach to research, and in neuropsychology, a ‘hard science’. The degree of divergence between these two approaches is then highlighted through a discussion of the ‘medicalisation’ of disruptive behaviour. The suggestion that educational research may be treated as a ‘poor relation’, with a focus on the underlying epistemological issues, is then examined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-109
JournalEmotional & Behavioural Difficulties
Issue number2
Early online date2 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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