Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Type



Special Education


Yun-Ching Chung

Mentor Department

Special Education


Following federal legislations, more students with emotional disturbances receive education in public schools, often within the general education classroom. While students with emotional disturbances often exhibit significant and chronic behaviors (e.g., physical aggression, self-injury) that impact academic achievement and social development, they can be successful in the general education setting with appropriate behavioral intervention. One of the most intensive behavioral intervention used in school is physical restraint or seclusion. However, there have been serious and harmful consequences due to the improper use of these behavioral intervention. Therefore, I conducted a literature review on the use of physical restraints and seclusion as behavioral intervention techniques. Eight descriptive and case studies, published between 2000 to 2017, were included in this review. Results showed little evidence in supporting these practices, indicating that (a) continued use may inadvertently increase the need for such restrictive interventions, (b) there is a lack of federal guidelines regulating physical restraints/seclusion, and (c) the implementation positive crisis interventions and preemptive behavioral strategies have been shown to be more effective in reducing student aggression. Additional research is needed to better examine the frequency of physical restraints and seclusion, as well as the long-term outcomes on the efficacy of positive behavioral intervention programs.