Special education legislation has placed an increased emphasis on early intervention programs for children at risk for early literacy delays and behavioral disorders. Given this trend, it is important to understand the characteristics of students identified and served in at-risk programs. This study presents the findings from a cluster analysis on the early literacy and behavioral characteristics of 195 children screened at risk for behavioral disorders served in an early intervention program. Clustered variables included behavioral measures from the Early Screening Project (ESP; Walker, Severson, & Feil, 1995), Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (SSBD; Walker & Severson, 1992), and measures of early reading development from the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests—Revised (WRMT-R; Woodcock, 1998). Split-half procedures and external criteria were used to validate results. Five distinct subgroups were revealed: Broad Risks, Academic Achievers, Primarily Behavior, Primarily Academic, and Extreme Behaviors. Results indicate heterogeneous characteristics and clear areas of behavioral and early reading risk between subgroups within the greater sample. Implications, limitations, and future research are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health