Disproportionality and Learning Disabilities: Parsing Apart Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Language
This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (HRD-0834177, Chandra Muller, PI, and HRD-0965444, Rebecca Callahan, PI). This research was supported by grant, 5 R24 HD042849, Population Research Center, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Child Development. This research has received support from the grant, 5 T32 HD007081, Training Program in Population Studies, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Child Development.
Inequality, Racial disparity, Education -- Social aspects -- United States, People with disabilities -- Social conditions -- Research
The disproportionate identification of learning disabilities among certain sociodemographic subgroups, typically groups that are already disadvantaged, is perceived as a persistent problem within the education system. The academic and social experiences of students who are misidentified with a learning disability may be severely restricted, whereas students with a learning disability who are never identified are less likely to receive the accommodations and modifications necessary to learn at their maximum potential. The authors use the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 to describe national patterns in learning disability identification. Results indicate that sociodemographic characteristics are predictive of identification with a learning disability. Although some conventional areas of disproportionality are confirmed (males and language minorities), differences in socioeconomic status entirely account for African American and Hispanic disproportionality. The discrepancy between the results of bivariate and multivariate analyses confirms the importance of employing multivariate multilevel models in the investigation of disproportionality.
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Final published version is available: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022219410374236
Shifrer, Dara; Muller, Chandra; and Callahan, Rebecca, "Disproportionality and Learning Disabilities: Parsing Apart Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Language" (2010). Sociology Faculty Publications and Presentations. 88.
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Sociological Inquiry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in J Learn Disabil. 2011 ; 44(3): 246–257.
*At the time of publication Dara Shifrer was affiliated with Rice University