A National Survey of School Psychologists' Practices in Identifying Specific Learning Disabilities

Nicholas F. Benson, Kathrin E. Maki, Randy G. Floyd, Tanya L. Eckert, John H. Kranzler, Sarah A. Fefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined the identification frameworks, specific models, and assessment practices used by school psychologists to identify students with specific learning disabilities (SLD) in public schools in the United States. We surveyed school psychologist practitioners using an online survey, conducted a review of state regulations addressing SLD, and evaluated the effects of state-level policies and school psychologists' characteristics on identification practices. Responses from more than 1,300 school psychologists revealed that multiple SLD identification frameworks are utilized and that state regulations generally have stronger effects on identification practices than do characteristics such as school psychologists' age, highest degree obtained, and years of experience. Frameworks with well-known psychometric limitations, such as those employing intelligence-achievement discrepancy formulas, remain commonly employed. We encourage more and better scientific research into both the conceptual and psychometric outcomes associated with SLD identification frameworks and urge application of evidence-based practices in the assessment and treatment of academic deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSchool Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

school psychologist
Learning Disorders
learning disability
Psychology
psychometrics
Psychometrics
regulation
online survey
Evidence-Based Practice
intelligence
Intelligence
deficit
Surveys and Questionnaires
Identification (Psychology)
Students
school
evidence
Research
experience
student

Keywords

  • Identification models
  • School psychologists
  • Specific learning disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

A National Survey of School Psychologists' Practices in Identifying Specific Learning Disabilities. / Benson, Nicholas F.; Maki, Kathrin E.; Floyd, Randy G.; Eckert, Tanya L.; Kranzler, John H.; Fefer, Sarah A.

In: School Psychology, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Benson, Nicholas F. ; Maki, Kathrin E. ; Floyd, Randy G. ; Eckert, Tanya L. ; Kranzler, John H. ; Fefer, Sarah A. / A National Survey of School Psychologists' Practices in Identifying Specific Learning Disabilities. In: School Psychology. 2019.
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