Bias in learning disabilities placement

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Stone, B. J.

Psychological reports. 1993 Jun; 72(3 Pt 2): 1243-7.


A nationally representative sample of 20,614 eighth grade students was examined for bias in placement decisions for children said to have learning disabilities. Factors investigated for bias were race, sex, and socioeconomic status. Path analysis showed significant and direct paths from sex and race to placement, controlling for socioeconomic status, academic ability, and behavioral competency. Boys were overrepresented in such classes beyond what their somewhat lower academic and behavioral competencies would predict. Caucasians were similarly overrepresented controlling for other variables in the model. It appears that boys and Caucasians are overrepresented in learning disabilities placements on a national scale even when other contributing factors are controlled.

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