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Relationships among Behavioral Profiles, Reading Performance, and Disability Labels: A Latent Class Analysis of Students in the ED, LD, and OHI Special Education Categories Open Access

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The aim of this study was to explore the variation in student behavior across the ED, LD, and OHI disability categories and to examine demographic, behavioral, and academic factors that may place students at risk for negative outcomes. This study used teachers’ rating of students’ in-class behavior to identify latent classes of students in the ED, LD, and OHI special education categories. Using a person-centered research design, this study examined patterns of student behavior across the externalizing, internalizing, and learning behavior domains, allowing for a unique description of students’ behavioral functioning. Results demonstrated that the classroom behavior of these students was heterogeneous both within and across these disability categories, and that the co- occurrence of externalizing, internalizing, and learning behavior challenges was common for many students. Additionally, results indicated that several demographic variables, including gender, ADHD status, disability classification, and race/ethnicity, predicted students’ latent class membership. Although ratings of students’ reading achievement did not predict their concurrent latent class membership, results suggested that latent class membership was associated with students’ longitudinal reading outcomes.

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