Empirically Derived Subtypes of Child Academic and Behavior Problems: Co-Occurrence and Distal Outcomes
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- Reinke, W.M., Herman, K.C., Petras, H. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2008) 36: 759. doi:10.1007/s10802-007-9208-2
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The aim of this study was to identify classes of children at entry into first grade with different patterns of academic and behavior problems. A latent class analysis was conducted with a longitudinal community sample of 678 predominantly low-income African American children. Results identified multiple subclasses of children, including a class with co-occurring academic and behavior problems. Gender differences were found in relation to the number of identified classes and the characteristics of academic and behavior problems for children. Several of the identified classes, particularly the co-occurring academic and behavior problems subclass for both genders, predicted negative long-term outcomes in sixth grade, including academic failure, receipt of special education services, affiliation with deviant peers, suspension from school, and elevated risk for conduct problems. The finding that subclasses of academic and behavior problems predict negative long-term outcomes validates the importance of the identified classes and the need to target interventions for children presenting with the associated class characteristics. Implications for early identification, prevention, and intervention for children at risk for academic failure and disruptive behavior problems are discussed.