Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 329–338 | Cite as

Behavioral Problems and the Effects of Early Intervention on Eight-Year-Old Children with Learning Disabilities

  • Jennifer W. Yu
  • Stephen L. Buka
  • Marie C. McCormick
  • Garrett M. Fitzmaurice
  • Alka Indurkhya
Original Article

Objectives: 1) To investigate the comorbidity of verbal and nonverbal learning disability subtypes with several domains of behavior problems among 8-year-old children. 2) To determine whether receipt of an early intervention modified the association between childhood behavior problems and learning disabilities (LD). Methods: This is a secondary data analysis of the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP), a randomized clinical trial of an early intervention provided between ages 0 and 3 involving 985 children born low birthweight and premature. The findings are based on a prospective follow-up of these children at 8 years of age. Results: Compared to children without verbal LD (VLD), those with VLD were twice as likely to exhibit clinical levels of total behavior problems and 89% more likely to exhibit externalizing behavior problems. Analysis of specific subscales of behavior revealed significant associations with anxious/depressed and withdrawn behaviors, as well as an increased likelihood of attention problems among children with VLD. No significant association was found between nonverbal LD (NVLD) and any type of behavior problem. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between VLD and the intervention, in which the odds of internalizing behavior problems were greater among children with VLD. No interaction effect of the intervention occurred for any type of behavior problem among children with NVLD. Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that distinct differences exist for different learning disability subtypes with regards to behavioral outcomes and the effects of early intervention services among 8-year-old children.

KEY WORDS:

learning disability behavior early intervention childhood. 

Notes

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Support for this research was provided by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (5T76 MC 00001) and by the National Institute of Health (GM 299745).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer W. Yu
    • 1
    • 6
  • Stephen L. Buka
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marie C. McCormick
    • 2
  • Garrett M. Fitzmaurice
    • 4
    • 5
  • Alka Indurkhya
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Health Policy StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUS
  2. 2.Department of Society, Human Development and HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUS
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUS
  4. 4.Division of General Medicine, Brigham and Women's HospitalBostonUS
  5. 5.Department of BiostatisticsHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUS
  6. 6.UCSF Institute for Health Policy StudiesSan FranciscoUS

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