Enrollment predictors of the special education outcome for students with SED

Richard E. Mattison, Edward L. Spitznagel, Bernard C. Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Data pertaining to two outcome groups (75 successful completion and 76 unsuccessful) of elementary and secondary school students newly classified with serious emotional disturbance (SED) previously established by Mattison and Felix (1997) were analyzed. Enrollment variables (i.e., demographics, cognitive characteristics, family stressors, DSM-III psychiatric diagnoses, and multirater instrument ratings) were investigated for their ability to predict membership in the two outcome groups. Four baseline variables emerged as significant predictors of the unsuccessful outcome group: increasing enrollment age, any presence of a DSM-III conduct or oppositional disorder, WISC-R verbal IQ significantly lower than performance IQ, and absence of any DSM-III depressive or anxiety disorder. The overall concordance rate was 73.3%. A practical point system using the predictors was developed to estimate the probability of a successful or an unsuccessful outcome for a student newly identified with SED. Implications of the predictor variables are discussed in regard to comprehensive treatment planning for students newly classified with SED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-256
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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