Universal measures of school functioning in middle school special education students

Richard E. Mattison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Universal measures of school functioning/impairment (i.e., grade point average, subject failures, absenteeism, disciplinary referrals/suspensions) were examined over the course of 1 school year for a cohort of 89 special education students classified as having emotional disturbance (ED) who were taught in a unique public school program. On average during the year the students achieved at a high "C" level, failed major subjects infrequently, missed 11 days of school, and rarely were tardy. They averaged one disciplinary referral per marking period, but the majority were never suspended out of school. The measures generally were consistent across marking periods, independent of each other, and significantly correlated to DSM-IV psychiatric disorders (as rated by their teachers). Teachers contributed little variance to the measures. The findings support the increased use of these universal indicators of school function in students with ED as a research tool and a meaningful way of communication with educators about such students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-371
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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