Does Assignment to Special Education Exacerbate Negative Social, Emotional, and Academic Attitudes Among Students with Disabilities?


Woods, A. D., Morgan, P. L., Farkas, G., & Hillemeier, M. (2022, January 19). Does assignment to special education exacerbate negative social, emotional, and academic attitudes among students with disabilities?.


Prior work largely finds that students with disabilities (SWD) display more negative social, emotional, and academic attitudes than students without disabilities. Yet it is unclear to what extent this maladjustment is attributable to how recently and for how long students were assigned to receive special education services. We examined the predictive effects of the number of prior years the SWD had an Individualized Education Program (IEP) on file with their school and the recency of the last known grade they had an IEP. We evaluated 16 self-reported measures of early adolescent social, emotional, and academic attitudes in two national cohorts. We observed small and largely non-significant relations between IEPs and social, emotional, and academic attitudes, indicating limited to no empirical support for the hypothesis that being assigned to special education exacerbates more negative attitudes among SWD.

Keywords:academic attitudes, longitudinal analyses, social-emotional adjustment, special education, students with disabilities

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