Disproportionate referrals for child academic/behavior problems: replication and extension

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1990 Apr;58(2):240-3. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.58.2.240.


Drabman, Tarnowski, and Kelly (1987) investigated children's month of birth in relation to mental health referrals and found that the younger children in a class were disproportionately referred for services. We conducted a replication and extension of the Drabman et al. investigation. Data were collected on children's (N = 222) cognitive and academic competencies. Results indicated that (a) younger children in a class were disproportionately referred, (b) the referral pattern remained constant across all grades examined, (c) the referral pattern could not be explained by differences in children's competencies, and (d) although the youngest children in the class were referred most frequently, they had the lowest rate of qualification for special services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology*
  • Male
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons*