Little is known about the academic processing speed (i.e., rapid automatic naming and academic fluency) of children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) served in public school settings. A cross-sectional design was used to investigate the (a) percentage of K-12 students with EBD served in public school settings with academic processing speed deficits; (b) mean level and stability of academic processing speed exhibited by K-12 students with EBD served in public school settings; (c) differences in the academic skills, IQ, social adjustment, and language skills of students with and without processing speed deficits; and (d) the relative contribution of academic processing speed, academic skills, and language to the prediction of the social adjustment problems (i.e., total, externalizing, internalizing, and attention). Results indicated that: (a) a majority of the sample (57%) of students with EBD exhibited academic processing speed deficits; (b) the overall academic fluency standard score was more than three-fourths of a standard deviation below the mean for the norm group; (c) statistically significant differences were found between students with and without processing speed deficits across IQ, language, academic achievement, and social adjustment measures; and (d) with one exception (i.e., internalizing problems), academic fluency predicted all social adjustment domains and predicted total and attention problems above and beyond language or academic skills. Limitations, implications, and areas of future research are discussed.


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pp. 307-332
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2020
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