Comparison of ecological validity of learning disabilities diagnostic models

Vincent J. Dean, Matthew K Burns, Tina Grialou, Patrick J. Varro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to examine models designed for the determination of a learning disability and compare them to specific criteria to determine whether the given diagnostic process is ecological in nature. The traditional child-centered deficit model (CCD), Relative Achievement Discrepancy model (RAD), and Responsiveness to Intervention model (RTI) were evaluated against the following three questions: (a) Does the environmental context of the assessment adequately represent the real-life situation? (b) Are the assessment stimuli relevant to the daily classroom activity? (c) Are the student behavior and/or required response natural and representative of the construct being assessed? The results of this examination suggested that the RTI has the most potential for ecological validity, but currently falls short. Suggestions for future research are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of ecological validity of learning disabilities diagnostic models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this