Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Lisa Hain, PsyD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

George McCloskey, PhD

Third Advisor

Julia Szarko, PhD


During recent years, there has been a growing urgency and a heightened demand for increased accountability for all students to demonstrate academic success in school, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB; 2002). An integral part of helping students to meet success in school includes providing them with a free and appropriate education; this also includes those students who have educational disabilities, through the provision of specially designed instruction and supports. In the past, SLD had been studied as a homogenous classification (Rourke, 1999). However, as more recent research has evolved, it has become clearer that students classified with SLD exhibit different patterns of performance (strengths and weaknesses), suggesting that they actually compose a heterogeneous group (Rourke, 1999). The current study was designed to determine and describe meaningful SLD profiles through the examination of patterns of strengths and of weaknesses across cognitive, academic, socio-emotional, and executive variables, using standard scores in a school-aged population of students identified with SLD. In this sample of data drawn from a population of students classified with SLD (n = 40), bivariate correlations and multivariate analyses of variance were performed. Students with SLD were organized into three groups by the presence of a reading-based SLD, a math-based SLD, or a mixed reading/math-based SLD. Results demonstrated significant, positive correlations between cognitive and academic variables, whereas little significance was noted between cognitive and socio-emotional or executive variables. Significant differences were found between the SLD groups (Reading SLD group, Math SLD group, and Combined Reading/Math SLD group), for cognitive and academic variables; however, no significance was found for socio-emotional or executive variables.