Date of Conferral







Sandra Mahoney


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 6 children are diagnosed with a developmental disability or with developmental delays, which are associated with impairments in physical, language, cognitive, and/or adaptive behaviors. To fill a gap in the literature, the adaptive profile of young children initially served as developmentally delayed (DD) were analyzed to explore adaptive differences between different ethnicities and placement settings of children at the time of the initial referral prior to DD assessment. Archival data included 333 preschool aged children. The independent variables of eligibility status (DD or not DD eligible), ethnicity (White, Black, or Hispanic), and placement setting prior to testing (home, daycare, or school) and the dependent variable of Adaptive Behavior Assessment Scale-II Parent/Primary Caregiver Form General Adaptive Composite (GAC) standard scores were used. Three 1-way ANOVAs indicated a significant difference between the 2 levels of eligibility status. There was no difference for the 3 levels of ethnicity. There was a significant difference in GAC scores between public school setting versus home setting but not between daycare setting versus public school and home settings. To effect positive social change, knowledge from this study highlights the need to increase professional and public awareness of early identification of DD children; the importance in mandating competent care by highly trained individuals; and the impact of educating parents, daycare professionals, educators, and other providers about the role of social learning on development and mastery of functional life skills for all young children.