Date of Award


Degree Name

School Psychology


Graduate School of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

R. Lanai Jennings

Second Advisor

Conrae Lucas-Adkins

Third Advisor

Sandra S. Stroebel


This study examined administrative prevalence rates of Intellectual Disability for children and adolescents within Southern West Virginia over a three-year-period compared to rates in neighboring Virginia counties with designated Appalachian status to determine if significantly different rates were evident, and if prevalence varied according to poverty, maternal age, and race/ethnicity across all districts. The results revealed that despite Southern West Virginia and Western Virginia being geographically similar, Southern West Virginia LEAs maintain significantly higher ID rates. Findings indicated poverty and teen pregnancy are correlated with higher ID rates but not race/ethnicity. The prevalence study points to the need for additional research including direct examination of identification practices in Appalachia, school psychologist-to-student ratios in high ID areas, and the disparities between state categories and identification of secondary disabilities, which aren’t reported through annual child counts.


People with mental disabilities - Appalachian Region.