The Flynn Effect And Ld Classification: Empirical Evidence Of Iq Score Changes That Could Affect Diagnosis (pp. 173-204)
Authors: Truscott, Stephen D. and Volker, Martin A. (The University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Abstract: The phenomenon known as the Flynn Effect (FE) is well documented in normal populations across the world. Essentially, the population normative performance on tasks used to measure IQ is steadily increasing (about 3 points per decade in the US). However, few studies have been conducted with the special populations most likely to be affected by the FE (e.g., special education students). Nearly 3,000,000 US students are classified as Learning Disabled (LD) and IQ is a critical diagnostic component of this classification. Yet, little is known about how the FE, independent of internal cognitive functions, might affect LD diagnostic scores. This manuscript: (a) Reviews the recent literature on the effects of the FE on test scores used to identify children for the special education classifications MR and LD; (b) extends the research on the LD population by examining whether and how the FE affects previously unexamined IQ test components associated with LD; and (c) suggests further research studies and methods that are needed to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon. Results of the literature review and current research suggest that as test norms age, the FE affects critical LD diagnostic scores in ways that can increase the likelihood of LD classification. Implications for research, practice and suggested avenues for future research are discussed.