For a study, the researchers used the Down Syndrome Cognition Project database to characterize cognitive and behavioral variability among individuals with Down syndrome. A multivariate multinomial regression model simultaneously analyzed demographic correlates of class. Results supported a 3-class model. Each class demonstrated a unique profile across the subdomains of cognition and behavior. The “normative” course was the most significant (n=153, 48%) and displayed a relatively consistent profile of cognition and adaptive behavior, with low rates of maladaptive behavior and autism symptomatology. The “cognitive” class (n=109, 35%) displayed low cognitive scores and adaptive behavior and more autism symptomatology, but with low rates of maladaptive behavior. The “behavioral” style, the smallest group (n=52, 17%), demonstrated higher rates of maladaptive behavior and autism symptomatology, but with cognition levels similar to the “normative” class; their adaptive behavior scores fell in between the other two types. Household income and sex were the only demographic variables to differ among classes. The researchers highlighted the importance of subtyping the cognitive and behavioral phenotype among individuals with Down syndrome to identify more homogeneous types for future intervention and etiologic processes. Results also indicated the feasibility of using latent profile analysis to distinguish subtypes in this population. Limitations and future directions were discussed.
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