Image_1_Reading Profiles in Multi-Site Data With Missingness.pdf (323.9 kB)

Image_1_Reading Profiles in Multi-Site Data With Missingness.pdf

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posted on 08.05.2018 by Mark A. Eckert, Kenneth I. Vaden, Mulugeta Gebregziabher, Dyslexia Data Consortium

Children with reading disability exhibit varied deficits in reading and cognitive abilities that contribute to their reading comprehension problems. Some children exhibit primary deficits in phonological processing, while others can exhibit deficits in oral language and executive functions that affect comprehension. This behavioral heterogeneity is problematic when missing data prevent the characterization of different reading profiles, which often occurs in retrospective data sharing initiatives without coordinated data collection. Here we show that reading profiles can be reliably identified based on Random Forest classification of incomplete behavioral datasets, after the missForest method is used to multiply impute missing values. Results from simulation analyses showed that reading profiles could be accurately classified across degrees of missingness (e.g., ∼5% classification error for 30% missingness across the sample). The application of missForest to a real multi-site dataset with missingness (n = 924) showed that reading disability profiles significantly and consistently differed in reading and cognitive abilities for cases with and without missing data. The results of validation analyses indicated that the reading profiles (cases with and without missing data) exhibited significant differences for an independent set of behavioral variables that were not used to classify reading profiles. Together, the results show how multiple imputation can be applied to the classification of cases with missing data and can increase the integrity of results from multi-site open access datasets.