Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name





Education, Educational Psychology.




The purpose of the present study was to determine whether learning-disabled children presenting differing patterns of cognitive abilities and deficits also differ in their emotional/behavioral functioning in school. The relationship between ability/disability structure and long-term academic achievement was also examined in this study. Sixty-nine learning-disabled students were assigned to one of three groups on the basis of their WISC-R Verbal I.Q.-Performance I.Q. discrepancy patterns. Group 1 subjects' VIQ-PIQ discrepancy did not exceed 9 points; Group 2 subjects' PIQ exceeded VIQ by at least 12 points, while Group 3 subjects' VIQ exceeded PIQ by at least 12 points. The data for the total sample and for the three groups were compared with respect to (a) identifiable patterns of emotional/behavioral adjustment, (b) reading progress while in full-time special education programs, and (c) frequency of successful return to the academic mainstream. The results for the total sample indicated that the majority of the learning-disabled children (a) were perceived by their teachers as poorly adjusted prior to placement in special class, (b) did not exhibit significant emotional/behavioral problems but steadily improving adjustment over three years in special class, and (c) failed to achieve significant reading progress or to be successfully mainstreamed after three years of full-time special education. As predicted, the different ability structure groups presented different patterns of emotional/behavioral functioning over three years. Group 1 children presented chronic adjustment difficulties, including acting-out, attentional problems and emotional immaturity in their classroom behavior. In contrast, Group 2 children exhibited essentially normal adjustment patterns while in special class programs. Group 3 children were described as distractible and emotionally immature at the time of special class placement; however, they improved dramatically in their emotional/behavioral adjustment over the three years in special class. The results also revealed that Group 3 children achieved the most significant rates of reading progress and successful mainstreaming following full-time special education assistance. In this study 3/4 of Group 3 children, but only 1/5 of Group 2 and 1/3 of Group 1 children, eventually successfully returned to regular academic programs. The findings reinforce the need to include (1) analyses of specific ability/disability patterns and (2) measures of emotional/behavioral adjustment, in the process of identifying and planning intervention strategies for learning-disabled children.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1990 .A229. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 52-11, Section: A, page: 3858. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1989.