Date of Award

1995

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Rourke, Byron P.,

Keywords

Psychology, Developmental.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Two a priori psychosocial subgroups of learning disabled children aged 7 to 14 ware selected from a clinical database by using a profile matching program designed by Fuerst (1991). There were 174 exhibiting Internalized Psychopathology (IP) and 164 demonstrating Externalized Psychopathology (EP) on the personality for Children (PIC). They all attained at least one WISC IQ score at or above 80 along with a pattern of academic underachievement. They showed no evidence of sensory deficit, educational or cultural deprivation, or primary emotional disturbance. The multivariate technique of cluster analysis was applied in the attempt to uncover in learning disabled children relationships between levels and patterns of psychopathology on the one hand, and cognitive and academic patterns on the other. Expectations were formulated in terms of higher-order strata such as IQ discrepancies, academic performance discrepancies, and categories of neuropsychological measures. Separate k-means cluster analyses were performed on the neuropsychological-academic profiles of the IP and EP groups, identifying 3 subtypes in the IP group and 4 subtypes in the EP roup. The k-means-derived neuropsychological subtypes were replicated using a variety of hierarchical agglomerative clustering techniques. Reliability was achieved for the IP neuropsychological subtypes, but was not for the EP neuropsychological subtypes. The internal validity of both the IP and the EP neuropsychological subtypes became questionable when analyses of the nature of the subtypes and of the IP and EP groups revealed a resemblance between and across the neuropsychological subtypes of the IP and EP groups indicating a lack of distinctiveness between the subtypes. Rather than finding distinct neurospychological subtypes in each psychosocial group, a generalized neuropsychological pattern cross all subtypes was observed: that of higher rote verbal facility relative to the ability to grasp novel linguistic relationships, higher mean WISC Performance IQs than Verbal IQs, and higher mean WRAT Reading than Arithmetic performance. Whether the co-occurrence of this neurocognitive pattern with the high levels of psychopathology (internalized and externalized) observed in this context represents a meaningful relationship, or whether it is artifactual and reflects the idiosyncracies of the specific subject pool under investigation remains equivocal. It was suggested that the methodological design employed in this study, in which psychosocial subtypes are selected and cluster analyses are performed on their neuropsychological functioning, albeit innovative, is less informative than the opposite, more traditional approach. This knowledge in itself is useful to neuropsychological investigators.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .J63. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 57-07, Section: B, page: 4745. Adviser: Byron P. Rourke. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.

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