Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.




This dissertation includes two separate studies. Study 1 was designed to evaluate the significance of age for the personality adjustment of learning disabled children. Three rather heterogeneous groups of learning disabled children (n = 20) who differed in chronological age, were matched for WISC Full Scale IQ, degree of academic impairment in at least one subject area, educational-cultural milieu, and sex. One group was comprised of 8-year-old learning disabled children. Ten-year-old learning disabled children were contained in a second group. A third group included 12-year-old learning disabled children. The PIC (Personality Inventory for Children) profiles of these three groups of children were compared. All PIC's were completed by the child's mother. It was expected that older learning disabled children would exhibit more evidence of personality disturbance than would younger learning disabled children. No clear statistical support was found for this expectation. Post hoc analyses indicated that mothers of the 12-year-olds were less concerned about the intellectual limitations of their children than were mothers of the 8-year-olds. The overall results of this study suggested that there may be a qualitative change in the way in which a mother perceives her learning disabled child as the child grows older. Study 2 was designed to evaluate the significance of learning disability subtype for personality adjustment. Three groups of learning disabled children (n = 20) who differed in their learning disability subtype were matched for WISC Full Scale IQ, degree of academic impairment in at least one subject area, educational-cultural milieu, and sex. Group 1 included children who exhibited a pattern of approximately equivalent levels of proficiency in their "word-knowledge" and "visual-perceptual-organizational" skills. Group 2 children had well-developed "visual-perceptual-organizational" skills and more poorly developed "word knowledge" skills. Children in Group 3 exhibited a pattern of well-developed "word knowledge" skills and more poorly developed "visual-perceptual-organizational" skills. Group 3 children were of primary concern in this study because of the suspected relationship between personality maladjustment and specific deficiencies within the visual-perceptual and visual-spatial information processing realms. It was expected that Group 3 children would exhibit PIC profiles that were more suggestive of personality maladjustment than would Group 1 and Group 2 children. It was found that Group 3 children exhibited more evidence of personality maladjustment (as measured by the PIC) than did children in Group 2. Although no significant differences were obtained between Group 3 and Group 1 children on the PIC, Group 3 children obtained higher mean PIC T score values on nine of the nine PIC scales associated with the psychopathology. As was predicted, the PIC Psychosis scale exhibited the highest T score elevation of all the (PIC) profile scales associated with psychopathology for Group 3 children. This scale was also found to be the best clinical scale for differentiating the PIC profiles of Group 2 and Group 3 children. When the degree of discrepancy between levels of performance in "word knowledge" skills and "visual-perceptual-organizational" skills were maximized for Group 3 children through a subject re-selection procedure (n = 7), the mean PIC Psychosis scale T score increased substantially. These findings are discussed primarily in terms of the interactions between learning disability subtypes and socioemotional disturbances. The information processing strengths and weaknesses and PIC characteristics which best distinguish Group 3 children are emphasized in this discussion. There is also some commentary presented concerning the clinical and research utility of the PIC with learning disabled children.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1981 .S772. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 42-03, Section: B, page: 1194. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1981.