Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Education, Educational Psychology.




The aims of this study were threefold: (1) develop a psychosocial typology of children with LD; (2) assess the external validity of the resulting typology; (3) explore the relations between age and psychosocial functioning. To this end, a sample of 728 children with LD between the ages of 7 and 13 years was constructed. All children met a commonly used set of criteria for LD (including normal intelligence, evidence of underachievement on a standardized test of academic skills, and no evidence of primary psychopathology) that has demonstrated good performance in previous research. For some analyses, children were subdivided into three age levels: Young (7-8 years old; 201 subjects), Middle (9-10 years; 258 subjects), and Old (11-13 years; 269 subjects). Psychosocial functioning was defined by scores on the Personality Inventory for Children (PIC). Two methods were used for derivation of psychosocial subtypes. The first method employed k-means cluster analysis, applied separately to each of the Young, Middle and Old samples, using Euclidean distance as the dissimilarity measure calculated on 10 PIC scales transformed in such a manner as to emphasize profile shape over the elements of elevation and dispersion. The second method of classification involved assigning subjects to the subtypes of a prototypical typology derived in previous research on the basis of similarity of PIC profile shape. Overall, the results suggested that the patterns and level of psychosocial adaptation of children with LD are remarkably stable across the age range addressed in this study. It appears that as children with LD grow older they show no greater incidence of pathological patterns of psychosocial functioning. Although some children in this study showed evidence of relatively severe psychopathology, there was no evidence that, with increased age, level of psychosocial adaptation deteriorates. These results contradict the commonly held notion that children with LD are likely to develop psychopathology from the cumulative effects of negative academic and interpersonal experiences. Rather, they suggest that, when significant changes in the psychosocial functioning of children with LD are observed, other factors must be considered. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1991 .F847. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 53-01, Section: A, page: 0104. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1991.