Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.




This study was designed to evaluate a similar sequence and a deficit hypothesis by comparing mentally retarded children to normal children, and disabled readers to normal readers. A total of 167 male children were compared on 16 dependent measures. Thirty-three normal children (age 7-8) were compared to 23 young mentally retarded children (mean age = 10.7), and 15 old mentally retarded children (mean age = 12.5). Twenty-four normal readers (age 7-8) were compared to four groups of disabled readers (ages 9-10, 10-11, 11-12, and 12-13, each group, n = 24). The normal and mentally retarded children were equated on mental age using the Wechsler Intelligence scales (mean mental age = 8.4). The normal and disabled readers were equated on reading level (Grade Two) using the Wide Range Achievement Test. Each subject was tested on three categories of dependent measures: Motor tactile-perceptual, Non-verbal cognitive and Verbal cognitive. Multivariate analyses of variance were computed for the normal children versus the mentally retarded children for each of the three categories. Pair-wise mean comparisons were then computed using Scheffe's F test. Also, multivariate analyses of variance were computed in the comparison of the normal readers with the disabled readers, followed by a Neuman-Keuls procedure for pair-wise comparisons. In the comparison of the normal children to the mentally retarded children, the mean performances of the two groups were, for the most part, non-significant, thus adding support to the similar sequence hypothesis. The results of the comparison between the normal and disabled readers indicated a performance pattern for the disabled readers that was similar to the chronological age-appropriate norms on Motor, Non-verbal cognitive tests, and the following Verbal tests, the WISC vocabulary subtest and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary subtest. There were no mean performance differences between the normal readers and disabled readers on Tactile Finger Recognition and those verbal tests requiring auditory processing skills, i.e., Auditory Closure, Speech Sounds Perception and Verbal Fluency tests. On the Sentence Memory test, the only performance differences were between the nine-year old and twelve-year old disabled readers. The overall performance of the disabled readers was then contrasted to that of the mentally retarded children on the same dependent measures. The variable performance of the disabled readers, in contrast to the consistently even performance of the mentally retarded children, was interpreted as inconsistent with the similar sequence hypothesis and more in accord with a deficit or difference hypothesis.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1981 .D648. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 42-08, Section: B, page: 3415. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1981.