Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1870-6549

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Publication Title

Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-019-00631-w

Keywords

Learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, racialized minority group, children, youth, meta-analysis

Abstract

This study explored the hypothesis that socioeconomically vulnerable children and adolescents who have learning disabilities (LDs) more prevalently experience anxiety and depression than their otherwise similar peers in elementary or high school who are not socioeconomically vulnerable. A systematic search found eight relevant surveys published between 2000 and 2019 that were synthesized with an exploratory meta-analysis. The overall sample-weighted synthesis found that 56% of students with LD scored higher on validated measures of anxiety and depression than did their typical peer without LD [d = 0.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.04, 0.28]. In comparison, the sample-weighted synthesis among socioeconomically vulnerable students found that 74% of them with LD scored higher on anxiety and depression measures than did their typical peer without LD (d = 0.63, 95% CI 0.45, 0.81). This novel synthetic comparison supported the exploratory hypothesis that socioeconomically vulnerable children and adolescents with LD are at much greater risk of being anxious and depressed than are more socioeconomically resourceful students with LD. This review-generated finding, especially given the relatively modest database available for meta-analysis, is probably best considered a screened hypothesis for future primary research testing. Future research needs are discussed. Preliminary practical implications are also discussed.

Available for download on Wednesday, August 02, 2119

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