Title

Comprehension Of Nonverbal Communication In Learning Disabled And Non - Learning Disabled Children

Date of Award

1981

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether learning disabled (LD) children differ from their nondisabled (non-LD) peers in the ability to comprehend nonverbal communication and on other social competence skills. Thirty LD boys and thirty non-LD boys between nine and twelve years of age served as subjects. A short form of the Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity (PONS) was used to assess nonverbal comprehension; social competence measures included teachers' ratings of aggressive and withdrawal behaviors using the Behavior Problem Checklist, and "blind" judges' ratings of performance on a role-play of a social interaction. In order to minimize potential attentional differences between the LD and non-LD groups, attention-incentive conditions were provided for all subjects during the administration of the PONS.Under attention-incentive conditions, attention to the PONS stimuli was found to be optimal in both groups, and no performance differences between LD and non-LD children occurred. Results regarding the reliability and validity of the Face and Body PONS, however, suggest that a different measure of nonverbal comprehension be used in subsequent research with similar populations. Although the PONS did not differentiate between LD and non-LD students, certain social behaviors did differentiate the two groups: LD children were judged to be more withdrawn by their teachers and to be less socially skilled according to their role-play performance. Results suggest that LD children's social behaviors may hinder their social acceptance; future research should therefore be designed to identify specific maladaptive behaviors of LF children that may be addressed in social remediation programs.

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical

Link to Full Text

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