A prospective examination of the social characteristics of learning-disabled children

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Reading and Learning Disabilities

First Committee Member

Sharon Vaughn - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to examine the social characteristics of early identified learning disabled students. Learning disabled students (n = 16) were compared with matched low-achieving (n = 16) and average-achieving peers (n = 16) on the following facets of social competence: relations with others, social cognition, effective social behaviors, and behavior adjustment. Instruments used to measure social competence were the Revised Behavior Problem Checklist (Quay & Peterson, 1987), The Social Skills Rating Scale for Teachers (Gresham & Elliott, 1986), Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (Harter & Pike, 1984), and peer ratings and nominations.Children with learning disabilities did not statistically differ from their nonLD peers on peer ratings and nominations of acceptance, teacher ratings of social skills, and self-perception of social acceptance. Behavior problems and social status classifications were found to be independent of group membership. Implications of these results are discussed within the context of competing hypotheses which contend that social deficits are attributed to either cognitive/processing deficits related to the learning disability or to more external environmental factors.


Education, Early Childhood; Education, Special

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