MY DOCTORAL DISSERTATION - KEYPOINTS

The comparative study was conducted in order to evaluate adjustment disorders. A sample of dyslexic learning disabled (LD) adolescents was compared with a sample of LD students without diagnosis of specific developmental dyslexia and a sample of non-LD and non-dyslexic subjects. The process of samples/groups selection was based on school, counselling centre resources as well as on the results obtained in 6 Symptoms of Learning Disabilities Test. The LD symptoms concern such domains as: reading, writing, spelling, maths, overactivity, emotional distress and school frustration. Adjustment disorders were viewed in three independent perspectives of psycho-social functioning: (1) self esteem, self-concept; (2) sociometric status; (3) behavior. Self esteem was assessed with two instruments: Self - esteem Questionnaire by P. Sears and TSCS (Tennessee Self Concept Scale) by W. H. Fitts. Sociometric status was measured with a Polish nomination technique constructed by Korczak. Behavior disorders were examined with AAMD Scale by Nihira, Foster et al.. A total sample of 575 persons (aged between 13,5 and 14; both males and females) attending four regular Polish schools participated in the study. To investigate the variables included in the empirical design, three groups of 60 persons each (180 female and male adolescents) labelled A, B and C (NLD) were chosen from a total sample of 575 students. (Group/sample A - learning disabled adolescents diagnosed with specific developmental dyslexia; group/sample B - learning disabled adolescents without diagnosis of dyslexia; group/sample C (group NLD - no learning disabilities group). As group A contained the majority of boys (80%) and the sex (M/F) ratio in regard to dyslexia was 4 males to 1 female, gender was taken into account.
The main and detailed hypotheses state that:

To test these hypotheses and to answer the questions, the model of ANOVA (analysis of variance) was used. To determine the significance of differences among three groups, the least significant difference (LSD) test was applied.
Statistical data analysis led to the following general conclusions:

Self - esteem

Both group A and B show discrepancies with regard to real and ideal self. The most significant difference between groups A and B (the latter scored even lower) concerns a domain of self called "attitude towards my school performance, achievement and my intellectual abilities/activity".
Self - acceptance measured with a discrepancy indicator score does not make any difference.
Gender does not correlate with self - esteem.
The self - concept of adolescents classified as groups A and B is exposed to the higher levels of defensiveness and internal inconsistency.

Sociometric status(SS)

Pupils qualified for samples/groups A and B are not as popular as pupils of group C (NLD). Their level of social acceptance is lower.
Socialization indicator score measured with the number of positive choices (nominations) is lower only in group B. There is no difference between groups A and C (NLD) in this fashion.
Gender contributes to the results obtained with respect to the number of positive choices (nominations). Unlike dyslexic males, females with dyslexia do not approve of their peers.

Behavior disorders

Both A and B adolescents manifest behavior disorders such as: violent and destructive behavior, antisocial behavior, rebellious behavior, hyperactivity and impulsivity, social withdrawal, telling lies, stereotypes and bizarre movements, strange motor manners, strange voice manners.
Gender was the important independent variable. The males in comparison with females showed the higher levels of aggressiveness, antisocial behavior and rebelliousness.
My research findings supported the concept of comorbid psychopathology of dyslexia and learning disabilities. The comorbidities of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), CD (conduct disorder), emotional disturbance, LD (learning disabilities) and dyslexia were found.
The reliability of differential diagnosis model concerning the field of specific developmental dyslexia and other learning disorders presented by an American researcher - B. F. Pennington (1991) was also confirmed.

Dyslexia in Polish