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:
- Dyslexics are likely to manifest adjustment disorders within all three areas of psychosocial functioning: self - esteem, sociometric status and behavior.
- Pupils with dyslexia (group A) are going to be more maladjusted compared with the pupils classified either for group B or C (NLD).
- The problems concerning self esteem, social approval and behavior are expected to be more intense in group A compared to both group B and C (NLD).
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:
- Dyslexics (group A) manifest problems concerning each of three areas of psychosocial functioning.
- However, the serious adjustment disorders are manifested also by those learning disabled adolescents who are not diagnosed with specific developmental dyslexia.