MY DOCTORAL DISSERTATION - KEYPOINTS

The study was conducted in order to evaluate adjustment disorders. Dyslexic LD adolescents were compared with the sample of LD students not diagnosed with specific developmental dyslexia and non LD and non-dyslexic sample. The group selection was made using school, counselling centre resources and 6 symptoms of learning disabilities test. Symptoms concern such domains as: reading, writing, spelling, maths, emotional distress and school frustration. Adjustment disorders were defined as three independent areas of psycho-social functioning: self esteem; sociometric status; behavior. Self esteem was assessed using two instruments: Self - esteem Questionnaire by P. Sears and TSCS (Tennessee Self Concept Scale) by W. H. Fitts. Sociometric status was measured with Polish nomination technique constructed by Korczak.Behavior disorders were examined using AAMD Scale by Nihira, Foster et al.. In total, 575 persons (13,5 - 14 years old; males and females) attending four schools participated in the study. To investigate variables included in the design, the three groups of 60 persons each (180 female and male adolescents) coded as A, B and C (NLD) were chosen from the total number of 575. (Group A - learning disabled adolescents diagnosed with specific developmental dyslexia; group B - learning disabled adolescents not diagnosed with dyslexia; Group C (group NLD - no learning disabilites group). As group A contained majority of males (80%) - the sex (M/F) ratio regarding dyslexia was 4 males to 1 female - the gender was taken into consideration.
The main hypothesis states that:
Dyslexics are likely to manifest adjustment disorders within all three areas of psychosocial functioning: self - esteem, sociometric status and behaviour.
Pupils with dyslexia (group A) are going to be more maladjusted than both pupils classified for group B and C (NLD).
The problems concerning self esteem, social approval and behavior will be more intense in group A than in both group B and C (NLD).
In order to test this hypothesis and to answer the questions, the model of ANOVA (analysis of variance) was used. To specify the significance of differences among three groups, LSD test was applied.
Statistical data analysis led to the following conclusions:
Dyslexics (group A) manifest problems concerning each of the explored areas of psychosocial functioning.
However, the adjustment disorders are manifested also by learning disabled adolescents who are not diagnosed with specific developmental dyslexia.

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 self domain called 'attitude toward my school performance and my intellectual abilities/activity'.
Self - acceptance measured with discrepancy indicator score makes no difference.
Gender does not correlate with self - esteem.
The self - concept of adolescents in groups A and B is exposed to higher levels of defensiveness and internal inconsistency.

Sociometric status(SS)

Pupils in groups A and B are not as popular as pupils in 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 important independent variable. The males as compared with females showed a higher level 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 B. F. Pennington (1991) was also confirmed.

Dyslexia in Polish