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 a 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 encompassed such domains as: reading, writing, spelling, maths, overactivity,
emotional distress and school frustration. Adjustment disorders
were viewed from the 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 J. 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, the three groups of 60 persons each (180 female and male
adolescents in total) classified as A, B and C (NLD) were chosen from a total sample
of 575 students. (Group/sample A - the learning disabled adolescents diagnosed with specific
developmental dyslexia; group/sample B - the learning disabled adolescents without diagnosis of dyslexia; group/sample C (group NLD - no learning disabilities group).
As group A consituted a 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 stated that:
- Dyslexics are likely to manifest adjustment disorders within all of the three areas of psychosocial functioning: self-esteem, sociometric status and behavior.
- Students with dyslexia (group A) are likely to be more maladjusted compared to the students classified either as group B or C (NLD).
- The problems associated with 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 research questions, a model of ANOVA (an analysis of variance)
was used. To determine the significance of differences among three
groups, the least significant difference (LSD) test was applied.
A statistical data analysis led to the following general conclusions:
- Dyslexics (group A) manifested problems concerning each of the three areas of psychosocial functioning.
- However, the serious adjustment disorders were manifested also by those learning disabled adolescents who were not diagnosed with specific developmental dyslexia.