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J Learn Disabil. 2004 Sep-Oct;37(5):411-20.

Emotional adjustment and school functioning of young adolescents with multiple versus single learning disabilities.

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Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405-1006, USA.


Early adolescents (Grades 6-8) with multiple learning disabilities (LD; reading and math) in inclusive settings were compared to adolescents with single LD (reading or math) and typically achieving (TA) peers regarding their psychosocial functioning in two areas of adolescent well-being: emotional adjustment and school functioning. The Behavior Assessment System for Children (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 1998) Self-Report of Personality for adolescents was used to determine well-being. One hundred twenty middle school students-15 boys and 15 girls in each group-were included in the current study. The results confirmed that adolescents with multiple LD (reading and math) reported poorer functioning (i.e., higher T scores) on school maladjustment, clinical maladjustment, emotional symptoms index, attitude to school, atypicality, and depression when compared to TA peers but not when compared to peers with a single LD (reading or math). All three groups differed from the TA group (but not from each other) on sense of inadequacy, with the multiple LD group reporting the highest T scores. Additional analyses indicated significant differences between girls and boys, regardless of disability status. Girls reported higher T scores on the emotional symptoms index, social stress, and depression, but boys reported greater school maladjustment and sensation seeking. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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