THE PSYCHO-SOCIAL VARIABLES OF LEARNING DISABLED CHILDREN By Dr. Bindu David[1] and Dr. G. Lokanadha Reddy[2]

Abstract

Learning disabilities is  a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities.  These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction.  A learning disability may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (e.g. sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotional disturbance) or environmental influences (cultural difference, insufficient/inappropriate instruction, psychogenic factors). There is a wide spread recognition that children with learning disability may experience psychological and emotional problems because of their learning difficulties. They experience stress, anxiety, depression, low self concept, poor social and personal adjustment etc.  Although there are numerous cultural environmental and psychological factors associated with low achievement, this study limits to five variables namely self concept, achievement motivation, home environment, personal adjustment and social adjustment only.  

The present study is a survey study.  The sample consists of 224 learning disabled children studying in Standard VI of Kottayam District of Kerala State.  Learning Disabled students were identified on the basis of a three phase process.  They are identifying phase, scientific confirmatory phase and countercheck phase. In the first phase, teacher’s observation on the children’s curricular activities was given due consideration. In addition to this, the quarterly and half yearly examination results were analyzed.  The children who got very less marks in English and Mathematics were taken into consideration.  In the second phase, they were confirmed through the scientific confirmatory test (RPM).  In the third phase, the identified learning disabled children were subjected to diagnostic tests to identify their specific learning disabilities in Reading, Writing, Spelling in English and Mathematics.  The children who have secured below 35% in each test is labelled as learning disabled.  To these children the tools namely, Achievement Motivation Scale, Self Concept Scale, Personal Adjustment Inventory, Social Adjustment Inventory, Home Environment Inventory were administered.  The obtained data were analyzed by using Karl Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation.  The study reveals that there is a positive correlation between achievement motivation, self concept, personal adjustment, social adjustment, home environment and academic achievement of learning disabled children.  As there is a positive relationship between each of the psycho-social variables and academic achievement of learning disabled children, it is of paramount importance that these children be provided generously with love, warmth, understanding, appreciation and encouragement.

[1]     Lecturer, St. Thomas College of Teacher Education, Pala, Kottayam, Kerala

[2]     Professor and Head Dept. of Education, Dravidian University, Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh State.

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