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A matched-pair design comparison of cognitive integrative functions between specific developmental dyslexics and adequate readers

The purpose of the study was to investigate the discriminating ability of fifteen predictor variables on the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude in reference to the criterion variables or the two clinical types. Cognitive integrative functioning was the theoretical base upon which the study was built reflecting the concepts of Piaget, Bruner, Osgood, and Birch and Belmont.The research was conducted at the Learning Disability Unit of the Pediatric Neurology Department at the Indiana University Medical Center. Each population consisted of thirteen specific developmental dyslexic boys and thirteen normally reading boys who were matched on the extraneous variables of age, intelligence, race, and socioeconomic status. The dyslexic population was selected from those children who had been assigned a case disposition of specific developmental dyslexia or familial dyslexia by a multi-disciplinary team. Predetermined criteria were established by the L-D Unit which consisted of average or above average intelligence, absence of severe emotional problems, absence of brain damage, absence of physical defects, and evidence of at least two years reading retardation. The subjects were evaluated with the Block Design subtests of the WISC or WAIS to determine general intelligence and were administered the WRAT reading section to establish reading grade placement. Fifteen selected subtests of the DTLA were administered to measure cognitive integrative functioning.Statistical treatment of the data consisted of a stepwise discriminant analysis to determine which subtests of the DTLA were the most significant discriminators between the two clinical types. Both predictor variables, Visual Attention Span for Letters and Number Ability were significant at the .05 level, but the former accounted for ninety-seven per cent of the variance. None of the other fifteen predictor variables of the DTLA were significant. Post hoc analyses included an internal consistency reliability coefficient for each subtest of the DTLA ranging from .96 to .77. A factor analysis of the predictor variables yielded three factors, and another discriminant analysis was applied indicating that the factors of Attention and Memory and of Visual Perception and Discrimination were significant predictor variables. However, the raw score predictor variables were significantly superior to the factor score predictor variables in differentiating between the two clinical types.Conclusions based on the findings indicated that performance on tasks of visual sequential ordering of letters and number ability were predictive of specific developmental dyslexia only in this study. The predictor nature of number ability was of minimal value when compared to the other significant predictor variable. Of all of the sequential ordering tasks on the DTLA, the more related to the actual reading process of decoding, the better the subtest would function as a discriminator of specific developmental dyslexia. The factor of Visual Perception and Discrimination was of minor significance as a predictor variable; therefore, a minimal level of visual perceptual skills seemed to be necessary in order to learn to read. The older age range of the experimental group and their lack of visual perceptual inadequacies indicated that this type of problem was more related to maturation or developmental characteristics than to the more permanent and disabling syndrome associated with specific developmental dyslexia. Since the factor of Verbal Abstract Reasoning was not a significant predictor variable of specific developmental dyslexia in this study, conceptualization did not seem to be negatively effected in this type of reading disability. A familial history of specific developmental dyslexia was an important criterion in defining this population and should be included in research with this type of reading disability. In addition, the DTLA in this study proved to be valid and reliable instruments for measuring cognitive integrative functions.
Date January 1973
CreatorsGreenlee, William E.
ContributorsKrause, Frank H.
Source SetsBall State University
Detected LanguageEnglish
Formatvi, 115 leaves ; 28 cm.
SourceVirtual Press

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