Learning disabled adolescents and their families: reciprocal relationships between self-concept and family functioning
LccBF 724 A45 1987
Learning disabled youth - Family relationships
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAdolescent self-concept and the family's manner of functioning were examined in 50 families, 25 with an LD adolescent and 25 with an NLD control. The study sought to answer four questions: (a) What, if any, are the differences between the LD and NLD adolescent in terms of their self-perceptions? (b) What, if any, are the differences in family functioning between the family with an LD adolescent and the family with an NLD adolescent? (c) How may adolescent self-concept and the family's manner of functioning be related, and is this relationship similar for families with an LD adolescent and families with an NLD adolescent? And finally, (d) Which factors emerge as most critical for further study from a multimethod family assessment approach to families with an LD adolescent? The study was exploratory in nature, a total of 70 variables being examined. Self-concept was measured by Harter's Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents, with more in-depth investigation of academic self-concept through Harter's Scale of Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Orientation in the Classroom. Family functioning was assessed in terms of parent and child perceptions of their mutual communications, family members' perceptions of the family's coping style, family communications behavior and role-taking in a structured communications task, and family problem-solving and cohesion on Reiss's Card Sort Procedure. It was found that LD and NLD adolescents differed significantly in terms of academic self-concept, job self-concept and global self-worth, LD adolescents having more negative self-views in these areas. Furthemore, it was found that LD adolescents were more extrinsically oriented than NLD adolescents. In terms of family functioning, the families of LD adolescents were not different in their communications behavior from families with an NLD adolescent, except that mothers in families with an LD adolescent showed more leadership in a family discussion than mothers of NLD adolescents. Findings were similar in the area of family problem-solving behavior, the only difference between the two groups being that the families with an NLD adolescent were more cohesive. The most striking finding of the study was in the area of family members' perceptions. Parents of LD adolescents held more negative views of their communication with their children, both the LD adolescent and his sibling, than did parents of NLD adolescents. Their evaluations of their LD adolescent and his sibling were also more negative than those of parents of NLD adolescents. Finally, the families of LD adolescents demonstrated different coping styles. :Most notably, fathers of LD adolescents reported less use of reframing, or casting problems in a constructive, positive framework, than fathers of NLD adolescents. The findings from this study are seen as indicating a need to conceptualize the needs of the LD adolescent in a broader context than in the past. The need to identify possible difficulties in family communication patterns with these families is stressed, as is the importance of working supportively with parents and siblings, as well as the LD adolescent.
Bibliography: p. 126-133.
CitationAlexander, D. W. (1986). Learning disabled adolescents and their families: reciprocal relationships between self-concept and family functioning (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/11554
University of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.