The interrelationships among written language ability, self-concept, and epistemological beliefs
The term learning disabilities inherently suggests an inability to perform adequately certain academic tasks, and children who have been identified as having a learning disability may struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Perceived academic inadequacies may be related to a lowered concept of self and social stigmatization by peers. In addition, children with learning disabilities may have beliefs about spelling and reading, and learning in general, that engender a negative self-concept. Although extensive research has been conducted with regard to the issues of self-concept and learning disabilities, results have been inconsistent. Further, the interrelationships that may exist among learning disabilities, self-concept, and general spelling, reading, and epistemological beliefs have yet to be established. The current study investigated the interrelationships among written language ability, selfconcept, general spelling beliefs, reading beliefs, and epistemological beliefs. Fifty-six sixthgraders, 21 with learning disabilities and 35 with typical development, were administered a series of tasks that assessed spelling performance, word-level reading performance, self-concept, spelling beliefs, reading beliefs, and epistemological beliefs. Results of the analyses indicated that students with learning disabilities received spelling, word-level reading, and academic selfconcept scores that were significantly lower than their typically developing peers. Reading and epistemological beliefs were found to account for a portion of the variance between the ability groups. The significance of these results, including implications for instructional and intervention practices, are discussed.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders.