Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Dihoff, Roberta


Learning disabled children; Social skills in children


Educational Psychology


This study tested the hypothesis that learning disabled children, when compared to regular education children at an equivalent age level, would score significantly lower on a test of social competence and significantly higher on a test of antisocial behavior according to a teacher rated behavior Scale. Sixty 5th and 6th grade students, 34 males and 26 females, were assigned to one of three conditions according to their educational classification: regular education (N=26), learning disabled resource (N=16), or learning disabled self-contained (N=18).

Four teachers served as judges and rated a selected number of subjects on the constructs social competence and antisocial behavior using the School Social Behavior Scale, a teacher rating scale. During an observation period, each subject received a rating on a five point scale describing behaviors that never, sometimes, or frequently occur.

A one-way analysis of variance was used to test the differences between the three groups of subjects. For all variables, Tukey post hoc tests showed that the two groups of learning disabled subjects did differ significantly from the regular education subjects on both the test for social competence and antisocial behavior. Significant differences were not found however between the two groups of learning disabled subjects on either scale.

Results supported the hypothesis that learning disabled subjects exhibit significantly lower levels of social competence and significantly higher levels of antisocial behavior than the regular education subjects.