A comparison of academic, psychiatric, physical, social and family characteristics of children attending special classes with a specified group of children attending regular classes of the St. John's education system

Hollett, Linda Darlene (1974) A comparison of academic, psychiatric, physical, social and family characteristics of children attending special classes with a specified group of children attending regular classes of the St. John's education system. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

THE PROBLEM -- The purpose of this study was to compare the academic, psychiatric, physical, social and family characteristics of children attending special classes with children attending special classes with children attending regular classes. In Newfoundland, the special classes were designed for “mentally handicapped” children with intelligence tests scores between 50 - 80. At most 27 percent of the estimated need was being met. -- PROCEDURE -- All the children from three special classes were compared with an equal number of children attending regular classes within the same schools, but experiencing educational difficulty. The groups were equivalent for age, sex and socioeconomic status. -- Information was gathered from the teachers, parents and the children. The instruments used were of known reliability and validity. The teachers completed questionnaires concerning classroom behaviour and health. The parents and children were seen individually without knowledge of the child’s academic placement. The W.I.S.C. and Wide Rage Achievement Test were administered to each child blind. -- RESULTS -- The special class children were found to have a significantly lower intelligence test score than the regular class children, 80.9 as compared with 94. The regular class received higher grade scores in reading and mathematics, while spelling grades were similar in both groups. The special class children demonstrated more educational backwardness than the regular class children but a similar degree of educational retardation as the regular class. Other significant differences included laterality, visual ability and maternal employment. The special class demonstrated increased abnormality in laterality and poorer vision ability than the regular class. The regular class had increased number of mothers working. -- The groups were similar on prevalence of psychiatric disorder, motor task performance, health contacts, hearing, height and weight, social and family characteristics. -- CONCLUSIONS -- The groups were so similar that they were thought to represent collectively an educationally vulnerable group. The need arising from this seems to be for population statistics. Only one third of the special class children fell within the range of intelligence scores (50 - 80) designated as the range of the special classes. In addition the uncorrected visual difficulties and unreported perceptual difficulties were found. This was thought to reflect a need for more comprehensive individual assessment, if adequate and effective remediable measures are to be undertaken.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7696
Item ID: 7696
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [126]-148
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 1974
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Children with mental disabilities--Education--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Children with mental disabilities--Psychological testing
Medical Subject Heading: Education of Intellectually Disabled -- Newfoundland and Labrador; Education, Special; Intellectual Disability -- Newfoundland and Labrador;

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