Psychological distress of adolescents with learning disabilities: the moderating effects of age, gender, and social support

Barrett, Melissa (2011) Psychological distress of adolescents with learning disabilities: the moderating effects of age, gender, and social support. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Previous research indicates that adolescents with learning disabilities are at an increased risk of developing mental health issues relative to their non-learning disabled peers (e.g., Svetaz, Ireland, & Blum, 2000). Age, gender (e.g., Valas, 1999), and social support (e.g., Choenarom, Williams, & Hagerty, 2005) appear to be important variables that can influence the mental health status of both learning disabled and non-learning disabled individuals. The current study examined the effects of four types of social support (tangible, affective, positive social interaction, and emotional/informational) as well as age and gender on the level of distress being experienced by 454 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 with diagnosed learning disabilities. Data for the study were taken from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey (Statistics Canada, 2006). Multivariate analyses based on the entire sample indicated that female adolescents with learning disabilities reported significantly higher levels of distress than male adolescents with learning disabilities. In addition, adolescents with higher levels of perceived tangible social support and emotional/informational support were found to report less distress. Separate analyses based on gender indicated that older male adolescents reported higher levels of distress. In addition, males with higher levels of perceived tangible social support and positive social interactions reported lower levels of distress. For female adolescents, higher levels of perceived affection were associated with lower levels of distress. The clinical implications of the study's findings are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9557
Item ID: 9557
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 42-47.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2011
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Learning disabled teenagers--Canada; Learning disabled teenagers--Canada--Treatment; Learning disabilities--Canada--Psychological aspects; Learning disabilities--Canada--Treatment; Learning disabilities--Canada--Social aspects; Learning disabled--Canada--Psychology

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