Intellectual patterns of emotionally disabled students and specific learning disabled students compared by history of aggressive conduct disorder behaviors
AuthorMChale, Bruce Gene
AdvisorObrzut, John E.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study investigated the relationship between cognitive functioning and Emotionally Disabled (ED) and Specific Learning Disabled (SLD) students' aggressive behavior. It also identified the number of ED students who had demonstrated aggressive Conduct Disorder (CD) behaviors. Ancillary goals included investigating aggressive students' academic functioning and social factors related to aggressive behavior. The study used initial and most recent Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Third Edition (WISC-III) scores and Woodcock-Johnson-Revised (WJ-R) scores obtained from students' special education folders. In addition, district discipline records and local juvenile court records were searched for documentation of participants' aggressive conduct disorder behavior. The sample consisted of 322 special education students from an urban school district in the American Southwest. Of this sample, 168 students had been previously identified as ED and 154 as SLD. Seventy percent were males and 30% were females which approximated the gender distribution of the district's special education population. The ethnic distribution of the sample included White (67%), Hispanic (24%), Black (7%), and Other (2%) which was representative of both the district and its special education population. Significant findings included a high rate of CD aggressive behaviors found in ED students in comparison to SLD students. Results also indicated that aggressive behavior was negatively related to the students' families' social status and that students from single-parent households had a significantly higher incidence of reported aggressive behaviors. No relationship between aggressive behavior and either ethnicity nor gender was found. Regarding cognitive functioning, aggressive students demonstrated significantly lower initial WISC III Verbal IQ scores in comparison to their Performance IQ scores. However, this relationship was not observed in subsequent testing. ED students demonstrated a significant decrease in WISC III Full Scale IQ scores. In addition, aggressive ED students demonstrated a significant decrease in WISC III Verbal IQ scores. Also, aggressive students demonstrated a significant decrease in WJ-R Broad Math scores. The latter two results tend some support to Patterson's Coercive Theory.
Degree ProgramGraduate College