Exploration of student disclosure of learning disabilities to university professors
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore and describe the disclosure process for university students with learning disabilities. The study used qualitative and quantitative research methods to gather data and to measure the psychosocial development. A telephone survey, personal interviews, and The Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Inventory (SDTLI) were used. The participants included 148 university students with learning disabilities who were enrolled in a learning disabilities fee-based support program at a Research I University. The study found that the psychosocial development of students with learning disabilities did not differ significantly from the norming sample on the SDTLI, nor were there any significant differences between cohort status or gender of students with learning disabilities. The majority of students disclosed their learning disabilities to their instructors in order to use accommodations. Students with learning disabilities considered classroom climate, instructor characteristics, and peers in their decision making about disclosure. The results have implications for faculty, staff, and administrators because successful students seem to reframe their learning disability challenges into positive outcomes. Even students who tended to doubt their successes used reframing. Personnel and faculty members who have contact with students with learning disabilities need to understand that the students are capable and have typical psychosocial development.
Degree ProgramGraduate College