Specific reading impairments--are they to be associated with emotional difficulties?

O. Lamm, R. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The assumption that specific learning disabilities are not causally related to emotional disturbances is crucial for the cognitive research approaches that endeavor to isolate specific malfunctioning cognitive-computational processes. Because there are conflicting data regarding the emotional status of subjects with learning difficulties, the purpose of this study was the evaluation of the emotional status of subjects with specific learning difficulties in comparison with that of subjects from several relevant control groups. The HSCL-90 profiles of 38 subjects suffering developmental dyslexia, 28 subjects with subjective complaints regarding general concentration and reading comprehension difficulties, and 23 psychiatric patients were compared with those of 44 skilled readers without any known emotional difficulties. All subjects were adolescents and young adults (age range = 15 to 23). A cluster analysis of subjects' HSCL-90 profiles did not reveal any significant differences between subjects with dyslexia and control subjects. Both groups, on the other hand, were easily differentiated from psychiatric patients. Subjects with severe deficits in their ability to remember details of a text, and with subjective complaints regarding concentration difficulties, tended to generate emotional profiles that testify to a high level of anxiety. Although these subjects, as well as individuals with dyslexia, may be regarded at the functional level as inefficient readers, the two groups seem to clearly differ regarding the failure factors that underlie their phenotypic difficulties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-615
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • General Health Professions


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