Learning disabilities and anxiety: A meta-analysis

University of Georgia, Regents' Center for Learning Disorders, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
Journal of Learning Disabilities (Impact Factor: 1.9). 04/2010; 44(1):3-17. DOI: 10.1177/0022219409359939
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This article presents the results of a meta-analysis of the empirical literature on anxious symptomatology among school-aged students with learning disabilities (LD) in comparison to their non-LD peers. Fifty-eight studies met inclusion criteria. Results indicate that students with LD had higher mean scores on measures of anxiety than did non-LD students. The overall effect size was statistically significant and medium in magnitude (d=.61) although substantial heterogeneity of results was found. Moderator effects were examined for informant type, gender, grade, publication status, and identification source. Informant type (i.e., self-, parent, or teacher report) explained a significant amount of variability in the sample of studies, and identification source (i.e., school identified or special school and clinic/hospital identified) approached statistical significance. Implications for assessment and intervention are discussed.

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    • "In particular, learning disabilities are often related to negative emotional manifestations, such as anxiety and stress; it is recognized that reciprocal relationships between anxiety and cognition are common and influential on multiple aspects of life (see Manassis 2013, for a recent review). A recent metaanalysis reports higher mean scores on measures of emotional arousal and anxiety in a clinical group of school-aged students with learning disabilities compared to typically developing peers (Nelson and Harwood, 2011), and a review that specifically included studies on internalizing correlates of dyslexia (Mugnaini, Lassi, La Malfa, & Albertini, 2009) showed that reading problems contribute in a relevant way to higher emotional arousal in students from first grade to university. However, not all the studies that investigated internalizing symptoms have found evidence of significant differences between children with dyslexia and typical readers (Lamm & Epstein, 1992; Miller, Hynd, & Miller, 2005), and variability in results might also be related to the source of information considered (children, parents, or teachers) (Carroll, Maughan, Goodman, & Meltzer, 2005; Dahle, Knivsberg, & Andreassen, 2011; Knivsberg & Andreassen 2008; Snowling, Muter, & Carroll, 2007; Willcutt & Pennington, 2000, Dahle & Knivsberg, 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate physiological activation during reading and control tasks in children with dyslexia and typical readers. Skin conductance response (SCR) recorded during four tasks involving reading aloud, reading silently, and describing illustrated stories aloud and silently, were compared for children with dyslexia (n = 16) and a control group of typical readers (n = 16). Children’s school wellness was measured through self- and parent-proxy reports. Significantly lower SCR was found for dyslexic children in the reading-aloud task, compared to the control group, whereas all participants showed similar physiological reactions to the other experimental conditions. SCR registered during reading tasks correlated with “Child’s emotional difficulties”, as reported by parents. Possible interpretations of the lower activation during reading aloud in dyslexic children are discussed.
    Annals of Dyslexia 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11881-015-0109-8 · 1.48 Impact Factor
    • "Moreover, over time, the impact of persistently heightened anxiety on academic achievement may contribute to negative educational outcomes, such as failure to complete high school and failure to enter college (Kessler, Foster, Saunders, & Stang, 1995; Van Ameringen, Mancini, & Farvolden, 2003). In a meta-analysis carried out by Nelson and Harwood (2011), a medium effect size was found, meaning that approximately 70% of students with LD experience higher anxious symptomatology than do non-LD students . This finding suggests cause for concern that students with LD are at risk for potentially problematic anxietyrelated distress. "
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    ABSTRACT: The main goal of the present study was to shed further light on the psychological characteristics of children with different learning disability profiles aged between 8 and 11 years, attending from third to sixth grade. Specifically, children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD), reading disabilities (RD), or a typical development (TD) were tested. In all, 15 children with NLD, 15 with RD, and 15 with TD were administered self-report questionnaires to assess different types of anxiety and depression symptoms. Both NLD and RD children reported experiencing more generalized and social anxiety than TD, the NLD children reported more severe anxiety about school and separation than TD, and the children with RD had worse depressive symptoms than those with NLD or TD.
    Journal of Learning Disabilities 04/2014; DOI:10.1177/0022219414529336 · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    • "Supporting this possibility, Wu et al15 found alcohol use to be associated with anxiety in adolescent girls but not boys, and also found that agoraphobia, separation anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder were positively associated with illicit drug use in adolescent girls, while separation anxiety was associated with less drug use in the same sample. Learning disabilities16 and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder17 also commonly co-occur with anxiety disorders in youth. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health concern facing adolescents today, yet they are largely undertreated. This is especially concerning given that there are fairly good data to support an evidence-based approach to the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety, and also that untreated, these problems can continue into adulthood, growing in severity. Thus, knowing how to recognize and respond to anxiety in adolescents is of the utmost importance in primary care settings. To that end, this article provides an up-to-date review of the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders geared towards professionals in primary care settings. Topics covered include subtypes, clinical presentation, the etiology and biology, effective screening instruments, evidence-based treatments (both medication and therapy), and the long-term prognosis for adolescents with anxiety. Importantly, we focus on the most common types of anxiety disorders, often known as phobias, which include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety/social phobia, separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and specific phobias. In summary, anxiety is a common psychiatric problem for adolescents, but armed with the right tools, primary care providers can make a major impact.
    Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics 01/2012; 3:1-16. DOI:10.2147/AHMT.S7597
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