Learning Disability Quarterly

Published by SAGE

Online ISSN: 2168-376X


Print ISSN: 0731-9487


Figure 1. Distribution of classroom means for amount of total print reading relative to the mean amount of print reading across sample.  
Table 1. Means and Standard Deviations for Student Measures. 
Table 2. Correlations Between Print Reading and Reading Achievement. 
Table 3. Multilevel Regression Parameters. 
Table 5. Correlation Between Print Reading and Teacher-Level Variables. 
The Relationship of Print Reading in Tier I Instruction and Reading Achievement for Kindergarten Students At-Risk for Reading Difficulties
  • Article
  • Full-text available

August 2014


510 Reads

Jeanne Wanzek




For many students at risk for reading difficulties, effective, early reading instruction can improve reading outcomes and set them on a positive reading trajectory. Thus, response-to-intervention models include a focus on a student's Tier I reading instruction as one element for preventing reading difficulties and identifying students with a learning disability. The purpose of this study was to examine the amount of time kindergarten students at risk for reading difficulties actively engaged in reading print during Tier I reading instruction, and the extent to which time in reading print was related to end-of-year reading achievement. Findings revealed the amount of time students were engaged in reading print predicted end-of-year reading achievement, although time engaged in reading print during Tier I was limited overall. Student and teacher level factors and their relationship to the amount of time students engage in reading print is also examined.

Anxiety, Depression, and Coping Skills Among Mexican School Children: A Comparison of Students With and Without Learning Disabilities

February 2012


256 Reads

The purpose of this study was to compare severity and risk status for anxiety and depression with coping skills among 130 Mexican school children with learning disabilities (LD) and 130 school children without LD. This research is the first to explore the emotional difficulties of Mexican children with LD. Children completed the Spanish version of the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale and Children's Depression Inventory, and the Cuestionario de Afrontamiento (Coping Skills Questionnaire). Results indicated that a higher percentage of children with LD were at risk for anxiety (22.3% vs. 11.5%) and depression (32% vs. 18%). No statistically significant differences were found for coping skills. Results support the idea that there is an increased awareness of comorbid depression and anxiety among students with LD and a need to promote early identification and intervention in schools. Efforts should focus on better understanding the relationship between social-emotional difficulties and academic achievement and on developing effective interventions to support children with LD.

The Validity of a Holistically Scored Retell Protocol for Determining the Reading Comprehension of Middle School Students

May 2012


68 Reads

In this study, the authors examined the validity of a holistically scored retell within a confirmatory factor analysis framework by comparing the fit of a three-factor model of reading with the data from a diverse sample of seventh and eighth graders. The final model demonstrated adequate fit, χ(2)(32) = 97.316; comparative fit index = .96; Tucker-Lewis index = .94; and root mean square error of approximation = .08. Retell's chi-square difference, Δχ(2)(1) = 16.652, p < .001, and factor loading (.250, p < .001) were higher for the comprehension construct. Similarly, retell's correlation to comprehension measures (r = .155-.257, p < .01) was stronger than its relationship to measures of fluency (r = .158-.183, p < .01) or word identification (r = .132, p < .05). However, retell had a large residual variance (.938) and low interrater reliability (κ = .37), suggesting that improvements to the instrument are needed. Despite overall latent differences, retell did not demonstrate differential item functioning.

Intensive Intervention for Students with Mathematics Disabilities: Seven Principles of Effective Practice

February 2008


3,481 Reads






The focus of this article is intervention for third - grade students with serious mathematics deficits at third grade. In third grade, such deficits are clearly established, and identification of mathematics disabilities typically begins. We provide background information on two aspects of mathematical cognition that present major challenges for students in the primary grades: number combinations and story problems. We then focus on seven principles of effective intervention. First, we describe a validated, intensive remedial intervention for number combinations and another for story problems. Then, we use these interventions to illustrate the first six principles for designing intensive tutoring protocols for students with mathematics disabilities. Next, using the same validated interventions, we report the percentage of students whose learning outcomes were inadequate despite the overall efficacy of the interventions and explain how ongoing progress monitoring represents a seventh, and perhaps the most essential, principle of intensive intervention. We conclude by identifying issues and directions for future research in the primary and later grades.

"Waiting to Fail" Redux: Understanding Inadequate Response to Intervention

August 2014


101 Reads

This introduction to the special issue provides an overview of the promise, but also the ongoing challenges, related to Response to Intervention (RTI) as a means of both prevention and identification of reading disabilities. We conclude by describing the articles in this special issue and considering their implications for future research.

Understanding Inadequate Response to First-Grade Multi-Tier Intervention

November 2014


69 Reads

The purpose of this study was to use a mixed methods approach to learn about inadequate response to a year-long multi-tier RTI model that allowed first-grade students to move up and down tiers. Participants were 156 students who received supplemental intervention services during a larger multi-tier RTI study involving classrooms and 522 students across 10 schools. Findings from an all-subset regression indicate letter word reading, the fluency composite, and blending words explained the most variance (15%) in response among initial skills. Adding additional teacher ratings of behavior and academics, accounted for a small amount of additional variance (3%) in group membership. The ROC curve analysis indicated 87.5% of students were correctly classified, yielding a sensitivity of 85.3 and a specificity of 65.0. Findings from qualitative observations of intervention sessions suggest inadequate responders demonstrated physical and verbal task avoidance and displayed emotions of hopelessness and shame. Implications for practice are discussed.

Winner of CLD's 1987 Outstanding Research Award: Effectiveness of a Concept Teaching Routine in Enhancing the Performance of LD Students in Secondary-Level Mainstream Classes

December 1988


39 Reads

Evaluated the effectiveness of concept diagrams and a related concept teaching routine (CTR) used by regular class teachers to present concepts to 475 high-school students (32 learning disabled [LD]) in regular classrooms. Teachers' ability to prepare concept diagrams and to implement a CTR was measured. Students were evaluated relative to performance on tests of concept acquisition, regular classroom tests, and notetaking before and after CTR implementation. Results indicate that teachers selected concepts from content material, prepared concept diagrams from those concepts, and presented concepts to their classes. Both students with and without LDs showed gains in their performance on tests of concept acquisition and in notetaking when the CTR was used in the classroom. Gains in performance on regular tests were associated with the CTR combined with a review procedure. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Winner of CLD's 1992 Award for Outstanding Research: Differences in the Learning and Transfer Performance between Students with Learning Disabilities and Other Low-Achieving Students on Problem-Solving Tasks

March 1993


11 Reads

Investigated differences in the learning and transfer ability of 20 students with learning disabilities and 20 students with matched low achievement. All Ss were 7th and 8th graders. The 2 groups were assessed on 1 learning task and 3 transfer tasks under unassisted and assisted conditions (i.e., dynamic assessment). A 2 (Group) by 4 (Session) (i.e., pretest, training, maintenance/transfer, and delayed maintenance) mixed, factorial design was employed for data collection. Seven separate analyses and several post-hoc analyses were conducted to determine group performance differences on measures of learning, transfer, and maintenance. Results indicate inconsistent performance differences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Activating the Inactive Learner: Advance Organizers in the Secondary Content Classroom

December 1987


58 Reads

Investigated the effects of 7 23–37 yr old regular secondary teachers" delivery of an advance organizer prior to each lesson on 7 16–19 yr old learning disabled students" retention and expression of information from a given lesson. The results indicate that teaching techniques used by regular secondary teachers can benefit handicapped students in their classrooms, but, in the case of advance organizers, only when students are taught to make use of such techniques. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Understanding Individual Differences in Mathematical Problem Solving: Towards a Research Agenda

December 1993


27 Reads

Suggests the need for the fields of mathematics education, special education, and cognitive psychology to converge and to contribute a focus on the subject matter of mathematics, particularly mathematical problem solving. Seven basic research goals are offered for incorporation into an emerging research agenda. These goals involve identifying students, situations, and component processes; comparing and remediating individual differences in problem solving; and seeking applications in testing and teaching of problem-solving processes in schools. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

"Use of self-monitoring of attention with LD students: Research and application": A reply to Snider.

September 1988


97 Reads

Responds to a critique by V. E. Snider (see record 1987-29792-001) concerning the research by the present authors and their colleagues (e.g., J. W. Lloyd et al, 1982; K. J. Marshall et al, 1985; K. J. Rooney et al, 1984) on the value of self-monitoring of attention by learning disabled (LD) students. Six topics are addressed: the relevance of current conceptualizations of attention, improving attentional vs academic behavior, the type of student for whom self-monitoring is appropriate, relevance of academic productivity effects, issues relating to single-S designs, and the importance of accuracy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Special Feature: Metacognition and Learning Disabilities. How Do the Results of Metacognitive Research Impact on the Learning Disabled Individual?

August 1987


21 Reads

Explores the impact of metacognitive research on learning disabled (LD) individuals, focusing on the positive effects of metacognitive research on the teaching of LD students, and on the importance of broadening LD teachers' understanding of their students' academic failures. Three ways in which metacognitive research impacts on LD individuals include (1) effects on educators' views of LD persons' reading problems, (2) impact on teaching practices, and (3) impact on teacher awareness and professional interests. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Behavior Problem Patterns among the Learning Disabled: Boys Aged 6–11

August 1983


11 Reads

Problem-behavior rating scale data on elementary-aged learning disabled and normal boys were factor analyzed according to the Quay and Peterson (Note 1) procedures. Somewhat different factors were identified for normal and learning disabled groups. The discussion focuses on the implications of the findings for a current issue in child psychopathology — hyperactivity as distinct from other conduct problems — and for classifying youngsters' behavior and emotional problems.

Imagery Generation by Learning Disabled and Average-Achieving 11-to 13-Year-Olds

August 1991


13 Reads

This study assessed whether associative imagery-instructional gains experienced by students with learning disabilities are equivalent in magnitude to those experienced by average-achieving students. Learning disabled and average-achieving students (11- to 13-year-olds) studied paired associates. They were instructed either to construct images depicting the paired items in interaction or to rehearse the pairings. Half of the pairs were easy to relate using interactive imagery, the other half were difficult to mediate with imagery. Half were presented at a 5-sec rate, the other half at a 10-sec rate. Regardless of item type or presentation rate, both learning disabled and average-achieving students benefited from imagery instructions, with great similarity in the between-condition differences for the two populations of students.

Patterns of Behavior Problems Among the Learning Disabled: Boys Aged 12–18, Girls Aged 6–11, and Girls Aged 12–18

May 1985


126 Reads

Teacher-completed Behavior Problem Checklists on learning disabled older boys and younger and older girls were factor-analyzed. Results replicated, in part, prior research with nonhandicapped and handicapped populations, but also revealed interesting differences. Age and sex comparisons were made between the three learning disabled groups. Implications for greater understanding of and better programming for learning disabled children's behavioral and emotional problems are discussed.

Communicative Effectiveness of Learning Disabled and Normally Achieving 10- to 13-Year-Old Boys

August 1984


9 Reads

The effectiveness of the communication skills of 25 learning disabled and 25 normally achieving boys was compared using an instructional task (i.e., having the boys teach the experimenter how to play checkers). The speaker's effectiveness in considering listener needs was evaluated based on the speaker's ability to convey essential information about the game of checkers and the speaker's response to the listener's verbal and nonverbal cues of confusion. As predicted, learning disabled boys' communication skills were found to be less effective than those of their normally achieving peers. Specifically, learning disabled boys: (a) talked more (i.e., they used more words and sentences) but said less (i.e., they provided less information) than normally achieving boys; (b) appeared more comfortable doing than describing (i.e., enhancing verbal explanations with gestures and demonstrations); (c) were less effective adapting messages to the needs of the listener than their normally achieving peers (e.g., they often repeated rather than reformulated what they said prior to the listener's expression of confusion). The communication differences between learning disabled and normally achieving boys suggest the need for special intervention and instruction.

94–142 — The Perspective of Regular Education

May 1978


7 Reads

Since its passage in 1975, much has been written about PL 94–142 and its implications for the learning disabled. The majority of articles published in special education journals and other literature have been authored by special educators and, thus, they are usually presented from a special education perspective. In light of the obvious impact of PL 94–142 on all of education, there is merit in viewing the law from a different perspective. Consequently, the Quarterly invited Dr. John Ryor, President of the National Education Association, to discuss PL 94–142 from the perspective of the regular educator. His article addresses some of the major concerns as well as the expectations of the regular educator in regard to PL 94–142. The points raised by Ryor in this article have important implications for the professional in learning disabilities.

Artiles, A. J., King Thorius, K., Bal, A., Neal, R., Waitoller, F., & Hernandez Saca, D. (2011). Beyond culture as group traits: Future learning disabilities ontology, epistemology, and inquiry on research knowledge use. Learning Disability Quarterly, 34, 167-179.

August 2011


144 Reads

The construct of culture has been largely invisible in the research and long-standing debates in the learning disabilities (LD) field, such as those pertaining to the definition of LD and how research knowledge is used in local settings. When used, the idea of culture tends to be defined as unrelated to LD and studied as restricted to individual/group traits. We challenge the culture–LD dichotomy and the limited conception of culture used in this knowledge base. For this purpose, we make the case for a cultural model of learning that can inform scholarship about the nature of LD, and we propose a culture-based model for the study of research knowledge use in professional practices. Moreover, we offer a third perspective on culture to study the strategies that the LD research community might be using to demarcate and maintain a cultureless paradigm of LD. Our discussion offers potentially rich opportunities for a culturally minded and reflexive stance in the LD field that is urgently needed in our increasingly diverse society.

1980s: A Change in Focus of Reading Comprehension Research: A Review of Reading/Learning Disabilities Research Based on an Interactive Model of Reading

May 1988


26 Reads

This article contains a review of reading comprehension research since 1980, based on an interactive model of reading, with a focus on reading disabilities / learning disabilities. The interactive model conceptualizes influences on reading comprehension as multifaceted, that is, reader-based, text-based, and situationally based, for example, variables in a given task. The review includes studies which have investigated the influence of readers' prior knowledge of a topic, the influences of text structure and task demands, and metacognitive strategies. Conclusions explain reasons for reading disabled students' need for explicit instruction in understanding what the task is, how to use appropriate procedures, and why the use of metacognitive strategies can help them become more able readers.

1984–1985 President's Message Council for Learning Disabilities: The Year in Review

August 1985


6 Reads

This year has been a memorable one for the Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD). Several important innovations are worth highlighting. First, many of the organization's operational procedures have been streamlined. Second, plans are under way to maximize the return on monies in the treasury. Third, an Executive Secretary has been hired to facilitate operations and to provide easy and consistent access to the organization and its leadership. Fourth, several changes have been instituted with respect to the formation of state/province and local chapters. Fifth, improvements have been made in both the financial and editorial policies governing CLD's publications. Finally, a concerted effort to provide leadership on substantive issues facing the field has led to the approval of two new position papers generated by the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) and the development of several CLD-initiated projects.

Winner of CLD's 1988 Outstanding Research Award: Reading Comprehension Performance of Adolescents with Learning Disabilities

May 1989


7 Reads

A study was conducted to examine the effects of prior knowledge on the reading comprehension performance of students with learning disabilities. Instruction in information and vocabulary concepts was provided to 13 junior-high school students with learning disabilities who had been predetermined to lack the prior knowledge required by an experimental test of reading comprehension. The effect of prior knowledge was examined by comparing the performance of an experimental group (high prior knowledge group) to a control group (low prior knowledge group). The effect of text structure was also examined by comparing reading comprehension performance on three types of reading passages - textually explicit, textually implicit, and scriptually implicit. The results indicated that students in the experimental group increased their prior knowledge and, as a result of instruction, demonstrated superior reading comprehension performance. In addition, text structure was found to affect reading comprehension performance. When comprehension questions tapped information provided in the text, reading comprehension performance improved for all students. Educational implications of the results are discussed.

1989 Winner of CLD's Award for Outstanding Research: Diagramming a Logic Strategy: Effects on Difficult Problem Types and Transfer

August 1990


64 Reads

Twenty-five high school learning disabled subjects were randomly assigned to one of two computer-assisted instructional treatments in syllogistic reasoning—one required a deeper level of processing with a diagrammatic response, the other conventional responding. Instructional time was constant across the two groups, yet the subjects who provided diagrammatic responses required fewer trials to reach the mastery criteria. Also, diagramming produced significantly higher posttest and maintenance test scores. Overall, the instruction was effective in (a) producing better-than-chance scores, (b) improving performance on difficult problem types, and (c) teaching learning disabled students to perform complex logical-thinking tasks to a level equivalent to that of high-achieving populations. The deeper level of processing produced differences on more difficult problem types only. Transfer measures showed that students who learned the strategy also creatively modified it to work problems in less formal forms. Variables in the meaningfulness of a strategy to learning disabled students can affect learning.

1990 Winner of CLD's Award for Outstanding Research: Development and Validation of Feedback Routines for Instructing Students with Learning Disabilities

August 1991


16 Reads

This investigation focused on validating two feedback routines for use by special education teachers to enhance the performance of students with learning disabilities. One routine (the Feedback Routine) involved teacher-delivered elaborated feedback, the other (the Feedback-Plus-Assistance Routine) consisted of elaborated feedback plus a student-acceptance routine, which included setting goals for the next practice trial. Two experimental designs were employed: one to determine whether teachers could learn the routines, the other to determine the effects on student learning. Dependent measures were (a) teacher and student performance of the routines, (b) student trials to mastery, and (c) student errors across trials. Measures of teacher and student satisfaction and teacher maintenance were also gathered. Results indicated that the special education teachers effectively integrated the routines into their teaching repertoires. Further, the routines significantly reduced the number of student trials to mastery and the number of student errors in practice attempts following feedback sessions. The two routines appeared equally powerful in terms of teacher and student learning; however, the teachers continued to maintain the routine requiring student involvement in goal setting for a longer period.

Writing Issues in College Students with Learning Disabilities: A Synthesis of the Literature from 1990 to 2000

February 2003


93 Reads

This article provides a synthesis of the literature published from 1990 to 2000 on college students with learning disabilities and writing difficulties (LD/WD). Thirty-eight articles met the criteria for describing writing difficulties in this cohort of students. Upon reviewing the articles, four major topics emerged: (a) assistive technology for college students with LD/WD; (b) effectiveness of assistive technology for college students with LD/WD; (c) characteristics and error patterns in the writings of college students with LD/WD; and (d) instructional support and methods. The review of the literature shows that there is an urgent need for empirical studies, especially on instructional methods and strategies. Recommendations for future research are presented.

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