Students who have trouble in learning to read become a risk group as they experience more difficulties associated especially to emotional and motivational levels. Therefore, to characterize the emotional and motivational problems of adolescents with reading disabilities, 19 adolescents with reading disabilities were compared to 20 adolescents with normal development. The participants were balanced in chronological age, gender and IQ. All participants were interviewed. They self-reported anxiety, manifested depressive symptoms, self-concept, causal attributions for success / failure and motivation for reading. Overall, no significant differences were found regarding anxiety or depressive symptoms between adolescents with reading disabilities and adolescents in the control group. The ANOVA results show that adolescents with reading disabilities had a significantly lower academic self-concept and more extrinsic and intrinsic reading motivational problems. The participants also showed signs of a maladaptive attributional pattern. That is, adolescents with reading disabilities attribute their successes less to ability rather than external factors. They associate failure with lack of ability and bad luck. The results are discussed in relation to the specialized literature. The paper highlights the need to include an evaluation of the emotional and motivational aspects within a more comprehensive framework of assessment among students with learning disabilities.
Elisa de Lourdes PiedraMartinez
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