December 1972

Comparison of Disadvantaged Children With Learning Disabilities and Their Successful Peer Group

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine (Dr. Kappelman), Rosewood State Hospital (Dr. Rosenstein), and Dr. Ganter, Baltimore.

Am J Dis Child. 1972;124(6):875-879. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110180077010

This study compares two groups of disadvantaged children, a clinic group with learning disorders (LD) and a matched, successful peer group. An increased family history of mental retardation, behavior, psychiatric, speech, visual, and auditory problems was present in the LD group (each P = <.01). Preeclampsia (P = <.01), birth weight under 2,012 gm (4.4 lb) (P = <.05), and breech presentation (P = <.05) also increased in the LD group. Maternal education was less and sibling cohorts larger in the LD group. Thirteen LD mothers lived with an unrelated male compared to two controls (P = <.01) and 18 LD children lived without a natural mother compared to five controls (P <.01). Factors relevant to recognized LDs include family history, toxemia, breech presentation, birth weight under 2,012 gm, and social-environmental factors such as sibling number, maternal education, and immediate family constellation.