Phonological awareness, peer nominations, and social competence among preschool children at risk for developing learning disabilities

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Abstract

This study examined the relations between phonological awareness skills and social-emotional competence among preschool children who were considered at risk for developing learning disabilities. Phonological awareness skills, loneliness, sense of coherence, and peer acceptance of 98 children with an age range from 5.0 to 6.4 years (39 with a high risk for developing learning disabilities and 59 nondisabled peers) were assessed. The children at risk differed significantly from the nondisabled children on all measures. Their scores on the phonological awareness measures were lower, they viewed themselves as more lonely, felt less confident about their world, and they were less accepted by their peers. Subgrouping, using the sense of coherence and the combined phonological measure as criteria, revealed that the largest number of children at risk were in the group with lowest levels of coherence and phonological awareness skills. The smallest proportion of high risk children was found in the group characterised by its high sense of coherence and high level of phonological awareness. Thus, children at risk for developing learning disabilities revealed two groups of deficits: phonological awareness difficulties and social-emotional difficulties. The results emphasised the need to examine interrelations between peer acceptance and both cognitive-phonological awareness and emotional domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-105
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2000

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