Social Competence of Learning Disabled Children: Cognitive and Emotional Aspects

Malka Margalit, Amiram Raviv, Naomi Pahn-Steinmetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to investigate the structure of social competence among learning disabled children, as reported by themselves and their teachers, and the cognitive and emotional aspects that mediate its level. The sample consisted of 40 learning disabled children and 37 matched nondisabled children. Within Harter’s competence model and Schaefer’s spherical model, the learning disabled group demonstrated lower levels of competence and adjustment and a less mature concept of competence than did their peers. The social competence of the learning disabled children was accounted for by emotional and physical aspects of competence, similar to that found in younger and in children with an intellectual disability, whereas the social competence of the nondisabled peers was accounted for by a combination of academic, cognitive and self-esteem aspects. Teachers rated the social competence of both groups of children as mediated by introversion and general competence. However, teachers added physical competence to the explanation of the learning disabled group’s social competence, whereas they added task orientation to the explanation for the nondisabled group. Intervention planning should be geared toward increasing the social competence of LD children, through alerting teachers to their less mature self-competence concept, with its special emphasis on nonacademic aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalThe Exceptional Child
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988


Dive into the research topics of 'Social Competence of Learning Disabled Children: Cognitive and Emotional Aspects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this