Adult perceptions of children with dyslexia in the USA
- 634 Downloads
This study examined adult perceptions of dyslexia among US adults. Participants (n = 623) answered survey questions pertaining to characteristics, views, and possible causes of DYS. Exploratory factor analysis revealed five distinct factors: (1) psychosocial causes, (2) external causes, (3) biological causes, (4) consequences, and (5) controllability. Three-way ANOVA’s were conducted to determine the effects of ethnicity, gender, and parental status on how DYS was perceived. The results revealed ethnic, gender, and parental status differences. Males endorsed psychosocial causes and external causes more often than females. Those who self-identified as Asian viewed DYS as more controllable in comparison to Whites. Results also revealed a three-way interaction regarding controllability. Understanding the public’s perceptions about developmental disorders helps distinguish true from erroneous beliefs, and understanding differences that may exist in particular groups can help implement targeted actions to improve awareness, care, and interventions for families.
KeywordsBeliefs Dyslexia Ethnic differences Perceptions USA Views
We gratefully thank Jan Wallander, Linda Cameron, and Shana Cohen for their comments on drafts of this article.
This study was funded by the Carlston Cunningham Endowment and the University of California, Merced Graduate Division.
- Cortiella, C. (2014). The state of learning disabilities: facts, trends, and emerging issues. National Center for learning disabilities. Retrieved from: https://www.ncld.org/reports-and-studies/2014-state-of-ld /.
- Dardennes, R. M., Al Anbar, N. N., Prado-Netto, A., Kaye, K., Contejean, Y., & Al Anbar, N. N. (2011). Treating the cause of illness rather than the characteristics: parental causal beliefs and treatment choices of autism spectrum disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32, 1137–1146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Derguy, C., Bouvard, M., Michel, G., & M’Bailara, K. ( 2014). The gap between parents’ knowledge and causal beliefs about etiology of autism: A key variable to understand parents’ anxiety. European Psychiatry, 8, 598–599Google Scholar
- Graziano, A. M. (2002). Developmental disabilities: Introduction to a diverse field. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
- Hornstra, L., Denessen, E., Bakker, J., van B. L., & Voeten, M. (2010). Teacher attitudes toward dyslexia: effects on teacher expectations and the academic achievement of students with dyslexia. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43, 515–529.Google Scholar
- Mukolo, A., Heflinger, C. A., & Wallston, K. A. (2010). The stigma of childhood mental disorders: A conceptual framework. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 92–198.Google Scholar
- Sikorski, Claudia, Luppa, Melanie, Kaiser, Marie, Glaesmer, Heide, Schomerus, Georg, König, Hans-Helmut, & Riedel-Heller, Steffi G. (2011). The stigma of obesity in the general public and its implications for public health—a systematic review. BioMed Central Ltd.Google Scholar
- Siperstein, G. N., Parker, R. C., Bardon, J. N., & Widaman, K. F. (2007). A national study of youth attitudes toward the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities. Journal of the International Council for Exceptional Children, 73, 4–435.Google Scholar
- Stief, E. A. (2004). Parental perceptions of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Unpublished master’s thesis, The Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.Google Scholar
- U.S. Census Bureau (2017). Quick facts. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045216
- U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) database, retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://www2.ed.gov/programs/osepidea/618-data/state-level-data-files/index.html#bcc. See Digest of Education Statistics 2015, table 204.30.
- Wadlington, E. M., & Wadlington, P. L. (2005). What educators really believe about dyslexia. Reading Improvement, 42(1), 16.Google Scholar