Comparative Efficacy of Group Therapy and Remedial Reading with Reading Disabled Children

  • V. Nel
  • H. I. J. van der Spuy
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 14)


Remedial reading teaching has been shown to have small and short-lived effects (Carroll, 1972). An alternative to this approach in the treatment of reading difficulties has therefore been to use procedures aimed at attempting to improve the child’s behavioural and emotional difficulties, thereby effecting a change in his approach to learning situations at school in a way that will be more adequate and effective, with a resultant amelioration of reading skills (Bills, 1950; Lawrence, 1971 and 1972; Lawrence and Blagg, 1974). Evidence is still unclear as to which are the most effective remedial reading procedures available (Carroll, 1972). Many previous studies fail to meet the requirements of adequate experimental design, for example, inadequate sample size, unmatched control groups, inadequate controls for important variables, such as therapist effects and placebo effects. The therapist or the teacher effect may indeed be a crucial factor in the outcome (Pumfrey and Elliot, 1970). There are nevertheless indications that a “therapy” type of approach may be more effective than a traditional remedial reading approach in improving reading attainment (Lawrence, 1971). In his otherwise excellent study, in which he concluded that therapy alone was more effective in the improvement of reading skills than remedial teaching alone or remedial teaching and therapy combined, Lawrence has however not controlled for therapist effect. A study evaluating the relative efficacy of a group therapy and a remedial reading approach with retarded readers, with the evaluation of therapist effect, therefore seemed indicated.


Reading Skill Reading Achievement Emotional Difficulty Remedial Teaching Inadequate Sample Size 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Nel
    • 1
  • H. I. J. van der Spuy
    • 2
  1. 1.Groote Shuur HospitalCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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