The probable learning disorders in primary school students: A preliminary study

DOĞAN O. , Ersan E. E. , DOĞAN S.

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, cilt.10, sa.1, ss.62-70, 2009 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 10 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2009
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.62-70


Objective: The diagnostic criteria to determine the prevalence of learning disorders (LD) via a scale are not clear. Therefore, the true prevalence rates of LD are not known. The aim of this research was to determine the ratio of probable LD in primary school students according to Silver's diagnostic criteria for LD, in Sivas province. Methods: The research population included all of the first level of primary school students (first to fifth grade) in Sivas province; there were 26843 students at 65 primary schools. The sample was made up of 1340 students between 7 and 12 years old in the nine schools that were chosen. The schools in Sivas province were listed in order one under the other, and were selected for the study at random. Then, the classes were also selected randomly. The teachers and parents of the students were given questionnaire form. This form had demographic characteristics and Silver's diagnostic criteria for LD. A student was evaluated, as "there is a probable learning disorder" if more than half of the answers to questions is negative. The forms were evaluated if both the teachers and parents completed the form fully. The number of evaluated forms was 845 and response rate 63.06%. Chi-square test was used to evaluate the data by SPSS 13.0 for Windows package program. Written informed consent to participate in the study was obtained from the parents of all respondents. Results: The ratio of probable LD (pLD) was found to be 36.8% according to the evaluations of teachers, 37.9% according to the evaluations of parents. The ratio of probable reading disorder (pRD) according to the evaluations of teachers was found to be 18.8%, 18.0% for probable written expression disorder (pWED), 24.1% for probable mathematics disorder according to the evaluations of teachers; and according to the evaluations of parents 26.5%, 6.0%, 21.5%, respectively. The difference between the ratio of pRD and pWED was statistically significant. In the evaluations of teachers and parents, the ratio of pRD was found higher in boys than girls. The highest rate of pLD was found in seven years olds and first graders at both evaluations of teachers and parents. However, the ratio of teachers was higher almost two-fold than those of parents. Discussion: The ratio of pLD in this research was higher than the ratio of LD in literature. The ratios given in literature are related to LD, but pLD our ratios. The clear definition of LD and diagnostic criteria should be establihed to develope a standard, valid, and reliable scale that could be used in the prevalence studies with larger samples. (Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry 2009; 10: 6270)