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NCJ Number: 65226 Find in a Library
Title: READING DISABILITY AND CRIME - IN SEARCH OF A LINK
Journal: CRIME AND/ET JUSTICE  Dated:(MAY 1977)  Pages:10-21
Author(s): R R ROSS
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services
Scarborough, Ontario M1L 4P1, Canada
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: LITERATURE ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ILLITERACY AND CRIME IS REVIEWED, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE INCIDENCE OF ILLITERACY AMONG OFFENDERS AND THE EVIDENCE FOR ASSUMING THAT READING DISABILITY CAUSES ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR.
Abstract: THE COMMONLY HELD VIEW IS THAT READING DISABIITY IN OTHERWISE ABLE STUDENTS IMPAIRS THEIR OVERALL LEARNING EXPERIENCES AND CAN LEAD TO EMOTIONAL MALADJUSTMENT AND TENDENCIES TOWARD DELINQUENCY. ESTIMATES OF THE INCIDENCE OF READING PROBLEMS AMONG JUVENILE AND ADULT OFFENDERS RANGE FROM 2.4 PERCENT TO 84 PERCENT. THESE ESTIMATES HAVE MAJOR SHORTCOMINGS, HOWEVER, INCLUDING DEFINITIONAL PROBLEMS, OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS, SAMPLING PROBLEMS, DESIGN PROBLEMS, AND RELIANCE ON RETROSPECTIVE INFORMATION. ALTHOUGH OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE POPULATION HAVE READING DISABILITIES, THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF OFFENDERS HAVE READING DISABILITIES. WHETHER THE READING DISABILITY IS A CAUSE OR A CORRELATE OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IS NOT KNOWN, HOWEVER. THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN READING DISABILITY AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR HAS BEEN EXPLAINED IN TERMS OF SCHOOL-RELATED ADJUSTMENT PROBLEMS, REACTION TO FAILURE, FAMILY PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, PERSONAL PROBLEMS, AND SPECIFIC ORGANIC DEFICITS. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT ALTHOUGH AN ABUNDANCE OF ANECDOTAL, OBSERVATIONAL, CLINICAL, AND SURVEY-BASED DATA INDICATE A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF OFFENDERS HAVE READING DISABILITIES, MAJOR GAPS IN KNOWLEDGE PREVENT ESTIMATING THE INCIDENCE OF THESE PROBLEMS OR DETERMINING WHETHER READING DISABILITY IS A CAUSE OR AN EFFECT OF CRIME. MORE CAREFULLY DESIGNED RESEARCH, USING MORE REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES AND WELL-STANDARDIZED DIAGNOSTIC MEASURES, IS REQUIRED. LONGITUDINAL STUDIES BEGINNING WITH SCHOOL ENTRY AND STUDIES IDENTIFYING THE SPECIFIC NATURE OF OFFENDERS' READING DISABILITIES SHOULD BE GIVEN PRIORITY. HOWEVER, IF READING DISABILITY IS A CRIME CAUSE, IT IS PROBABLY NEITHER A NECESSARY NOR A SUFFICIENT ONE. FORCING A CHIILD TO READ WHO IS UNPREPARED OR UNABLE TO DO SO MAY SERVE ONLY TO HINDER PROSOCIAL ADAPTATION. TABLES AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED CFW)
Index Term(s): Crime Causes; Learning disabilities; Literature reviews; Research design; Testing and measurement
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65226

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