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NCJ Number: 78082 Find in a Library
Title: Reading and Cerebral Dysfunction Among Juvenile Delinquents
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:131-144
Author(s): J M Andrew
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The suspected connection between organic brain dysfunction and dyslexia (poor reading) was tested by researching five theories. Results support the left hemisphere theory.
Abstract: The subjects were 35 right-handed black male delinquents, aged 13 to 17 years of age, sentenced to a special probation program in lieu of incarceration. The first three general theories included the poor lateralization theory (the child may confuse left and right when reading letters) a right-hemisphere theory (dysfunction of visual-motor functions which relate primarily to the right hemishere) and the left-hemisphere theory (dysfunction of reading as a language skill which is represented in the left hemisphere). The other two theories studied were the imbalance theory, specifying an optimal range of lateralization; and the global theory, which states that wherever a deficit occurs within the brain, the greater the deficit, the poorer the reading. Data were retrieved from psychology files and represented the Wide Range Achievement Test (a reading measure) and three measures of lateralization -- an intelligence test, and Tapping and Trails from the Reitan Battery for Organicity. Results suggest that among juvenile offenders, though possibly not among other populations, poor reading appears to relate to left-hemisphere dysfunction. The imbalance and global theories were partially supported, but the poor lateralization and right hemisphere theories received little support. Therefore reading may emerge as a marker variable rather than as a primary cause of delinquency; further work might explore whether only the left-hemisphere-related poor reader may be predisposed to delinquency. One table and approximately 65 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Juvenile delinquency factors; Learning disabilities; Minority juvenile offenders
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