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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78090 Find in a Library
Title: Reading Disability - Tendency Toward Delinquency?
Journal: Clearinghouse  Volume:46  Dated:(1971)  Pages:183-186
Author(s): W H Miller; E Windhauser
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores possible relationships between reading disability and delinquency in secondary students, emphasizing that disabled readers and delinquents share many similar personality characteristics such as emotional maladjustment, hostility, and suspicion.
Abstract: A disabled reader can be defined as a student who is reading 2 or more years below expected potential as measured by psychological tests. Delinquent behavior constitutes a relatively serious legal offense and indicates a failure to adjust to normal community or family situations. Several studies have found that both disabled readers and delinquents are very impulsive, lack emotional stability, and tend to be insecure and anxious because of previous failures at home and school. A student who has problems learning to read develops a negative self-concept, which other studies have discovered is an important characteristic of the delinquent personality. Both groups have a low tolerance to frustration and have had many negative school experiences. Researchers have found a positive correlation between the incidence of reading disability and delinquency in secondary school students, which suggests that when delinquent-prone students cannot achieve success in reading, they turn to crime. If these individuals do not receive help, reading problems intensify during the intermediate and secondary grades and probably contribute to truancy. Evidence from a 1957 study of delinquent boys demonstrated that reading instruction coupled with counseling improved the delinquents' school and emotional adjustment. The school has a great responsibility in preventing delinquency through preventing reading failure, but in the past American schools have focused on the average child and neglected the deviant student. Priority should be given to good developmental teaching of reading in elementary schools, although special reading help in the later grades would also benefit delinquents. A bibliography of 11 references is included.
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Learning disabilities; Remedial education; School delinquency programs
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