Neuropsychological and socio-emotional correlates of specific-arithmetic disability.
Neuropsychological and socio-emotional factors associated with specific-arithmetic disability were investigated in an unselected sample of New Zealand children. Subjects were 17 specific-arithmetic disabled, 27 specific-reading disabled, 63 generally disabled, and 50 nondisabled 13 year olds. Evidence was sought for an association between specific-arithmetic disability and the neuropsychological and socio-emotional correlates of Nonverbal Learning Disability syndrome (NLD). NLD is characterized by a pattern of nonverbal and verbal neuropsychological strengths and weaknesses, and appears to place individuals at greater risk for internalizing psychopathology, than other learning disabilities. Only specific-arithmetic disabled subjects were found to show a neuropsychological profile reminiscent of NLD. Evidence of poor socio-emotional adjustment was found across all three learning-disabled groups, and was greatest among generally disabled subjects. We found that the specific-arithmetic-disabled subjects exhibited the greatest degree of overlap between internalizing psychopathology and a NLD neuropsychological profile. The results are interpreted as providing some support for the idea that specific-arithmetic-disabled individuals may be at greater risk for the NLD syndrome than either generally disabled or specific-reading-disabled individuals.
White, JL; Moffitt, TE; Silva, PA
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