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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Stephen Trotter

First Committee Member

Linda Webster

Second Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Third Committee Member

Robert Stillwell

Fourth Committee Member

Mari Irvin


Research over the past two decades has documented the social difficulties encountered by many students with learning disabilities (LD). Comparison studies have indicated that in contrast to nonhandicapped children, children with LD demonstrate disproportionate degrees of inappropriate behavior. Many behavioral difficulties have been conceptualized as deficiencies in component skills of social problem-solving. The present study investigated social problem-solving processes among sixty mainstreamed LD adolescents and sixty non-LD adolescents in one California school district comprised primarily of students from low socioeconomic households. Social problem-solving was measured by the Social Problem Solving Inventory-Revised (SPSI-R) while classroom social behavior was determined by teacher ratings of each subject on the School Social Behavior Scales (SSBS). Contrary to prediction, adolescents with LD were no different in level of self-reported social problem-solving behaviors than non-LD peers. No group difference emerged for any of the five subscales of the SPSI-R. Significant differences were found between the groups on the two subscales of the SSBS. LD adolescents scored significantly higher than non-LD peers on measures of antisocial behavior while demonstrating significantly lower levels of social competence. The lack of associations between SPSI-R problem-solving scores and SSBS social behavior scores in the present study indicates that adolescent's problem-solving ability does not seem to help or hinder their overall social functioning to any remarkable degree. Implications for social problem-solving theory are discussed along with an examination of the utility of the SPSI-R for non-clinical populations.




9780599130739 , 0599130733

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