Impulsivity in students with specific learning disabilities
Keywords:Children with learning disability, impulsivity, attention, self-control, executive functions
AbstractBackground: It has often asked whether impulsivity is a stable response style of students with specific learning disabilities. There is no straightforward emphatic answer to this question. The available literature on the theme is fraught with issues related to the definition of the terms impulsivity as well as learning disabilities. Method: Notwithstanding all this, this study uses a cross-sectional one-shot exploratory survey design to profile the nature, degree and extent in the presence and patterns of impulsivity by adopting a self-cum-significant other report technique for 134 respondents identified as having academic delays and specific learning disabilities to answer a simple abridged and adapted version of 25-item Barratt Impulsiveness Scale along a four-point Likert scale. Results: The overall impulsivity score is more than the assumed and expected mean values for children on the scale. Further, domain analysis on 1st and 2nd order factors on the scale show significantly different trends for major domains of attention, motor, and non-planning (p: <0.001) with no such differences for sub-domains of non-planning in self-control and cognitive complexity (p: >0.05). There appears to be no influence of the studied demographic variables like age, gender, school curriculum, and grades in the impulsivity scores of these children. Item analysis shows that these students are affected by ‘extraneous thoughts,’ ‘get easily bored when solving thought problems,’ ‘do not like to think about complex problems,’ and, so on. The implications of the study for developing impulsivity reduction strategies and its limitations are presented.
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