Learning disabilities and delinquency
LE3 .A278 2011
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis discusses the nature of learning disabilities in relation to the factors effecting juvenile delinquency in order to analyze and discuss the link between learning disabilities and delinquency. The goal was to assess the existence of a link between learning disabilities and delinquency. Extensive research (e.g., Lane 1980, Lombardo 1991, Waldie & Spreen 1993) was conducted in the 1970s and 1980s to determine whether there was a direct link between learning disabilities and delinquency. No empirical, direct relationship was found. This thesis suggests that the connection between learning disabilities and delinquency may be indirect in nature, and compares common characteristics of learning-disabled youth and the characteristics that are associated with delinquency and finds considerable overlap. Three interviews were conducted with professionals who work with learning-disabled and/or delinquent youth. It was discovered through the interviews that the link, depending on the learning disability as defined within the thesis, can be both direct and indirect. Changes in the environment of learning-disabled youth can make a positive difference and potentially reduce the likelihood that they will act in ways that might be adjudicated delinquent. For youths with specific learning disabilities, it is difficult to establish programs to decrease the likelihood of being adjudicated delinquent.
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