Academic, visuoconstructional, and social performance in children




Leason, Mary Anne

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This study was conducted to evaluate the relationships among academic performance, visuoconstructional strategies, and social competence in children. In accordance with the theory of nonverbal learning disabilities, it was predicted that math disability would be associated with difficulties in social competence and construction of configurations. A total of 229 school children were referred by their teachers to the study. After screening, 79 children aged from 104 to 143 months were included in the analyses. All subjects had scores on the WISC-R Block Design and Vocabulary subtests which were at least average, and were classified as Average Achievers (n = 29), Low in Reading (n = 14), Low in Math (n = 17), or Low Overall (n = 19), on the basis of their WRAT-R scores. The groups were compared on measures of visuoconstructional performance and social competence. The results partially supported an association between weak configural performance and math disorders. Social competence was found to be most strongly related to attentional performance/hyperactivity. Components of visuoconstructional performance (configural and detail-oriented) were found to be relevant to learning and memory. The two measures of visuoconstruction used appear to measure different aspects of cognitive performance.



Social skills in children, Behavioral assessment of children, Social skills in children, Therapeutic use