Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert L. Betz

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Spahn

Third Advisor

Dr. Grey Larison


Children who have an Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are typically reported by parents and teachers to be poor in attending and concentrating on tasks, functioning below academic potential, and displaying numerous impulsive behaviors. Although research indicates a significant number of these children may have specific learning disabilities, the identification of the specific type and an accompanying treatment modality is necessary for effective treatment.

The purpose of this research was to survey the clinical relationships between ADD, learning disabilities, and emotional problems. Subjects (N = 28) were outpatient clients of a private psychiatric clinic who were free of visual or auditory handicaps. The Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R), the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT), a clinical interview and parent questionnaires were used. Analysis included the subtests of the WISC-R, WRAT, and results of the clinical interviews and parent questionnaires.

Four research questions were addressed: (a) the overlap of specific learning disabilities and emotional disturbance; (b) the frequency of learning and emotional problems; (c) the implications for treatment; and (d) the needs of each of the sub-types of ADD.

The WISC-R mean sample profile displayed a strong clinical significance in regards to a lowered attention/concentration factor. A significant number of specific learning disabilities was indicated by scores of the WISC-R subtests. Academic achievement as measured by the WRAT was not significantly below grade level. The majority of specific learning disabilities were based in the left hemisphere, indicating verbal and possible auditory processing deficiencies. ADD children rated hyperactive displayed significantly more learning disabilities and emotional disturbance than the non-hyperactive ADD child.

The data's implication for treatment indicated: (a) a need for extensive psychological and educational testing; (b) the recognition of the multiple areas requiring treatment; and (c) the necessity of a multi-modal treatment approach.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access