The study compared seventh- and eighth-grade students with and without learning disabilities on two story production tasks -dictation and handwriting. The dependent measures were fluency (total numbers of words), time (total time of composing), rate (fluency divided by time), and thematic maturity (e.g., relevance to picture, title, dialogue). Handwritten compositions were scored further with the syntactic maturity, contextual vocabulary, contextual spelling, and contextual style subtests of the TOWL-2. Results indicated that the handwritten compositions of students with learning disabilities were technically (i.e., syntax, spelling, style, word length) inferior to normal achievers' compositions. Whereas the groups composed similarly on the oral task, thematic maturity scores on the written task increased for normal achievers and decreased for students with learning disabilities. Reading ability accounted for more variance in thematic maturity scores on the hand-written task (26%) than it did on the oral task (9%). It appears that learning-disabled students display weaknesses in various linguistic and technical requirements of writing and that oral composing may offer advantages to these students.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology