Developmental Learning Disorders

  • Barbara Tylenda
  • Stephen R. Hooper
  • Rowland P. Barrett
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


Comparative discussions of mental retardation and learning disabilities yield a surprising number of varied opinions regarding both definitions and the relationship of each disorder to the other. In an informal survey conducted by Tylenda (1983), college freshmen were asked to define mental retardation and learning disabilities at the outset of an educational psychology course. Some students stated that mental retardation and learning disabilities were the same type of disorder (i. e., slowness in the learning process) and merely existed at different points on a continuum. Others stated that they were mutually exclusive disorders related to cognitive functioning. However, the vast majority of the students sampled stated that learning disabilities had to do with deficits in one’s ability to read or write, whereas mental retardation was a type of mental illness. Strongly influenced by the majority’s ill-defined concept of mental retardation as a mental health issue, the results of the survey were attributed to naïveté.


Mental Retardation Adaptive Behavior Intelligence Quotient Learning Disability Learn Disability 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Tylenda
    • 1
  • Stephen R. Hooper
    • 1
  • Rowland P. Barrett
    • 1
  1. 1.Section on Psychiatry and Human behaviorBrown University Program in Medicine, Emma Pendleton Bradley HospitalEast ProvidenceUSA

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