Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Intellectual Disability

  • Kathleen A. KothEmail author
  • Jaelyn R. Farris
  • Jody S. Nicholson
  • John G. Borkowski
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1566


Developmental delay; Developmental disability; Intellectual developmental disorder; Mental retardation


Intellectual disability continues to evolve in both classification and conceptualization to better describe the affected individuals. Initially the terms feebleminded, moron, imbecile, and idiot were technical terms used by medical professionals and noted by the founding of the Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feebleminded Persons in 1876. He etymology of “feebleminded” is derived from the Latin flebilis meaning “to be lamented” and identified someone who required care and intervention not necessarily cognitive disability. Not until 1961 was the term mental retardation officially adopted as a medical term and “referred to significantly sub average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifest during the developmental period” (Grossman 1983). In 2013 the Diagnostic and...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen A. Koth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jaelyn R. Farris
    • 2
  • Jody S. Nicholson
    • 3
  • John G. Borkowski
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyYoungstown State UniversityYoungstownUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA