Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2012

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Liu, William M

Second Advisor

Wilgenbusch, Tammy

First Committee Member

Foley-Nicpon, Megan

Second Committee Member

Gerken, Kathryn C

Third Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy N


Investigations regarding age-related behavioral, emotional, and social differences between younger and older groups of children with NLD remain scarce (Ozols & Rourke, 1988; Casey, Rourke, and Picard, 1991; Pelletier, Ahmad & Rourke, 2001) and have shown mixed results regarding the direction and severity of internalized and externalized behaviors. The current study explored the behavioral, emotional, and social differences between two groups of children and adolescents. The "younger" group consisted of children between the ages of 6 and 10 years of age. The "older" group consisted of children and adolescents between the ages of 11 and 16 years. Seventy two patient charts were selected for this study (males = 41, females = 31). A one factor Multivariate Analysis of Variance was run to investigate externalized and internalized age-related differences between the two groups. No age-related differences were found indicating that younger and older children may manifest the behavioral, emotional, and social characteristics of NLD in a similar manner. Additionally, results indicated that more than half of the total sample had a comorbid diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. However, results did not suggest that children and adolescents with NLD are at an increased risk for internalized psychopathology. When the NLD group was compared to a pediatric sample, it was found that the NLD group was more likely to demonstrate explosive behaviors, anxiety, and self-esteem problems. Although no significant age-related differences were found in the current study, the investigation has implications for practice as information from this study may aid clinicians in making an earlier diagnosis of NLD in children and adolescents, as well as lead to better interventions.


Adolescents, Age Differences, Children, Nonverbal Learning Disability, Social


vii, 98 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 92-98).


Copyright 2012 Joyce Elberta Goins