20 Pages

Commentary: Developmental Considerations in Research— on Socioemotional Aspects of Learning Disabilities

These three chapters on socioemotional characteristics and psychological adjustment of children with learning disabilities demonstrate that research concerning this population has come a long way indeed in its concern for the learningdisabled (LD) child as a whole person. Prior to the 1970s, cognition and education were its foci; information about the social and emotional aspects of learning disabilities came mainly from clinical observations. In Connolly's (1971) review of social and emotional factors in learning disabilities, only five research reports were cited. During its first decade (1968-1977), the Journal of Learning Disabilities published only nine articles based on empirical studies whose primary aim was to assess the social and emotional characteristics of children with learning disabilities. Since then, as these three review chapters show, there has been a virtual explosion of research in this area. Inspired by the pioneering work conducted at the Chicago Institute for Learning Disabilities by Tanis Bryan and her associates (Bryan, 1974, 1976; Bryan, Wheeler, Fe1can, & Henek, 1976), other researchers have ventured into this rich but relatively unexplored research territory.