COGNITIVE TEMPO AND SELF-CONCEPT IN INNER CITY CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

RICHARD ERIC GARMISE, Fordham University

Abstract

The relationship of cognitive tempo, as measured by the Matching Familiar Figures Test, to tests of cognitive and personality functioning was assessed in a multi-ethnic inner-city environment. A group of boys aged 8 to 11 who were functioning at grade level in public school classes were contrasted with a similar group whose learning disabilities were serious enough to warrant their referral for placement in full-time special classes. The children were all of low socioeconomic status and did not differ significantly as to age or ethnicity. The study attempted to extend previous observations of cognitive tempo functioning to an inner-city environment, and to explore the degree to which learning disability subjects might be profitably discriminated by means of the MFFT for better placement and remediation. Besides the slow-accurate and fast-inaccurate cognitive tempo groups usually investigated in MFFT research, slow-inaccurate subjects were also included in order to clarify the extent to which such subjects might function independently of other groups.^ Differences between cognitive tempo subgroups were assessed on the Ravens Coloured Progressive Matrices, the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities Visual Reception subtest, the Wepman Auditory Discrimination Test, and the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. All tests were scored for correct responses; the RCPM and ITPA subtests were also administered as instruments of cognitive tempo to explore their characteristics as instruments of response uncertainty. Cognitive tempo differences on total scores were tested for each of the two samples separately by one-way analyses of variance and subsequent Newman-Keuls comparisons.^ Generally, learning disabilities children (N = 45) demonstrated greater differences between the abilities measured by the tests than did normal class children (N = 45). For LD children, differences in abstract reasoning as measured by the RCPM were different from all three cognitive tempo groups. Slow-accurate LD subjects also had a higher self-concept than slow-inaccurate LD subjects. For NC subjects, only differences for slow-accurates over other subgroups on the RCPM emerged as significant. No subgroup differences were apparent for either sample on the Wepman.^ Correlations of errors and latency showed that the MFFT retained its robustness as an instrument of cognitive tempo in the inner-city samples; RCPM error-latency scores also demonstrated significant negative correlations for both samples. Intercorrelations among MFFT, RCPM, and ITPA subtest error and latency scores suggest that situations with response uncertainty may differ for different populations and different measures.^ It was recommended that instruments be developed that might be more sensitive to cognitive tempo manifestations and that clinical tasks be developed that make use of cognitive tempo observations. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

GARMISE, RICHARD ERIC, "COGNITIVE TEMPO AND SELF-CONCEPT IN INNER CITY CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES" (1980). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8020062.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8020062

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