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See detailImpact of the Time of Diagnosis on Dyslexic Adolescents' Self-efficacy beliefs
Battistutta, Layla UL; Commissaire, Eva; Steffgen, Georges UL

Poster (2017, September)

Aim: Most of the research on self-efficacy in children with specific learning disorders has focused on inter-group comparisons, showing that these children hold lower self-efficacy scores than their ... [more ▼]

Aim: Most of the research on self-efficacy in children with specific learning disorders has focused on inter-group comparisons, showing that these children hold lower self-efficacy scores than their normally developing peers. As these lower scores might be due to a reduced access to self-efficacy sources (Hampton & Mason, 2003), this small-scale study (N=18) aimed to investigate whether the time of diagnosis might modulate the access to these sources within a group of dyslexic adolescents, either diagnosed in primary or secondary school but paired on chronological age and duration of remedial training. Methods: Mixed methods were employed by using general as well as academic and social self-efficacy scales, complemented by semi-structured interviews investigating students’ understanding and acceptance of their dyslexia. Results: The findings showed that early-diagnosed students hold higher general and academic scores. Further analyses regarding students’ personal statements revealed a statistically significant association between time of diagnosis and understanding as well as tolerance of dyslexia, indicating that early-diagnosed adolescents, compared to their late-diagnosed peers, have a more cohesive understanding and more adequate representations of their reading disorder as specific and non-stigmatizing, all the while being more tolerant and open about announcing their dyslexia to others. Conclusions: An early diagnosis of dyslexia is thus associated with a better understanding and acceptance of the disorder, possibly serving as a protective factor which can consequently contribute to higher general and academic self-efficacy scores. Hence, these findings not only extend the literature on self-efficacy beliefs in dyslexia by investigating the time of diagnosis, but also have important practical implications, highlighting the significance of an early diagnosis beyond the benefits of early rehabilitation as well as the potentially negative psychological consequences of a late diagnosis. [less ▲]

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