Families on TANF in South Carolina: Employment Assets and Liabilities. Learning Disabilities

10/01/2004

Overall, 12% of the respondents showed evidence of a possible learning disability (data not shown).16 Specifically, about 20% reported that they had problems spelling simple words, 15% had been in special education programs or were given extra help in school, 13% had proble ms with basic math, and 12% had difficulty memorizing numbers.
 
  • Evidence of a possible learning disability was greater among high school dropouts and among divorced or separated respondents.

High school dropouts were over three times more likely to show evidence of a learning disability as respondents educated beyond high school (Appendix E Figure IV-a). In addition, high school dropouts were almost twice as likely to show evidence of a possible learning disability as respondents who had completed only high school.17 Almost 20% of high school dropouts had been in special education programs or had received extra help in school.

Twenty percent of separated or divorced respondents showed evidence of a learning disability, compared to 10% of never-married respondents and 3% of married respondents (data not shown).18
 
  • Whites were more likely than blacks to report that they had problems learning in middle school or junior high school.

With regard to ethnicity, there was not a statistically significant difference overall between blacks and whites for possible learning disabilities. However, almost 24% of whites reported that they had problems learning in middle school or junior high, compared to 9% of blacks (data not shown).19


16 The possible presence of a learning disability among the respondents was measured using the Washington State Learning Needs Screening Tool's 13-item scale. The 13 items in the scale produced a raw score ranging from 0 to 30. A respondent with a score of 12 or more is considered to have a heightened possibility of having a learning disability.
17 These differences were statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.
18 This difference was statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.
19 This difference was statistically significant at the 99% confidence level.

 

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