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Dyslexia among adults: Neuropsychology and personality

Jensen, Jimmy LU (2000)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Läs- och skrivfärdigheter är av stor betydelse i det moderna samhället. Dyslexi (läs- och skrivsvårigheter) är därför inte bara ett språkligt handikapp - det verkar också ha sociala konsekvenser som t.ex. högre arbetslöshet bland individer med dessa svårigheter. Tidigare forskning har bl.a. visat att personer med dyslexi har ett sämre verbalt minne och lägre självförtroende än personer utan dessa problem. Målsättningen med denna avhandling var att studera psykologiska korrelat till dyslexi bland vuxna. Vi fann fler individer med dyslexi än förväntat bland interner och att de som hade dessa svårigheter även hade ett annorlunda personlighetsmönster jämfört med andra interner - de rapporterade mer... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Läs- och skrivfärdigheter är av stor betydelse i det moderna samhället. Dyslexi (läs- och skrivsvårigheter) är därför inte bara ett språkligt handikapp - det verkar också ha sociala konsekvenser som t.ex. högre arbetslöshet bland individer med dessa svårigheter. Tidigare forskning har bl.a. visat att personer med dyslexi har ett sämre verbalt minne och lägre självförtroende än personer utan dessa problem. Målsättningen med denna avhandling var att studera psykologiska korrelat till dyslexi bland vuxna. Vi fann fler individer med dyslexi än förväntat bland interner och att de som hade dessa svårigheter även hade ett annorlunda personlighetsmönster jämfört med andra interner - de rapporterade mer ångest och mer avvikande värden på skalor som mäter social interaktion. Våra resultat visade också att personer med dyslexi hade en mindre benägenhet att förstå andra individers psykologiska perspektiv och hade även svårare att förstå vissa begrepp avseende emotionalitet och social interaktion. En del av det annorlunda personlighetsmönstret visade sig spegla svårigheter speciellt hos dem som även hade ADHD-relaterade problem. Slutligen utvärderade vi en 20 veckors utbildning för individer med dyslexi och fann att förutom förbättrad läs- och skrivförmåga så blev både minne och självförtroende bättre. Dessa fynd diskuteras i ett neo-Darwinistiskt perspektiv där en teori, som hävdar att utvecklingen av språket kunde gå relativt fort beroende på att denna använde sig av existerande "hjärnfunktions"-enheter som framför allt sköter komplexa sociala interaktioner, fick stöd. Vidare diskuteras problemet och konsekvenserna med att dyslexi inte är ett enhetligt definierat begrepp. (Less)
Abstract
Reading and writing skills are of crucial importance in modern society. Therefore, dyslexia is a significant handicap, not only in respect of lexical skills and processing of language-based information - it appears to have social consequences as well, as evidenced for instance by the high frequency of dyslexics among long-term unemployed people. One major research problem is that the term dyslexia is not well-defined. In consequence, there is no consensus about epidemiology, causal factors and correlates. However, some findings tend to be reported more consistently among dyslexics; phonological deficits, a relatively unresponsive visual magnocellular system and problems with automatization of complex cognitive tasks. Furthermore, impaired... (More)
Reading and writing skills are of crucial importance in modern society. Therefore, dyslexia is a significant handicap, not only in respect of lexical skills and processing of language-based information - it appears to have social consequences as well, as evidenced for instance by the high frequency of dyslexics among long-term unemployed people. One major research problem is that the term dyslexia is not well-defined. In consequence, there is no consensus about epidemiology, causal factors and correlates. However, some findings tend to be reported more consistently among dyslexics; phonological deficits, a relatively unresponsive visual magnocellular system and problems with automatization of complex cognitive tasks. Furthermore, impaired memory functioning and low self-esteem are associated with dyslexia. Another research problem is that our knowledge of dyslexia is to a large extent based on studies of children. Lacking direct evidence from studies of adults, we tend to extrapolate our knowledge about children. The aim of the present thesis, which comprises five empirical studies, was to explore neuropsychological and personality correlates of dyslexia among adults. We found a high frequency of dyslexics among prison inmates (41%), who performed more poorly on most of the neuropsychological tasks, and had a deviant personality pattern: higher anxiety and more deviant scores on scales reflecting social interactions, compared to non-dyslexic inmates. Non-criminal dyslexics used an inflexible strategy in a continuous performance test, an attribute that also characterized prison inmates, dyslexic or not. Dyslexics were less prone, or able, to shift from an egocentric perspective when invited to view a statement from another's psychological perspective, compared to non-dyslexics. Furthermore, these dyslexics had more difficulties to understand certain concepts reflecting emotional states and social interactions. Some aspects of the deviant personality pattern described in dyslexics, and corroborated by our own previous findings, were demonstrated to reflect ADHD rather than dyslexia. In contrast, memory dysfunction appears to be a stable correlate of dyslexia. Finally, we evaluated a 20 week educational programme for dyslexics. Reading and writing skills, memory and self-confidence improved compared to dyslexic controls. The findings are discussed in a neo-Darwinian context, favouring the theory that the evolution of language is based on pre-language mental faculties serving skills needed for complex social interactions, rather than a new and specific "language" faculty. Problems and consequences of the lack of consensus about the definition of dyslexia are also discussed, concluding that these differences are of minor importance when we design remediation interventions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Professor Elbro, Carsten, Department of General and Applied Linguistics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
neuropsykologi, Neurologi, neurophysiology, Dyslexia, Personality, Psychology, Psykologi, neuropsychology, Neurology, neurofysiologi
pages
140 pages
publisher
Department of Psychology, Lund University
defense location
Segerfalkssalen Wallenberg Neurocentrum, Lund
defense date
2000-10-27 10:15
ISBN
91-628-4378-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cf6f3038-90b5-495f-853c-12ca2a605580 (old id 40966)
date added to LUP
2007-08-01 14:33:55
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:02
@misc{cf6f3038-90b5-495f-853c-12ca2a605580,
  abstract     = {Reading and writing skills are of crucial importance in modern society. Therefore, dyslexia is a significant handicap, not only in respect of lexical skills and processing of language-based information - it appears to have social consequences as well, as evidenced for instance by the high frequency of dyslexics among long-term unemployed people. One major research problem is that the term dyslexia is not well-defined. In consequence, there is no consensus about epidemiology, causal factors and correlates. However, some findings tend to be reported more consistently among dyslexics; phonological deficits, a relatively unresponsive visual magnocellular system and problems with automatization of complex cognitive tasks. Furthermore, impaired memory functioning and low self-esteem are associated with dyslexia. Another research problem is that our knowledge of dyslexia is to a large extent based on studies of children. Lacking direct evidence from studies of adults, we tend to extrapolate our knowledge about children. The aim of the present thesis, which comprises five empirical studies, was to explore neuropsychological and personality correlates of dyslexia among adults. We found a high frequency of dyslexics among prison inmates (41%), who performed more poorly on most of the neuropsychological tasks, and had a deviant personality pattern: higher anxiety and more deviant scores on scales reflecting social interactions, compared to non-dyslexic inmates. Non-criminal dyslexics used an inflexible strategy in a continuous performance test, an attribute that also characterized prison inmates, dyslexic or not. Dyslexics were less prone, or able, to shift from an egocentric perspective when invited to view a statement from another's psychological perspective, compared to non-dyslexics. Furthermore, these dyslexics had more difficulties to understand certain concepts reflecting emotional states and social interactions. Some aspects of the deviant personality pattern described in dyslexics, and corroborated by our own previous findings, were demonstrated to reflect ADHD rather than dyslexia. In contrast, memory dysfunction appears to be a stable correlate of dyslexia. Finally, we evaluated a 20 week educational programme for dyslexics. Reading and writing skills, memory and self-confidence improved compared to dyslexic controls. The findings are discussed in a neo-Darwinian context, favouring the theory that the evolution of language is based on pre-language mental faculties serving skills needed for complex social interactions, rather than a new and specific "language" faculty. Problems and consequences of the lack of consensus about the definition of dyslexia are also discussed, concluding that these differences are of minor importance when we design remediation interventions.},
  author       = {Jensen, Jimmy},
  isbn         = {91-628-4378-8},
  keyword      = {neuropsykologi,Neurologi,neurophysiology,Dyslexia,Personality,Psychology,Psykologi,neuropsychology,Neurology,neurofysiologi},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {140},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x8cd3e10)},
  title        = {Dyslexia among adults: Neuropsychology and personality},
  year         = {2000},
}