Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Third Advisor

Lena Caesar

Abstract

Problem. Research indicates that students who receive an exclusively academic education that does not include emotional intelligence skills may not be prepared for future challenges of the 21st century because traditional intelligence contributes to only 20% of the factors that determine life success. Students with learning disabilities have average or above average cognitive intelligence. However, many do not demonstrate academic and social behaviors that normally would be compatible with average intelligence. Even though their cognitive intelligence has been tested, their emotional intelligence has not been tested. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence and reading comprehension in high-school students with learning disabilities.

Method. A total of 47 males and females with learning disabilities, ages 15 to 18, in Grades 10, 11, and 12 were studied. The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory Youth Version was utilized to measure emotional intelligence. The Wide Range Expanded Group Assessment was administered to assess reading comprehension. To determine the relationship between emotional intelligence and reading comprehension, the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient was utilized. t tests were used to determine the influence of reading comprehension and emotional intelligence on gender, and one-way ANOVA was performed to determine the influence of emotional intelligence on grade level.

Results. Results of the study indicated a strong relationship between emotional intelligence and reading comprehension in high-school students with learning disabilities. Gender and grade level did not seem to be related to either emotional intelligence or reading comprehension.

Conclusion. Since a relationship does exist between emotional intelligence and reading comprehension, teaching emotional intelligence skills to students with learning disabilities may be beneficial to them both academically and socially.

Subject Area

High school students with disabilities, Learning disabilities, Learning disabled youth, Emotional intelligence, Reading comprehension

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