Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Vogel, Susan Ann||Pierce, Jean W.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Learning disabled; Gifted persons


Gifted adults with learning disabilities (GALD) are a population that is often overlooked, undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed by educators. Because of their often “hidden” condition, these individuals are frequently troubled with a host of psychosocial problems. This study sought to identify unique characteristics of the GALD population with the hope of developing criteria to aid in diagnoses. A thorough search was conducted for relevant literature that examines characteristics of GALD as well as characteristics of the learning disabled (LD)-only and gifted-only populations (among others). The researcher developed an instrument that looked at how the characteristics clustered or grouped into various categories and how they discriminated among the three populations studied. The instrument was sent to an expert in the field to examine content validity. A pilot study was conducted to look at face validity. A field test was conducted at three major universities which supplied subjects for the three population groups of interest (GALD, LD-only, and gifted-only). The research question that guided this study was: “Can discriminations be made among college students who are GALD, LD-only, and gifted-only?” Parametric and nonparametric analyses were conducted. The results showed a clear distinction between the gifted group and both the GALD and LD groups. Some of the statements used in this instrument may help in the identification and characterization of certain individuals who are GALD. Analysis of the composite variables revealed that there were statistically significant differences between the students with a learning disability only and GALD when compared on a few items that characterized giftedness. Discriminant analysis was useful in understanding the distinctions. Results from a discriminant analysis led to the ability to predict group membership at significantly better-than-chance rates.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [175]-198).


x, 342 pages




Northern Illinois University

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