The home environment in the assessment of learning disabilities

Judith H. Freund, Robert H. Bradley, Bettye M. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present article is to advocate that in view of the difficulty involved in predicting learning disability by looking at the early behavior of the child, serious consideration must be given to early assessment of home environmental processes as a supplement to child-focused preschool screening and research. The article contains a review of home environmental issues, findings, and instruments as they have arisen in the field of general cognitive development and as they are applicable to preschool prediction of learning disabilities. The authors conclude that in the area of learning disabilities, ‘environmental disadvantage’ should not be conceptualized in gross, structural terms. Within some middle- and upper-class homes, children with actual or potential learning disabilities may be ‘environmentally disadvantaged’ as regards interactions with their parents. During the early childhood period, there is a special need to look within the traditional LD exclusion category of low socioeconomic status for potential subgroups of inefficient learners who are at risk for subsequent learning and social disabilities. When not appropriately identified and intervened with in early childhood, these subgroups may later be misdiagnosed as cultural familial retardates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-51
Number of pages13
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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