Family Climate and Anxiety in Families with Learning Disabled Boys

Malka Margalit, Tali Heiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The perceptions of anxiety and the family climate (family environment scale, FES) among 20 pairs of parents of LD boys were compared with 20 sets of parents of non-LD hoys. The LD parents were more anxious than the control group, and the LD family climate reflected greater emphasis on organization and control within the family system. More ambition and more striving for personal achievement were expected, while free expression of feelings was not encouraged by LD parents. Differences shown by non-LD parents were not found between LD fathers and mothers. Although not different from control fathers, LD fathers did not seem to play a unique male role in the family. With respect to interrelations between expressions of anxiety and FES measures, fathers were more concerned about conflicts within the family system, and this measure was related to their elevated anxiety. On the other hand, the mothers' anxiety was related to greater emphasis on achievement. The results clearly suggest the need for mental-health professionals to consider parent counseling as a significant part of LD intervention programs, with special attention given to anxiety and role definitions within the family system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-846
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


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