Parents and youth with learning disabilities: Perceptions of relationships and communication

Tali Heiman, Lana C. Zinck, Nancy L. Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study examined perceptions of family relationships and communication in 52 families who have an adolescent child diagnosed with learning disabilities (LD) with a matched group of 52 families who have a child without LD. Parents and youth completed a self-reported Family Relations and Communication Scales assessment. Findings revealed parents perceived their child as either overinvolved or underinvolved with their parents and not sharing the same values and norms as their parents. Findings indicated that parents of youth with and without LD share similar perceptions of both the openness and problematic aspects of family communication. Youth with and without LD reported higher levels of problematic maternal involvement than perceived by the mothers; youth without LD rated their mothers' affective expression higher than reported by their mothers; both groups of youth perceived their mothers' and their fathers' communication as less open and more problematic than reported by their parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-534
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Communication
  • Family relationships
  • Fathers
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mothers
  • Youth


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