Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Laura Gulledge

Advisor Department

Criminal Justice


This is a study of the relationship between learning disabilities or learning disability indicators and juvenile delinquency. The three main learning disabilities addressed in this study are dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. Delinquency is measured in the categories of drug use, property damage, and violence. This study also evaluates the accuracy of the school failure hypothesis. Participants for this study included 221 high school students ranging in age from 14 to 19 years old. The unit of measurement utilized in this study is a survey composed of 61 questions involving diagnosis of a learning disability, indicators of a learning disability, delinquent behavior, school failure hypothesis, and basic demographic questions.

Results from this study indicated that there was not a significant relationship between diagnosis of a learning disability or indicators of a learning disability and juvenile delinquency. Yet, the results from this study did support the accuracy of the school failure hypothesis. The study also revealed that gender, social economic status, ethnicity, and GPA all had a significant relationship with delinquent behavior. It is important to continue research on this subject to develop more accurate models for deterring juvenile delinquency and for helping adolescents with learning disabilities.

Included in

Criminal Law Commons