Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Larry Ebbers


School-related stress is the most prevalent untreated cause of academic failure in our schools. Baker (1987) states that this type of stress may afflict six to ten million children per year. There are several types of stress in the educational system. Separation anxiety, test anxiety, and teacher behavior are only a few. For the learning disabled child, along with the aforementioned stressors, there are additional sources of school stress. These include labeling, pull out programs and insufficient social skills. Even though stress-related events may be facilitators for growth and development of coping mechanisms, in certain stressful situations a child's resources may be inadequate. Therefore, efforts to compete may not only be ineffective, but also counterproductive as they may affect health and impair school performance. Recognizing anxiety-producing situations, and the coping mechanisms students employ, is, therefore, vital to helping students learn to cope effectively with stressful situations;The purpose of this study was to identify stress levels and coping skills of students in "regular" education and those diagnosed as learning disabled. This was conducted to detect if there is additional stress among learning disabled students, and if stress increased as a function of grade. In addition to comparing stress levels, coping skills were examined to determine if LD students employed coping strategies differently than regular education students and to detect if students with a greater amount of stress had coping skills that differed from those of students exhibiting less stress;One hundred forty students, grades four through eight, participated in this study. Regular education students participating totaled 108; LD students totaled 32. There were 70 male students and 68 females. Fifty-five were elementary level (4-5) and 85 were secondary (6-8);Results indicate that LD students do experience different amounts of stress and employ coping skills differently from the regular population.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Natalie R. Davenport



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

95 pages