Learning disabilities and anxiety: a meta-analysis

J Learn Disabil. 2011 Jan-Feb;44(1):3-17. doi: 10.1177/0022219409359939. Epub 2010 Apr 7.


This article presents the results of a meta-analysis of the empirical literature on anxious symptomatology among school-aged students with learning disabilities (LD) in comparison to their non-LD peers. Fifty-eight studies met inclusion criteria. Results indicate that students with LD had higher mean scores on measures of anxiety than did non-LD students. The overall effect size was statistically significant and medium in magnitude (d=.61) although substantial heterogeneity of results was found. Moderator effects were examined for informant type, gender, grade, publication status, and identification source. Informant type (i.e., self-, parent, or teacher report) explained a significant amount of variability in the sample of studies, and identification source (i.e., school identified or special school and clinic/hospital identified) approached statistical significance. Implications for assessment and intervention are discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety / complications*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Child
  • Cognition
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / complications
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology*
  • Male
  • Sample Size
  • Sex Factors