The prevalence of specific arithmetic difficulties and specific reading difficulties in 9- to 10-year-old boys and girls

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1994 Feb;35(2):283-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1994.tb01162.x.


Data from an epidemiological sample (n = 1206) of British schoolchildren were used to estimate the proportions of 9- to 10-year-olds with specific arithmetic difficulties (SAD), combined with arithmetic-and-reading difficulties (ARD), and specific reading difficulties (SRD). Children in the sample contributed scores on separate tests of arithmetic, reading and nonverbal intelligence. Using a cutting-score approach, which took into account performance on all three tests, a small group of children with SAD (1.3%) were distinguished from larger groups with ARD (2.3%) and SRD (3.9%). Contrary to some previous reports, there were equal numbers of males and females within each of the two groups with arithmetic difficulties but a preponderance of males over females amongst the group with specific reading difficulties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Dyslexia / diagnosis
  • Dyslexia / epidemiology*
  • Dyslexia / psychology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Learning Disabilities / epidemiology*
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Male
  • Mathematics*
  • Sex Factors
  • Underachievement