gender differences in learning disabilities

Gender differences in level and pattern of cognitive abilities were examined in 28 LD college-able females (CA 18-25) as compared to 21 LD college-able males (CA 18-25). Both groups were in the average IQ range as measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, with LD males significantly higher on the Full Scale IQ and three out of the four subtests, Picture Completion, Block Design, and Information. The LD females performed significantly better on the Digit Symbol subtest.

The hierarchies of subtest performance and Bannatyne and ACID category scores were compared. LD females have strengths in visual-motor abilities and verbal conceptualization, while the LD males’ highest abilities were nonverbal visual-spatial confirming earlier studies on younger LD individuals and non-LD males and females.

Performance on the Digit Symbol subtest was the next to the lowest for the males, the highest for females. However, for both groups, short-term and long-term memory for digits and factual knowledge and mental arithmetic problem solving were relative weaknesses. Results indicate different patterns of cognitive abilities in LD females and males which have implications for identification, service, and prognosis for the learning disabled, especially females.