First Impressions Formed of Boys with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder


The present study examined the first impressions that are formed of boys with either learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), or both disorders, in an effort to understand better why they are so often unpopular with and rejected by their peers. The intent of the study was to remedy methodological problems of previous first-impression studies to determine whether devaluation of boys with either LD or ADD after a brief exposure is a reliable and valid finding. To this end, physical attractiveness data were gathered, children were employed as judges, subgroups of stimulus children were formed, and situational demands were varied. Results indicated that the boys with either LD or ADD were devalued relative to controls on a variety of dependent variables, including popularity. Both situational demands, as well as judgments of physical attractiveness, appeared to play a role in accounting for these differences.

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