General and Domain-Specific Self-Concepts of Adults with Learning Disabilities: A Meta-Analysis


  • Jason M. Nelson


The empirical literature investigating general and domain-specific self-concepts of adults with learning disabilities was examined using meta-analytic techniques. Eight inclusion criteria were developed to evaluate this literature and led to the inclusion of 22 studies. Results indicated that adults with learning disabilities reported lower general self-concept than did adults without learning disabilities; however, the magnitude of this difference was small (d = -.34). The domain-specific self-concept analyses indicated the difference between the groups was medium for academic self-concept (d = -.56), small for social self-concept (d = -.32), and trivial for physical self-concept (d = -.13). Of the included studies, the vast majority incorporated samples of individuals who were attending postsecondary institutions and therefore negatively affects the generalizability of the current study’s results. Implications for future research are discussed.