MENTAL HEALTH AND READING DIFFICULTIES/DYSLEXIA

 

LANGUAGE AND LITERACY IN YOUNG PEOPLE in collaboration with DSF WA ( https://dsf.net.au/ ) is investigating the association between mental health and reading difficulties.

2018-2019 - Promoting mental health in children with dyslexia:

Led by Dr Mark Boyes, the team has recently had further grant success:

Piloting the Clever Kids programme (2018-2019) with Australian Rotary Health – Mental Health Research Grant ($44,000).

Boyes, M., Leitao, S., Dzidic, P., Claessen, M., Badcock, N. A., & Nayton, M.

 

In 2016-2017 our work in this area was funded by a Healthways Starter grant of $29510 Promoting mental health in children with reading difficulties (CIs Mark Boyes; Nicholas Badcock; Suze Leitao and Mary Claessen; AI Mandy Nayton).

 

The primary research aim was to identify factors putting West Australian children with reading difficulties at risk for mental health problems, as well as resilience-promoting factors that might interrupt pathways from reading difficulty to mental health problems. We completed qualitative interviews with children with reading difficulties, parents, and educators. The following key risk and protective factors emerged from our interviews as important to the participants: self-esteem; bullying, teasing, stigma (and positive peer relationships); teacher support (and school support more generally); relationships with parents; relationships with siblings; success in other areas and extracurricular activities (other interests); understanding reading difficulties (diagnosis); early identification (diagnosis) and intervention; financial resources and constraints; government educational policy and resourcing.

 

We are currently completing quantitative analysis of DSF clinical case-files

Overall, preliminary quantitative findings are broadly consistent with factors identified in the qualitative interviews and indicate that self-esteem, peer and teacher relationships, bullying victimisation, and emotion regulation may be particularly important factors to target in mental health promotion efforts.

 

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This work has generated to date:

 

Peer reviewed publications

Boyes, M. E., Leitão, S., Claessen, M., Badcock, N., & Nayton, M. (2019) Correlates of externalising and internalising problems in children with dyslexia: An analysis of data from clinical casefiles, Australian Psychologist, 1-11

Leitão, S., Dzidic, P., Claessen, M., Gordon, J., Howard, K., Nayton, M., & Boyes, M. E. (2017).Exploring the impact of living with dyslexia: The perspectives of children and their parents. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 19:3, 322-334.

Boyes, M. E., Leitão, S., Claessen, M., Badcock, N. A., & Nayton, M. (2016). Why are reading difficulties associated with mental health problems?. Dyslexia, 22(3), 263-266.

Other publications

Leitão, S., Boyes, M. E., Claessen, M., Dzidic, P., & Nayton, M. (2017). The impact of reading difficulties on the mental health of children. DSF Bulletin.

Conference Presentations

Claessen, M., Dzidic, P., Leitão, S., Boyes, M. E., Badcock, N. A., & Nayton, M. (2017). Exploring the impact of living with dyslexia: The perspectives of educators. 2017 Language Literacy and Learning Conference. Perth, Australia.

Leitão, S., Claessen, M., Boyes, M. E., Dzidic, P., Badcock, N. A., & Nayton, M. (2017). Exploring the impact of living with dyslexia: The perspectives of children and their parents. 2017 Language Literacy and Learning Conference. Perth, Australia.

Leitão, S., Claessen, M., Boyes, M. E., Badcock, N. A., & Nayton, M. (2016). Exploring the impact of living with dyslexia: The perspectives of parents and young people. Speech Pathology Australia Conference 2016: Making Waves. Perth, Australia.

Invited address

Leitão, S. (2016). Exploring the impact of living with dyslexia: Invited Address at the Dyslexia-SPELD Annual General Meeting, October 2016, Perth, Western Australia.

 

In addition, members of the team have been interviewed on ABC and 6PR radio and published in a range of WA newspapers.

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