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The Research Consortium on Disability Begins Interdisciplinary Seminar Series with Study on Programming for College Students with Learning Disabilities


For the first session of the Research Consortium on Disability (RCD)’s Interdisciplinary Seminar Series, Yi Ding, Ph.D., professor in the school psychology program, and Amanda Siegel, doctoral candidate in the school psychology program, presented their research on“The Impact of Structured Support Programming on Adjustment, Stress, and Coping in College Students with Learning Disabilities.”

Ding and Siegel began the RCD’s November 2nd Interdisciplinary Seminar Series with a presentation of their research. Several factors particularly impact college students with learning disabilities, including academic, social, and personal-emotional adjustments; stress; coping behaviors; self-esteem; family involvement; extracurricular involvement; and academic performance.

Ding’s and Siegel’s research explored if college students with learning disabilities, who receive support through structured programming, have better outcomes in the adjustment to college, their levels of stress, and their ability to cope with difficult situations.

Study participants included undergraduate students aged 18-25 in a four-year college program with at least one formally diagnosed learning disability. Participants were asked to complete an accessibly designed Qualtrics survey.

Overall, the research found that access to and participation in structured support programming made a difference for the students. Surveyed students with learning disabilities who are in structured support programs reported significantly lower levels of perceived stress and significantly higher levels of personal-emotional adjustment and attachment to their institution. They also reported seeking social support significantly more often.

The goal of Fordham University’s RCD is to conduct and coordinate disability-related research to help guide the world on a path towards greater inclusion. The consortium is comprised of social scientists and scholars in the humanities, business, education, law, and social services disciplines doing research in disability studies and in disability and health-related fields.

Sophie Mitra, professor in the Department of Economics, and Rebecca Sanchez, associate professor of English, direct the consortium in collaboration with Laura Wernick, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Social Service.

Visit the RCD’s events page for information on a variety of upcoming symposia, seminars, and lectures.


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