Date of Submission

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Virginia Burks Salzer, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Rosemary B Mennuti, EdD, NCSP

Third Advisor

James Whitaker, PsyD, NCSP

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a relationship between visual efficiency, reading levels and behaviors indicating difficulties in the classroom. The sample consisted of thirty–three school-aged children, from four elementary schools. Visual efficiency was measured through a multi-step vision screening process, the Visual Efficiency Rating (VERA) software program. Behaviors indicating difficulties in the classroom were measured using the Behavioral Indicator Checklist, Indicators of Visual Performance Difficulties. This behavior checklist is part of the VERA process and is completed by the classroom teachers. The students’ reading levels were reported by the participating schools. The students were determined to be in one of three groups; these included those on, above or below grade level, determined with the information provided by the schools from the reading level legend keys. The results indicated no significant differences between or among the three reading groups and their visual efficiency. There were no significant relationships between or among the students’ visual efficiency and their behaviors indicating difficulties within the classroom. Although the results in this study were not significant, almost two-thirds of the children referred for the vision screening were reading below grade level and averaged ten of the thirty behaviors on the behaviors checklist. When developing interventions for children who may be having difficulties in the classroom, vision efficiency may be an important component to explore in order to aid in developing and implementing effective interventions along with other scientific and evidence based measures.