Investigating quality of life and self-stigma in Hong Kong children with specific learning disabilities

Yi Chan, Yim Yuk Chan, Sui Lam Cheng, Yin Man Chow, Yau Wai Tsang, Shuk Ching Clara Lee, Chung-Ying Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Although both self-stigma and poor QoL issues are likely to be found in low academic achievers without SpLD, children with SpLD have worse situation because their diagnosis of SpLD suggests that their learning struggles are biological and permanent. Specifically, students’ perception of own capabilities may be affected more by the diagnosis of SpLD than their own actual performance. Aims We examined the self-stigma and QoL of children with SpLD in Hong Kong, a region with an academics-focused culture. Methods and procedures Children with SpLD (n = 49, Mage ± SD = 9.55 ± 1.21; SpLD group) and typically developing children (n = 32, Mage ± SD = 9.81 ± 1.40; TD group) completed a Kid-KINDL to measure QoL and a Modified Self-Stigma Scale to measure self-stigma. All parents completed a parallel Kid-KINDL to measure QoL of their children. Outcomes and results Compared with the TD group, the SpLD group had a higher level of self-stigma (p = 0.027) and lower QoL (child-reported Kid-KINDL: p = 0.001; parent-reported Kid-KINDL: p < 0.001). Conclusions and implications In the academics-focused environment in Hong Kong, SpLD was associated with impaired QoL and higher self-stigma. Treatments targeting the learning process of children with SpLD may be designed to overcome self-stigma and to improve QoL. In addition, the program may involve parents of the children with SpLD or other people (e.g., the peer of the children with SpLD) for improving their understanding and perceptions of SpLD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • Academic performance
  • Quality of life
  • Self-stigma
  • Specific learning disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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