Inner-city adults with severe reading difficulties: A closer look

Ruth L. Gottesman, Randy Elliot Bennett, Ruth G. Nathan, Mary S. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Relatively little is known about the characteristics of inner-city adults who seek assistance from literacy programs. Increased knowledge about this population will enhance the development of more effective programs, as well as policy options. This study describes the characteristics of 280 adults, ages 16 to 63, who came to an adult literacy program that focused on severe reading difficulties. The program, located within a hospital complex in a large, urban area, attracted these individuals through an extensive multimedia outreach effort. Results suggested that the adults who sought help were generally characterized by a vast array of cognitive, academic, and social difficulties. In addition, the extent of these difficulties increased dramatically as literacy level declined. These findings suggest that comprehensive educational, social, and vocational services may be needed to help adults with severe reading difficulties cope with the diverse and severe problems they face.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-597
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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