Prior to analysis, the quantitative data were screened for out-of-range and missing values and outliers. Outliers were checked for accuracy of entry but not removed. Missing values were replaced using the full information maximum likelihood method (Enders & Bandalos, 2001). If more than 25% of items were missing from a scale response, it was not included (Byrne, 2001). Following screening for the assumptions of normality, two-sample t tests were conducted to ascertain the difference on the measures between published mean scores of a contrast group of Australian students of the same age and those of this sample of students who had learning disabilities. Comparisons on the Adolescent Coping Scale (Frydenberg & Lewis, 1993) were made with published Australian means from a 5-year longitudinal study of Australian regional state school students aged 12 to 16 years (Frydenberg & Lewis, 2000). These are reported for groups of students aged 12 to 13 years and those aged 14 to 15 years (Frydenberg & Lewis, 2000) and were calculated for metropolitan government and private school students who were tracked over several years. The number of participants in the study ranged from 265 in 1991 (12- and 13-year-olds) to 253 in 1993 (14- and 15-year-olds). Because the means were reported according to year level, the comparison between these published norms and the students in this study who had learning disabilities is also reported in these terms.
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