Original Research

The resilience of learners with specific learning disability in unequally resourced learners with special education needs schools in diverse contexts

Daphney Mawila
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a1044 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.1044 | © 2022 Daphney Mawila | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 March 2022 | Published: 29 November 2022

About the author(s)

Daphney Mawila, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Despite the inequality of resources in South Africa, learners in less-resourced schools and contexts can be resilient in the face of adversities.

Objectives: This study sought to investigate the impact of unequal resources in diverse contexts and schools on the resilience of learners with specific learning disability (SLD) in learners with special education needs (LSEN) schools in South Africa.

Method: A quantitative explanatory design was adopted and respondents were selected using a purposive sampling technique. A sample of 217 learners with SLDs across four LSEN schools located in diverse contexts in the Gauteng province, was selected. Data were collected using the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM-28). The SPSS software was used to analyse the data and one-way analysis of variance was used as a statistical technique.

Results: The results showed that resilience scores did not yield a significant statistical difference among learners from unequally resourced schools (p = 0.300 > 0.05) and diverse contexts (p = 0.173 > 0.05). These results suggest that resilience was the same across unequally resourced schools and diverse contexts; thus, all learners are capable of resilience regardless of these contexts.

Conclusion: Resilience of learners with SLD was not necessarily associated with the accessibility of resources in their contexts but with their agency in identifying them and using them meaningfully to combat their learning disabilities.

Contribution: The study contributes to the limited body of knowledge on the resilience of learners with SLD in unequally resourced contexts and LSEN schools.


learners with educational special needs; less resourced; resilience; resilience enabling; specific learning disability; social-ecological; well resourced; unequal opportunities.


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