Background: Lack of social competence (SC) and cognitive failure (CF) could cause depression in children with specific learning disabilities (SLD) and affect their academic performance (AP). The present study aimed to investigate the mediating role of depression associated with social competence, cognitive failures and academic performance in students with specific learning disabilities.
Methods: The statistical population of this descriptive correlational study consisted of all female students within the age range of 10 to 12 with SLD in the academic year 2020-2021 in Ahvaz, Iran, among whom 178 were selected as the sample through cluster sampling. The research tools included academic performance, the Social Competence Scale (SCS), the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ), and the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI). The evaluation of the proposed research model was performed using the path analysis method via SPSS and AMOS software version 24.
Results: The results indicated that all direct paths to AP were significant (P=0.001), except for that of CF (P=0.111). The mediating role of depression did not show a significant association between the indirect path of SC and AP (P= 0.135). However, the mediating role of depression caused a significant association between the indirect path of CF and AP (P=0.010).
Conclusion: The results herein revealed that the proposed model achieved a desirable fit, which is considered to be a crucial step toward understanding the factors affecting the AP of students with SLD.