Mental Retardation (Psychology)

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  • A generalized impairment in intellectual and social skills. As an Axis II classification in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition; DSM-IV), the label of mental retardation is applied to individuals whose measured IQ is less than about 70 and who fail to display the skills of daily living, communication, and other tasks expected of people their age. Today, the terms developmentally disabled or mentally challenged are often used instead of mental retardation. Level of retardation can be categorized as mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending on the individual's cognitive abilities as well as his or her ability to function independently in daily life. For example, mildly retarded school-age children are able to acquire reading and arithmetic skills to about the sixth-grade ...

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