ERIC Number: ED198673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jun
Attribution Training for Children with Learning Difficulties. Final Report to the Laidlaw Foundation.
Thomas, Adele K.
The study examined learned helplessness in approximately 200 elementary aged learning disabled (LD) students and the effectiveness of classroom based attribution training and coping skills training for these children. Ss received one half hour training 3 days a week for 5 weeks in a program which used techniques of modeling, direct instruction, and reinforcement to provide effective coping strategies for difficult problem solving. The program began with novel nonacademic tasks with a gradual increase in the amount of academic work presented. Students were encouraged to "rethink" out loud desirable self statements and to cope with the possibility of failure in challenge items. The three teacher groups either received the full workshop training, received a workshop training focusing on rethinking and success but not including challenge items, or received a workshop training on learned helplessness without the specific rethinking and challenge techniques. Results indicated that the LD children tended to have negative personal attitudes and beliefs about academic achievement. The program appeared to have its greatest effects on skills related to persistence. There were no significant differences between the experimental group and the group which did not offer challenging tasks (though these teachers may have spontaneously offered more challenging activities). The program had minimal impact on attitudes. Although parents and teachers rated the LD boys higher in helplessness, the LD girls had attitudes about achievement which were more self blaming than those of boys. The teachers had positive reactions centering on the program's effectiveness in translating affective educational guidelines into specific program objectives. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Brock Univ., St. Catherines (Ontario).