ERIC Number: EJ913122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
Attributional Retraining: Reducing the Likelihood of Failure
Haynes Stewart, Tara L.; Clifton, Rodney A.; Daniels, Lia M.; Perry, Raymond P.; Chipperfield, Judith G.; Ruthig, Joelle C.
Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, v14 n1 p75-92 Mar 2011
Failing a course is an acutely negative event for first-year university students, and a major contributor to high attrition rates at North American universities. Despite its prevalence, course failure receives relatively little research attention. What can be done to reduce course failure and help first-year students remain in university? This study examined the efficacy of an Attributional Retraining treatment intervention to reduce course failure in an Introductory Psychology course. Attributional Retraining is designed to restructure students' causal explanations of poor performance by encouraging controllable attributions such as effort and strategy in place of immutable causes such as academic ability or intelligence. Relative to students in the control group, first-year students who received Attributional Retraining were less likely to fail the Introductory Psychology course (14.6% vs. 6.4%). This finding emerged beyond the effects of several well-established predictors of academic outcomes including student background characteristics (i.e., age, gender, and past academic performance) and learning environment variables (student registration status and participation in a first-year orientation program), suggesting the utility of Attributional Retraining for students with varying backgrounds and in different educational contexts. To the extent that Attributional Retraining is effective, inexpensive, and relatively easy to administer it may be a viable option for inclusion in orientation programs designed to reduce course failure and attrition among first-year university students.
Descriptors: College Freshmen, Academic Failure, Introductory Courses, Psychology, Intervention, Attribution Theory, Retraining, School Holding Power, Positive Reinforcement, Locus of Control, Learning Strategies, Academic Achievement, Control Groups
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A