Year

2001

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Department of Psychology - Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Abstract

This thesis examines the self-concept, attributional style and self-efficacy beliefs of students with learning difficulties (LD) with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), compared to normally achieving peers. The thesis also examines the effectiveness of the attributional retraining technique in enhancing the academic self-perceptions of students with learning and attentional difficulties.

The thesis is developed in three stages: Stage-1 is concerned with the development of two instruments for the assessment of academic attributional style and academic self-efficacy beliefs for students in Grade 3 to 6. This stage examines the factor analysis, reliability and validity outcomes of these instruments. Stage-2 concerns itself with a comprehensive examination of the self-concept, attributional style and self-efficacy beliefs of students with LD, students with comorbid LD/ADHD and normally achieving peers. Based on the existing literature, a number of hypotheses concerning the directions of the difference in the self-perceptions of students with LD and with comorbid LD/ADHD were examined. Stage-3 is concerned with the implementation and assessment of the effectiveness of an intervention program that was designed for the enhancement of academic self-concept. Students with LD and students with comorbid LD/ADHD whose academic self-concept scores fell in the lowest quartile participated in this intervention program. The intervention utilized the attributional retraining technique and the effectiveness of attributional retraining in enhancing academic self-concept of students with LD and with comorbid LD/ADHD was examined.

The results obtained from Stage-2 revealed that students with LD and students with comorbid LD/ADHD possessed significantly lowered academic self-concept compared to normally achieving peers. However the three groups (LD, LD/ADHD and normally achieving peers) did not differ significantly on non-academic self-concepts. A comparison between students with LD and students with comorbid LD/ADHD indicated that the two groups did not differ significantly on self-concept, attributional style and self-efficacy beliefs. The results obtained from Stage-3 supported the effectiveness of a cognitive model in changing maladaptive attributions and indicated that academic selfconcept of students with LD and with LD/ADHD can be enhanced indirectly using attributional retraining technique.

02Whole.pdf (3598 kB)

Share

COinS