SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING AND PARENT INTERVENTION WITH LEARNING DISABLED CHILDREN By RUTH WEINSTEIN KLEIN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL ' THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1989
This dissertation is dedicated to my father, Mandel Weinstein, M.D., who spent his lifetime committed to healing the ills of mankind and has been a source of inspiration in my own personal and professional life.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to Dr. Joe Wittmer, my committee chairman, for his wisdom, support, and guidance. My sincere appreciation is also extended to Doctors Paul Fitzgerald, "Chuck" Forgnone, and Robert Myrick, my committee members, for their patience and willingness to help. I offer my gratitude to my many friends for sharing with me their time, assistance, and support. And, to my family, I give my deepest love and devotion, in recognition of the key role that their continued caring and understanding has played in enabling me to achieve this accomplishment. iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii ABSTRACT vi CHAPTERS I INTRODUCTION 1 ,r/ Statement of the Problem 2 Need for the Study 4 Theoretical Basis for the Study 5 Significance of the Study 9 Purpose of the Study 12 Definition of Terms 13 Organization of the Study 17 II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 18 Learning Disabilities 18 Locus of Control 21 Self -Concept 27 ^o*'Interventions with Parents with Learning Disabled Offspring 32 Social Skills Intervention with the Learning Disabled Child 34 Counseling with the Learning Disabled 38 The Interactionist Theory 45 Summary 46 III METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES 48 Introduction 48 Population, Sample, and Sampling Procedures.... 50 Parent Group 54 Null Hypotheses 56 Procedures and Treatments 56 Social Skills Training 57 Parent Intervention 59 Instrumentation 61 Research Design and Data Analysis 71 iv
IV ANALYSES AND RESULTS 74 Results of Testing 75 Descriptive Data 76 V SUMMARY, LIMITATIONS, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY 88 Summary , 88 Limitations 90 Discussion of Results 92 Recommendations for Further Study 99 APPENDICES A SAMPLE ITEMS FROM INSTRUMENTS USED IN STUDY... 102 B SOURCE TABLES FOR THE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE. . 107 REFERENCES 114 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 129 v
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING AND PARENT INTERVENTION WITH LEARNING DISABLED CHILDREN By Ruth Weinstein Klein August, 1989 Chairman: P. Joseph Wittmer Major Department: Counselor Education The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a group counseling approach that focused on social skills training with learning disabled (LD) children in grades 1-5 with that of a treatment using the same social skills approach plus parental intervention. There was also a control group which did not experience either of the treatments. The dependent variables were the LD children's self-concepts and perceptions of locus of control and acquisition of social skills. It was hypothesized that both groups receiving the social skills intervention would demonstrate positive and significant changes in the dependent variables with the group receiving the addition of a parental intervention demonstrating greater change. The group receiving no vi
training or intervention would demonstrate no change in the dependent variables. Sixty elementary-age LD children were randomly selected for one of the three groups. Due to lack of parent participation, the data from the five children whose parents attended parental intervention sessions were omitted from analysis and the children selected for Groups 1 and 2 were combined to form Group 1 (social skills training) , with the control group renamed Group 2 . The social skills training program used was the Walker Social Skills Curriculum (ACCEPTS) . The Index of Personality Characteristics: A Measure of Affect in School-Aged Children (IPC) was used to assess the children's self -concepts and perceptions of locus of control. The Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment: A Social Skills Rating Scale for Teachers was used to measure the subjects' acquisition of social skills. An experimental research design with one treatment group and a control group, stratification, and independent randomized assignment was used to test each of the null hypotheses. The data were analyzed using procedures in Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) . Both analysis of variance that requires assumptions of normality (parametric) and a distribution-free (non-parametric) analysis (chi-square) were conducted. The pretest and vii
posttest scores for each group were compared by using a paired comparisons t-test analysis. The .05 level of significance was used in all procedures. The results of testing did not reveal sufficient evidence to reject any of the null hypotheses at the alpha level set for this study . viii
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Children who are learning disabled have been found to have significant social, emotional, and behavioral problems (Gallico, Burns, & Grob, 1988) . They are frequently seen as hyperactive, distractible, impulsive, emotionally labile, and depressed. In addition, they are children with poor problem-solving skills, low self-esteem, external locus of control, and poor social skills (Bender, 1985; Bender & Golden, 1988; Burka, 1983; Epstein, Cullinan, & Lloyd, 1986; Gallico, Burns, & Grob 1988; Livingston, 1985; Pearl, Donahue, & Bryan, 1986). In fact, the factors which first set these children apart from their classmates and trigger referrals and diagnostic processes are usually behavior and social problems rather than academic underachievement (Bryan & Bryan, 1978) . Gresham and Elliott (1989) discussed the modified proposed definition of learning disabilities created by the Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities. In this proposed definition social skills deficits are included as a specific learning disability (Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities, 1987). However, most accepted 1
2 definitions of learning disabilities exclude social or emotional maladjustment as primary characteristics. Relatedly, programs mandated by Public Law 94-142 (PL 94-142) (U.S. Office of Education, 1977) do not adequately address social or emotional needs of learning disabled children as sufficiently as they do their cognitive needs (Amerikaner & Summerlin, 1982) . Although it was formerly believed that learning disabled children outgrew their respective disorders, it is now widely recognized that the effects of learning disabilities often remain with learning disabled children in later life (Wender, 1987) . For example, as learning disabled children grow older, they tend to have many incidences of absenteeism, truancy, dropping out of school, and impulsive acting-out behavior, including problems with police and sexual misconduct (DeWitt, 1977) . Schulman (1984) and Cato and Rice (1982) found that many learning disabled adults experience emotional problems including low self-esteem, depression, and a sense of helplessness or lack of control of their social situations . Statement of the Problem Vaughn (1985) suggested that the effects of social skills training generalize to more global self-report and behavioral measures. Social skills training aims to increase socially appropriate adaptive behavior by
3 teaching the skills necessary for successful social interaction. Any child becoming more skilled in controlling the outcome of social situations feels more responsible for the outcome of these social interactions (Ollendick & Hersen, 1979; Spence & Spence, 1980). Such a shift in perception of responsibility from external to internal locus of control and the increased success in social interaction might lead to an increase in self-esteem. The focus of this study was to investigate the effects of a social skills intervention on the self-concepts and perceptions of locus of control of learning disabled children. Also investigated was the impact of an intervention with parents (in addition to the social skills training for the learning disabled children) on the self -concepts and perceptions of locus of control of the learning disabled children and on their acquisition of social skills. The short-term parent counseling intervention was based on an educational model in which parents are taught to understand, accept, and relate to their learning disabled child. A successfully adapted person in our society exhibits social skills comparable to those of peers. Schumaker and Hazel (1984a, 1984b) defined a social skill as any cognitive function or overt behavior in which an individual engages while interacting with another person
4 or persons. Because learning disabled children are usually regarded as inactive learners they need not only to become proficient at using social skills but must also be motivated to use such skills (Seligman & Maier, 1967; Torgesen, 1982) . Consequently, successful interventions aimed at promoting learning disabled children's use of social skills should be addressed toward teaching them how to perform the skills as well as motivate them to do so in a variety of situations and circumstances (Vaughn, 1985) . Need for the Study Learning disabled children, adolescents, and adults are less well liked and less socially skilled than their nonhandicapped peers. Because social adaptation with satisfactory social skills is necessary to succeed in society, a deficit in social competence can have detrimental effects on an individual's overall life adjustment. Lacking positive social interactions, learning disabled children experience feelings of defeat, discouragement, depression, and anxiety and have low expectations of themselves. This often leads to "self-fulfilling prophesies" of failure generalized over many areas, e.g. school life, social life, family life. Continuous failure experiences, frustration, and feelings of being different and inferior increase the likelihood of learning disabled children developing low self-esteem and poor self-concepts (Bingham, 1980) .
5 This research was needed to determine if these problems can be corrected so that learning disabled children can be taught to develop a means of compensating for their academic deficits, of being suitably employed, and of being satisfied with themselves in later life. Social competency and social acceptance begin at home and are related to good feelings about oneself and having a sense of controlling one's situation (Schumaker & Hazel, 1984a; Urbain & Kendall, 1980). Because of this and the fact that learning disabled children are frequently rejected because of social ineptness (Vaughn, 1985) , it is important to utilize a social skills intervention with such children as a means of improving self -concept and increasing internal locus of control. In addition, it is important to intervene with the parents of learning disabled children so that these parents are more understanding and accepting of their children and provide a positive home environment for them. Theoretical Basis for the Study In a review of literature on the conceptualization and measurement of perceived control of events, Stipek and Weisz (1981) found that most research addressing locus of control was grounded in social learning theory. In social learning theory, locus of control is defined as a generalized expectancy for internal or external control of reinforcements (Rotter, 1966) . Internal control is
defined as the individual's belief that an event or outcome is contingent on his or her own behavior or on relatively permanent characteristics such as ability. External control is defined as the belief that an event or outcome is contingent upon factors beyond one's own control (e.g., luck, task difficulty, powerful others) (Stipek & Weisz, 1981). Rotter (1966) claimed reinforcement must be seen as contingent on a subject's own behavior to increase the subject's expectancy that a particular behavior or event will be followed by reinforcement in the future. He further stated (1975) that expectancies in each situation are determined to a varying extent by experiences in other situations perceived by the individual as similar. Social learning theorists have suggested that if the child believes the outcome of a situation is contingent on his or her behavior (i.e., an internal locus of control perspective), then he or she will increase instrumental behaviors such as attention or persistence at future tasks. Conversely, if there is no perceived contingency between outcome and behavior (i.e., external locus of control), then successes will not increase the likelihood of such instrumental behaviors in the future (Stipek & Weisz, 1981). Intrinsic motivation theorists hold that intrinsic motivation may be affected in turn by the outcomes of a child's initial efforts to achieve and strive for success
7 (Stipek & Weisz, 1981) and by the child's perceptions of the causes of the outcomes. One intrinsic motivation theory is referred to as the competence motivation theory in which it is assumed that humans naturally strive for effective interactions with their environment and that successful mastery of a problem produces feelings of efficacy or competence (White, 1959) . Pleasure produced by mastery of tasks is believed to act as a reinforcer of the mastery behavior. The person is intrinsically motivated to master tasks and thus finds successful mastery attempts reinforcing. Harter (1978) claimed that in order for children to experience a feeling of efficacy, they must perceive themselves as responsible for their successful performance. She reasoned that success attributed to an external factor, such as luck, should not lead to a feeling of competence as would success attributed to an internal factor such as effort or ability. Harter believed that internally attributed success enhances the individual's intrinsic mastery motivation stating that internal perceptions of control serve as important mediators by maintaining or increasing effectance motivation. Social learning theory and intrinsic motivation theory hold as commonalities the premise that success and failure experiences have important and enduring effects on children's perceptions of their abilities, their
8 expectations for success, and many other cognitions that mediate their behavior in achievement settings. Success and failure and the motivation to repeat a behavior are considered related to the child's sense of competence and feeling for control of a situation. Bryan and Pearl (1979) found that learning disabled children who perceived themselves as having little control over their lives because of freguent failures and frustrations experienced depression, poor self -concepts, and an external locus of control . Erikson (1968) described self-concept as a central synthesizing, psychosocial function that integrates various aspects of the personality. He referred to identity crises at various age stages as steps in a definition of self that can be either stable or anxious and guilt ridden. Maslow (1970) proposed that people have an inherent drive to become all that they can be in terms of their potential perceived self. Rogers (1961) postulated the existence of three selves: (a) the ideal self, (b) the real self, and (c) the perceived self. The ideal self is the person one would like to be; the real self is the self seen by others; the perceived self is the person as seen by himself or herself. These definitions of self -concept imply that the self -concept is a reflection of what others see in and say about the individual .
9 Social learning theory and intrinsic motivation theory and theories of self -concept are interrelated in the interactionist theory. According to the interact ionist theory of human development, an individual is born with certain given characteristics and has an ongoing interrelationship with the environment. The organism affects the environment and the environment affects the organism. Because the individual and the environment are considered as integral factors in theories of self -concept, social learning theory, and intrinsic motivation theory, the child and the environment should be considered when counseling the learning disabled child (Brooks, 1984). Significance of the Study Although there has been considerable research concerning the identification of target social skills and the technigues employed to teach them, there is a paucity of research directly relating acquisition of social skills to successful life adjustment among the learning disabled. Also, there is little research relating parents 1 understanding of their disabled child's problems to the child's successful adjustment in educational, social, and work settings. Vaughn (1985) and Schumaker and Hazel (1984a) researched the importance of understanding the child's social and emotional development and how social skills are and can be acquired. Osman (1982) , Brooks
(1984) , and Santostefano (1985) emphasized the importance of the parent-child relationship in the child's social and emotional development and the child's adjustment to all aspects of life, including academics. Social skill deficits have been remediated through a variety of techniques such as self-control training, self-instruction, verbal mediation, relaxation and imagery, self -reinforcements, manipulation of antecedents, manipulation of consequences, modeling, and cognitive-behavioral techniques (Goldstein & Pentz, 1984; Gresham, 1981; Hazel, Sherman, Schumaker, & Sheldon-Wigden, 1981; Macklem, 1987; Meichenbaum, 1977; Meichenbaum & Goodman, 1971; Michaels & Mannarino, 1986; O'Leary & Dubey, 1979; Ollendick & Hersen, 1979; Pentz, 1980; Robin, Schneider, & Dolnick, 1976; Speer & Douglas, 1981; Spence & Spence, 1980). The social skills intervention used in this research was a behavioral-ecological one in which the successful adjustment to the environment depends less on individual characteristics and more on the match between the person and the environmental attributes. It is based on the following premise: (a) individuals cannot be separated from their environments; (b) both persons and environments can be assessed; (c) the mismatch between persons and environments can be reduced through development of behavioral skills, aids, and environmental modification;
11 and (d) intervention should focus on the demands and expectations of social agents within specific settings as much as on the learning disabled person's attributes. A child who is socially competent and accepted usually is comfortable enough to take risks in the world. A child with a feeling of control and who is not ashamed of being wrong is willing to take on challenges (Osman, 1979, 1982). Social acceptance begins at home with the very first social interactions at the time of birth. For example, Thomas and Chess (1980) pointed out that temperaments vary in newborn children and result in different parental reactions. This implies that there may be a mismatch between the temperament of parent and temperament of child creating a difficulty in meeting the needs of both parent and child (Brooks, 1984) . Considering the significance of the parent-child interaction, and the finding that many parents of children with learning disabilities do not understand their children's behavior (Osman, 1982), there may be a poor fit between parental expectations and the child's potential. Therefore, a counseling intervention for parents to assist them in better understanding and accepting their children is believed necessary along with counseling for the children. Though scarce in the literature, interventions for parents of learning disabled children have included Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) , Parent
Effectiveness Training (PET) , and family therapy. Such interventions have demonstrated positive effects on the children's feelings and behavior (Gianotti & Doyle, 1982; Pill & Rosenzweig, 1984; Williams, Omizo, & Abrams, 1984; Ziegler & Holden, 1988) . Identification of counseling interventions which effectively enhance the learning disabled child's sense of well being and perception of locus of control should ultimately make a difference between success and failure from childhood on into adulthood. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of a group counseling approach that focused on social skills with elementary grade learning disabled children with that of a treatment using the same social skills approach plus parental intervention. More specifically, the two approaches compared were (a) counselor-led social skills intervention and (b) the same counselor-led social skills intervention approach, but with the addition of parent counseling. The dependent variables were the learning disabled children's self-concepts and perceptions of locus of control, and their acguisition of social skills. There was a control group which did not experience either of the treatments. More specifically, the investigator attempted to answer the following guestions in this study:
13 1. What effect does social skills training have on the learning disabled children's self -concepts? 2. What effect does social skills training have on the learning disabled children's perceptions of locus of control? 3. What effect does social skills training plus the parent intervention have on the learning disabled children's self-concepts and their perceptions of locus of control? Definition of Terms The following definitions are provided to assist in understanding the terminology used in this study: Affect is an outward expression of feeling, emotion, or mood . Attention deficit disorder is a term used to describe an individual who exhibits developmental ly inappropriate inattention and impulsivity and/or limited concentration (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III, 1982). Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity refers to an individual who exhibits developmentally inappropriate inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III, 1982) Behavio ral-ecological social skills intervention is defined as an intervention in which the successful
14 adjustment to the environment depends less on individual characteristics and more on the match between the person and the environmental attributes. It is based on the following premise: individuals cannot be separated from their environments; both persons and environments can be assessed; the mismatch between persons and environments can be reduced through development of behavioral skills, aids, and environmental modification; and intervention should focus on the demands and expectations of social agents within specific settings as much as on the learning disabled person's attributes. Causal attributions are the explanations that one gives for one's successes and failures. Cognitive refers to the act or process of knowing or the product of such knowledge; the various thinking skills such as comprehension, reasoning, and memory . Depression is defined as a mental state marked by sadness, despair, discouragement, loneliness, guilt, and low self-esteem. Associated signs may include sleep and appetite disturbances, psychomotor agitation or psychomotor retardation, and low energy states . Enactive learning is defined as learning from the outcomes of one's actions. Externa l locus of control is one's perception that events are determined by environmental factors over which one has little or no influence.
Inactive learner is a term used to describe the frequently passive and disorganized nature of a learning disabled child's approach to learning tasks (Torgesen, 1982) . Internal locus of control is one's perception that events are consequences of one's own actions. Learned helplessness is defined as repeated failure resulting in lack of persistence at tasks which realistically could be mastered (Luchow, Crowl, & Kahn, 1985) . Locus of control is the way people perceive the forces that shape their lives. Metacoqnition is defined as knowledge or cognition that regulates any aspect of cognitive behavior; what a person knows about the cognitive processes and the ability to control these processes by planning, choosing, and monitoring thinking; one's awareness of one's systemic use of efficient strategies for learning (Wiens, 1983). Self -concept is defined as a central, synthesizing, psychosocial function that integrates various aspects of the personality. From a cognitive-developmental perspective, self -concept emerges from a complex interaction between the capabilities of the individual, the social environments in which self -evaluations occur, and cognitive development, which governs the type and
scope of information people can incorporate into their own self -definition at any one point in development. Self-ef f icacy refers to one's judgments of capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances; a judgment of one's capabilities to accomplish a certain level of performance. Self-esteem is defined as the conception of one's own identity, personality, and value as a person . Social competence refers to those responses which prove effective in maximizing the probability of producing, maintaining, or enhancing positive effects within a given situation (Gresham, 1981) . Social skill is defined as the ability to exhibit socially acceptable behavior in order to receive positive rather than negative reactions from others (Cartledge, Stupay, & Kaczala, 1986). Specific learning disability is defined as a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in the understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not apply to children who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. (U.S. Office of Education, 1977, p. 65083)
17 Organization of the Study The remaining chapters of this study focus on the problem discussed in Chapter I. The investigator provides a review of the related literature in Chapter II, while Chapter III contains a detailed description of the methodology and instrumentation to be utilized in the study. In Chapter IV, the data and results of the research are presented. In Chapter V, the findings and conclusions are presented and discussed.
CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Found in this chapter is a review of the professional literature relating to the use of counseling interventions to enhance the development of self -concept and internal locus of control, and to decrease the feelings of depression among learning disabled children. The review includes literature regarding learning disabilities, the locus of control in children, self -concept of the learning disabled child, and, in addition, interventions with the learning disabled child (parental, social learning skills, and counseling) . The review ends with a discussion of the interact ionist theory, the principal theory on which the major premise of this research is based. Learning Disabilities Cruickshank, Morse, and Johns (1980) defined learning disabilities as a generic term encompassing a family of related problems. They argued that it is not a clean-cut term referring to a specific type of problem. Within the broad classification they included dyslexia, aphasia, minimal cerebral dysfunction, specific learning disabilities, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, 18
19 and numerous other subsets. When first identified and considered a disorder, learning disabilities were conceived to be low-incidence handicaps that resulted from specific localized damage to or dysfunction in the brain similar to problems noted in adults who suffered cerebral insults as a result of trauma, for example, war wounds, car accidents (Bryan, Bay, & Donahue, 1988). In 1966, the first formal definition was published: The term "minimal brain dysfunction" refers ... to children of near average, average, or above average general intelligence with certain learning or behavioral disabilities ranging from mild to severe, which are associated with deviations of function of the central nervous system. (Clements, 1966, pp. 9-10) As psychometric testing improved, and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (U.S. Office of Education, 1977) was passed, the definition was revised to state: Children with specific learning disabilities exhibit a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language . . . includ[ing] conditions which have been referred to as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction. (U.S. Office of Education, 1977 p. 65083) Dissatisfaction with this definition led the National Joint Committee for Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) to develop a new definition: Learning disabilities is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders . . . intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction. (National Joint Committee, 1987, p. 174)
20 As can be seen, during the past 18 years two definitions of learning disabilities have been put forward to replace the original minimal brain dysfunction definition, yet each includes a reference to minimal brain dysfunction indicating the intention for this category to describe children whose learning and behavioral problems are the result of central nervous system involvement. An empirical basis for the idea that learning disabled children have minimal brain dysfunction can be found in the research analyzing the brain cells of deceased dyslexics (Galaburda & Kemper, 1980) , mapping brain waves of dyslexic children (Bryan, Bay, & Donahue, 1988) , genetic studies of chromosomes on families with a history of dyslexia (Smith, Kimberling, Pennington, & Lubs, 1983) , and neuropsychological studies of language impaired children (Tallal, 1987). This research has provided some evidence for the most basic assumption in definitions of learning disabilities, that some children experiencing school problems do have central nervous system differences. A core construct of this neurological model is the heterogeneity of information processing deficits. Bryan, Bay, and Donahue (1988) believed that any definition of learning disabilities must, of necessity, acknowledge and allow for this heterogeneity. They stated that the
population of children with learning disabilities is diverse, not only in patterns of information processing deficits, but also in how these processing deficits manifest themselves in academic domains. According to federal guidelines, a significant discrepancy must exist between a child's general intellectual functioning (i.e., IQ) and academic achievement in order to be considered learning disabled (P.L. 94-142). The definition also includes a disorder "in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, . . . may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations" (U.S. Office of Education, 1977, p. 65084). This definition in itself allows for individual strengths and weaknesses and heterogeneity. Along with their individual differences, many learning disabled children experience handicapping affective and behavior disorders including an external locus of control, depression, and low self-concept (Cruickshank, Morse, & Johns, 1980) . Locus of Control Applying attribution theory, Bryan and Pearl (1979) and Stipek and Weisz (1981) discussed how children who experience frustrating and unsuccessful outcomes to their efforts soon come to believe that they have little control
over their lives. This belief produces feelings of helplessness and depression. Future successes become fewer and fewer because the child, expecting failure, begins to withdraw from age-expected demands or handles these demands in a perfunctory, ineffective fashion. It stands to reason that the less effective a person feels, the less able that person is to confront and master new challenges and, therefore, he or she loses sight of his or her own strengths. Diener and Dweck (1978) conducted a study in which they examined the verbalizations of helpless oriented and mastery oriented children. Those with a helpless orientation attributed failure to uncontrollable factors; those with a mastery orientation engaged in solution directed behaviors such as selfinstructions and self-monitoring. Using Harter's (1978) and White's (1959) developmental model of effectance motivation, Lincoln and Chazan (1979) compared learning disability and normal classes to see if perceived competence decreases in the absence of success experiences and if learning disabled children would have a more extrinsic motivational orientation. They assumed that learning disabled children would view themselves as less competent than normal peers of comparable intelligence and would have a more extrinsic motivational orientation across all behavioral domains. The results of the study provided validation for Harter's
developmental model of perceived competence as a correlate and mediator of a child's motivational orientation. In 1983, Licht suggested that in order to help learning disabled students, one must do more than remediate academic deficits and provide success experiences. One must directly alter the learning disabled child's maladaptive beliefs as well. After reviewing the research that bears on the validity of her conceptualization, Licht set forth a model with three components. First is the notion that failing repeatedly can lead children to believe that they are not capable of overcoming their difficulties, what has been regarded as "learned helplessness" (Seligman & Maier, 1967; Torgesen, 1980) . Second is the idea that children's beliefs about their abilities can affect their achievement efforts and accomplishments. This evolved out of research on locus of control, attributional theory, and selfefficacy theory (Dweck & Reppucci, 1973; Diener & Dweck 1978) . Third is the notion that learning disabled children hold the beliefs that are likely to foster a maladaptive pattern of achievement related behaviors, such as low self-esteem, insufficient ability (Chapman & Boersma, 1979; Winne, Woodlands, & Wong, 1982) and are less likely to attribute difficulty to insufficient effort (Pearl, 1982; Pearl, Bryan, & Herzog 1983). Licht (1983) believed that the causal attributions (i.e., the
explanations that one gives for one's success and failures) are related to one's problem solving behaviors and affective reactions to achievement situations. Individuals who experience mastery early in their lives come to believe that their success is determined in great part by their own efforts and ability. Individuals who experience frustration and failure early in life are more apt to believe that success is predicated on luck or chance, on factors outside their control. Those who attribute success to factors outside their control hold minimal feelings that they will be able to succeed again in the future. Therefore, in failure situations, those individuals who possess a feeling of competence often attribute unsuccessful efforts to a variable that is within their power to change, such as a lack of effort, whereas those with low self-esteem ascribe failure to a basic, unchangeable inability in themselves, a devastating feeling that contributes to a state of helplessness. If a good match exists between parent and child, the parent is sensitive to the child's needs; the child learns that communications and actions result in gratifying and consistent responses from the environment. Gaining a realistic picture of strengths and limitations, the child then discovers what challenges can be mastered at present and what challenges will require further effort and assistance to conquer in the future (Brooks, 1984;
25 Santostef ano, 1978, 1985). Success is then felt as being determined by the child's own efforts and ability, producing confidence and an internal locus of control. Youngsters with learning problems perceive themselves and are perceived as having lower self -concepts and a more external locus of control (or sense of helplessness) than children with no learning problems (Bryan & Pearl, 1979; Maples, 1984) . Locus of control describes the way people perceive the forces that shape their lives. It describes the extent "to which a person follows the pressures and expectations for behavior that come from outside the person (external) and to what extent the person's behaviors are guided by his or her own motives or wishes (internal)" (Rotter, 1971, p. 148). Individuals with a perception of internal locus of control see events as conseguences of their own actions. Individuals with an external locus of control believe that events are determined by environmental factors over which they have little or no influence. In a survey of 90 youngsters, the 45 learning disabled declared low self-concepts and an external locus of control leading Rogers and Saklofske (1985) to believe that individuals who experience failure and believe they are powerless to effect change are more apt to develop negative self -concepts, experience a vicious cycle of academic failure and negative affective characteristics .
26 Gregory, Shanahan, and Walberg (1986) surveyed 439 learning disabled twelfth graders and found them to have low self-esteem and poor motivation. Also, more learning disabled students were in trouble with the law than normal twelfth graders. Ollendick and Hersen (1979) reported that internally oriented delinguents exhibited more compliant and less aggressive behavior in a behavior modification program. They were discharged in a shorter period of time than their externally oriented counterparts, and their rate of recidivism was one-half that of externally oriented delinguents (Ollendick & Elliott, 1978) . Not only have learning disabled children been found to have an external locus of control, but Torgesen (1980, 1982) also introduced the concept of the learning disabled student as an inactive learner. He based this theory on the poor selection of task strategies by these students as well as on other behaviors which suggest the learning disabled student is not actively involved, either behaviorally or emotionally, with educational tasks. Torgesen proposed three major factors that may be responsible for learning disabled children's failure to use active organized strategies as consistently as children who learn normally. These are (a) deficiency in basic language processing skills, (b) a developmental lag in evolving a task strategy, and (c) an inability to
actively participate in the teaching-learning process. Bender (1987) confirmed Torgesen's findings in his study of 38 learning disabled children and a matched control group. He found that the learning disabled children were uninvolved and inactive in the learning situation. Self-Concept Each developmental period presents particular challenges for the child. How successfully these tasks are mastered is predicated in large part on the attainment of the cognitive and affective skills previously mentioned. Tasks of particular importance are separation, gratifying relationships with others, mastery of academic and school demands, comfort with intimacy, sexuality, and sexual identity (Brooks, 1984). The child's emotional well being is dependent upon the growth of cognitive and affective skills and the mastery of developmental challenges which contribute to reinforcement of selfesteem and sense of competence (Brooks, 1984; Harter, 1978). Harter (1978) developed a developmental model of effectance motivation and mastery in cognitive, social, and physical areas. In each of these behavioral areas there is an interplay of (a) self -competence, (b) intrinsic/extrinsic motivation for mastery, and (c) success/ failure experiences. Subseguent levels of generalized effectance motivation and mastery attempts are
28 dependent on previous relationships between these variables. Each human is born with a unique temperament involving such characteristics as mood, activity level, irritability, and responsivity (Thomas & Chess, 1980) . Some children are labeled difficult by their parents because they are less easy to please, have irregular sleeping and eating patterns, are quickly frustrated, and do not respond in a warm, cuddly fashion. These children are frequently described as hypersensitive, hyperactive, distractible, impulsive, and insatiable. Burka (1983) found that their learning disabilities cause a delay in the children's capacity to handle feelings, to communicate, and to make sense of situations in which they find themselves. These behavioral patterns make it difficult for parents to provide a good match. In fact, Bryan and Pearl (1979) described parents of such children as providing feedback that is destructive to their children's feelings of mastery because of the parent's own feelings of helplessness and external locus of control. Parents of such children become confused and exhausted, frustrated and frightened (Osman, 1982). Their children are at risk for developing cognitive and emotional problems. A person's family and childhood experiences have also been regarded as important in the development of self-
29 efficacy. Bandura (1977) described efficacy as involving a generative capability in which "cognitive, social, and behavioral subskills must be organized into integrated courses of action to serve innumerable purposes" (p. 391) . He theorized that success is attained only after alternative forms of behavior and strategies have been generated and tested. Self -doubters guickly abort this process if initial efforts fail. Competent functioning reguires both skills and self-beliefs of efficacy which enable the individual to use the skills effectively. Perceived self-efficacy is concerned with the individual's judgments of how best to use the skills one possesses. Decisions involving choice of activity and social engagements are partly determined by one's judgment of personal efficacy. People tend to avoid situations they believe exceed their capabilities. The initial efficacy experiences are centered in the family and provide exercises in personal control that are central to the early development of social and cognitive competence. Parental responsiveness increases cognitive competence, and infant capabilities elicit greater parental responsiveness (Bandura, 1977) . Later peer interactions serve as the next major agent for the development and validation of self -efficacy. School is the place where children develop their cognitive competencies and acguire knowledge and problem solving
30 skills necessary for participating effectively in society. Continuing through the transitional experiences of adolescence and the new demands of adulthood, an individual who is well eguipped with skills and a firm sense of self efficacy is better motivated for success than one who lacks these attributes (Levine & Melmed, 1982) . Heppner and Anderson (1985) examined college students' self-appraisal of their problem solving effectiveness (i.e., perceived confidence, personal control, approach avoidance) and found that self-appraised ineffective problem-solvers scored more negatively on a general index of psychological adjustment than did self appraised effective problem solvers. Self-appraised ineffective problem solvers were less well adjusted psychologically than the self-appraised effective problem solvers. Heppner and Anderson theorized that not only is behavioral adjustment linked to the ability to cope with problematic situations but an egually important variable is the person's own appraisal of coping ability. Specific skill training in decision making will not substantially alter a person's problem solving behaviors until specific negative cognitions about the person's self -concept and feelings of inadeguacy are removed. Erickson (1968), Maslow (1970), and Rogers (1961) described the self -concept in terms of a construct that
31 seems to be a reflection of what other people see in and say about the individual. Ingersoll (1982) wrote: "The development of a positive self-concept is the most important developmental task of childhood" (p. 110) . Accordingly, Omizo and Cubberly (1983) found a strong positive self-concept to be associated with success in an academic setting. In a comparison of gifted, general, and special learning needs children, Colangelo, Kelly, and Schrepfer (1987) found gifted children to have the highest selfconcept and special learning needs children the lowest. The researchers concluded that special learning needs children have non-educational needs that most greatly affect academic functioning. Margalit and Zak (1984) surveyed 100 learning disabled and 118 nonlearning disabled youngsters and found the learning disabled to have higher levels of anxiety and lower self -concepts. In a related study, Waldron, Saphire, and Rosenblum (1987) studied 48 children eight to 12 years old. They compared learning disabled/gifted and average gifted to find that the learning disabled/gifted have lower self-concepts. Waddell (1984) compared 30 hyperactive, learning disabled adolescents, medicated and non-medicated, and found that all showed impulsivity and distractibility . Children in both groups described themselves as more
32 defensive, less confident, and more socially immature than their peers. If one considers the adequacy of fit or degree of mutuality between child and the environment, especially the parents, critical to normal development, then one can see how a poor match can hinder normal development. Children have difficulty succeeding at developmental tasks and instead resort to maladaptive coping strategies that lessen self-esteem and compromise the capacity to face new challenges successfully (Santostef ano, 1978) . Brooks (1984) theorized that the ongoing accommodation and mutuality between parent and child serve as important nutriments in the development of certain interrelated behaviors that are critical features of cognitive and affective functioning. These behaviors include trust, subordination of action, articulation of body image, attentional memory strengths, abstract thinking and effective learning strategies, and language development. Interventions With Parents of Learning Disabled Offspring In a New York Magazine article, Blau (1988) emphasized that learning disabled children will accept their differences and adjust if their parents do the same. Because the lives of children and their families are intertwined, Abrams and Kaslow (1977) believed a family
33 systems approach to therapy was necessary. In that way, when the counseling hour was over, each participant could reinforce the gains of the others. Ziegler and Holden (1988) also emphasized the importance of the family in children's lives. They stated that different family types influence the handicapped children's ability to manage their disorders and psychological reactions in different ways and that counseling needed to take these familial patterns and differences into consideration. They looked at poor selfesteem, self-control, and frustration tolerance and concluded that individual and family therapy must focus both on the child's developmental problems and the family's organization. Giannotti and Doyle (1982) designed research aimed at working with parents in an attempt to show that improved parent child relationships would affect positive changes in the self -concept of learning disabled elementary children. They conducted Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) sessions with 92 parents of learning disabled children and found a significant increase in the children's self -concepts. In 1984, Williams, Omizo, and Abrams conducted Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) counseling sessions with 38 parents of high school age children and found positive child rearing attitude changes
34 implying that it was possible to change a family environment to a more positive one. Switzer (1985) related three case examples in which cognitive problem solving models were used to demonstrate that parents experienced a decrease in anxiety, verbalized more understanding, developed and acted on more appropriate expectations, and engaged in more collaborative parenting. Social Skills Intervention With the Learning Disabled Child In a survey of the literature, Schumaker et al. (1983) and Gresham (1981) found that poor social skills were displayed by learning disabled youngsters. In 1984(a), Schumaker and Hazel surveyed the literature and found poor social skills were associated with poor long term adjustment in and out of the classroom. Vaughn (1985) believed learning disabled children were at risk for becoming social rejects or isolates. Hechtman, Weiss, and Perlman (1980) studied 18 matched pairs of males, hyperactive and nonhyperactive, and found self-esteem was derived from interactions with others. La Greca and Mesibov (1979) found peer relationships to be crucial and felt learning disabled children were aware of and were sensitive to being different from others. Gresham and Reschly (1986) studied 200 children and found poor peer acceptance and social skills related to interpersonal,
35 environmental, and self -related behaviors at home and at school. McConaughty and Ritter (1985) questioned 123 parents of learning disabled boys ages six to 11 years and reported lower levels of social competence and more behavior problems than found in normal boys of the same age. In 1981, Speer and Douglas submitted a list of suggestions for parents and teachers to help them train social skills. Because of the poor interaction of the learning disabled child and the environment and the continuation of these and related problems into adulthood, the need for social skills counseling was documented. Pearl, Donahue, and Bryan (1986) found relatively little research on interventions aimed at improving children's relationships with others. They believed that a major reason for this was the uncertainty regarding which behaviors or skills needed to be addressed. In fact, Renshaw and Asher (in Torgesen & Wong, 1982) felt that some behaviors that differentiated learning disabled children might actually be adaptive responses and that changing them might result in exacerbating the children's social difficulties. Systematic research on remediation of social problems has proceeded slowly (Schumaker & Hazel, 1984). Urbain and Kendall (1980) reviewed interventions and found them useful as primary prevention as well as remediation of interpersonal problems for learning disabled children.
36 The social-ecological approach with modeling, coaching, and behavioral rehearsal with feedback evolved from cognitive behavioral theory and has been used most often with self-control deficits (Gresham, 1981; Schumaker & Hazel, 1984b; Urbain & Kendall, 1980). The cognitive behavioral technigue is preferred by some counselors because it is believed to rapidly teach the reguisite skills and promote generalization and maintenance of use of the skills in natural environments. Schumaker and Hazel (1984b) describe typical steps of such interventions to include instructional procedures (such as description) , modeling, rehearsal with feedback, then generalization training in the natural environment. Koeppen (1974) have found imagery and relaxation therapy to be valuable in the treatment of many children with learning disabilities and disorders of communication. In a short term training program for elementary school children, Macklem (1987) was successful in teaching them entry behavior to avoid rejection by others. La Greca and Mesibov (1979) conducted interventions with children seven to 16 years old and used modeling, coaching, and behavioral rehearsal with feedback to teach social skills while integrating coping with feelings into the program. They found that both affect and social skills can be integrated into a social intervention program.
Spence and Spence (1980) found that a social skills training program with 44 juvenile delinquents was effective for a short term increase in self-esteem and locus of control. Their intervention consisted of instructions, discussion, modeling (videotaped or live by peers) , role-play and practice, videotaped feedback, social reinforcement and homework tasks. Ollendick and Hersen (1979) used social skills training to increase locus of control, lower state anxiety, and develop better interpersonal skills in 27 youngsters. Using instruction, feedback, modeling, behavior rehearsal, social reinforcement, and graduated homework assignments, they found social skills group training was successful in an institutional program for incarcerated juvenile delinquents. Amerikaner and Summerlin (1982) taught one group of learning disabled children social skills and the other a relaxation technique. They found that social skills counseling had a positive influence on self-concept and that relaxation training helped decrease acting out behavior and marginally increased attention. Goldstein, Sprafken, Gershaw, and Klein (1980) worked with aggressive, * withdrawn, immature, and developmentally disabled children using a structured learning approach to decrease acting out behaviors and increase moral reasoning. Structured learning consists of four major
38 components: (a) modeling, (b) role playing, (c) performance feedback, and (d) transfer of training. In the structured learning approach the youngsters 1 interpersonal, affective, coping, and planning behaviors are viewed as skills in which they may or may not be proficient. Counseling With the Learning Disabled Numerous researchers have found the need for counseling for learning disabled children and adolescents and for a multidisciplinary approach to their multiple problems (Westman, Ownby, & Smith, 1987) . In fact, Silver (1986) reviewed the accepted and controversial approaches to remediate academic, social, emotional, and medical aspects of learning disabilities with the purpose of providing a compilation of resources and information from popular books, newspapers, magazines, and television so that medical doctors can guide the parents of their patients. Citing the lack of cognitive and behavioral skills necessary for academic and social adjustment, Sleator and Pelham (1986) recommended employing therapeutic interventions to teach problem solving and social skills and to enhance the emotional development of learning disabled children. Brooks (1984) enumerated frequently observed coping strategies that enable the child to save face and lessen
39 depression but that quickly become maladaptive and selfdefeating. These are quitting, cheating, clowning, controlling, aggressiveness and bullying, being passiveaggressive, regressing, avoiding and withdrawing, denying, rationalizing, being impulsive, and being obsessivecompulsive. In light of the development of these inappropriate coping strategies and of the handicapping effect of the developmental disorder, counseling that recognizes the intimate tie between cognitive and affective functioning is thought to be more beneficial than traditional child therapy (Brooks, 1979; Santostefano, 1978; Meichenbaum, 1977) . A child who has poor attention, receptive and expressive language, memory, or conceptual thinking may lack the prerequisites for many forms of play therapy. Therefore, therapeutic goals should include the strengthening of cognitive functioning as well as emotional growth. In addition, therapy should help the child become aware of his particular coping strategies to replace those which are self-defeating with those more adaptive to promote mastery and success (Brooks, 1984) . Cohen (1986) studied 25 learning disabled preadolescents and adolescents in psychotherapy for three months to four years and found (a) problems in work and learning, (b) chronic low level depression and high free floating anxiety, (c) unconscious concerns about self and
40 others, and (d) character rigidity and a sense of being traumatized. Learning disabled students are frequently perceived as unappealing and undesirable by teachers, peers, and parents (Center & Wascom, 1986; Vaughn & Bender, 1985). They are less accepted and more frequently rejected than their nonlearning disabled peers (Bryan, 1974) . When compared with nonlearning disabled peers they are seen as less popular (Bryan & Bryan, 1978; Siperstein, Bopp, & Bak, 1978) , and they are less frequently selected to play (Hutton & Polo, 1976). Bender and Golden (1988) compared 54 learning disabled and 54 nonlearning disabled children and found that the learning disabled children had more frequent, less desirable adaptive behavior and problem behavior. They defined adaptive behavior as those aspects of child's behavior that are adaptive to demands of the classroom, including ability to use language in social situations, produce information in the classroom, and socially cope with the demands of the environment. Citing similarities to head injured patients, McGuire and Sylvester (1987) believed that because learning disabled chldren were unaware of their behavior, and lacked the internal feedback necessary to sel f -correct , they needed cognitive and social training with a focus on acceptance of their deficits and learning compensatory
41 strategies. Small (1982) believed counseling to be of extreme importance in the minimal brain damaged or learning disabled child. Small agreed that academic remediation is psychotherapeutic in itself; however, he stated that the child's emotions and reactions may well block the effect of any remediation: "the guality of his learning, his social and vocational adjustment, his very life is inextricably involved with an emotional state affected adversely by his dysfunction" (p. 201) . From another viewpoint, Migden (1983) felt that concurrent counseling and remediation may be seen by the child as a double blow to self-esteem. The extensive evaluation that a child receives is often confusing and frightening and, although the child may be grateful for help from professionals, the helping process serves to concretize the child's deficiencies. Migden did observe, however, that learning disabled children's problems extended from the classroom to home and beyond, and believed it was necessary to understand the child's emotional functioning in relation to his or her academic and cognitive functioning. However, Wender (1987) affirmed that most learning disabled children manifest interpersonal behavior and psychological problems that benefit from counseling as well as medication. Stanton (1981) compared learning disabled children with patients who sought therapy for an
42 inability to cope with life and found both groups to be demoralized because of frequent failure. Without psychological interventions, Gallico, Burns, and Grob (1988) found that the long term educational and psychological prognosis of learning disabled children is poor. They cited the longitudinal study of 700 children in which Werner and Smith (1982) found that serious problems persisted from age 10 years through adolescence. Not only did these children display continued perceptualmotor problems and deficiencies in verbal expression, reading, and writing, but four out of five had high rates of absenteeism, truancy, impulsive acting out behavior leading to problems with police and sexual misconduct. In addition, their self-reports uncovered a pervasive lack of self-assurance and interpersonal competency (pp. 44-45) . Schumaker, Hazel, Sherman, and Sheldon (1982) found learning disabled youths perform similarly to juvenile delinquents on a role-playing test of social skills. Levine and Zallen (1984) stated: "It is entirely feasible that learning disorders, the consequent inability to meet adult expectation, and the condition of chronic success deprivation constitute a potentially malignant pathophysiological process accounting for an unrecognized portion of teenage functional morbidity" (pp. 366-367) . In a review of the literature, however, Kronick (1978) determined that learning disabled adolescents evidenced
43 psychosocial deficits independently of academic failure and frustration. Wender (1987) found that counseling in childhood does not prevent symptoms in adolescence, but does enable the learning disabled adolescent to regard the therapist as a friend and ally at a time when selfesteem is always shaky. Schulman (1984) found that many adults come to counselors with a variety of emotional problems either directly or indirectly related to their learning disabilities. Although most learning disabled children may outgrow some of the outwardly obvious signs of the disorder, (i.e., motoric hyperactivity, attention deficit and information processing problems) , more subtle problems remain (Schulman 1984) . Cato and Rice (1982) reported that the learning disabled adults seek psychotherapy for a variety of reasons including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, poor interpersonal skills, and problems with intimacy. It was not until 1985, that the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) published a position paper in the Journal of Learning Disabilities (1987) concerning adults with learning disabilities. This paper stated that although many adults with learning disabilities are successful, many are not. A large number of adolescents with learning disabilities never complete high school. Others have difficulty gaining admission to
44 or completing postsecondary programs in colleges or vocational schools. In its recommendation for programs, NJCLD stated that learning disabilities are persistent and pervasive throughout the individual's life. Adults with learning disabilities often experience personal, social, and emotional difficulties that may affect their adaptation to life tasks. These difficulties may be part of the disability or may have resulted from past experiences with others who were unable or unwilling to accept, understand, or cope with the person's disabilities. Counseling is recommended to facilitate social adaptation. Various counseling interventions have been employed with learning disabled children. Brooks used messages and metaphors to reach verbal and nonverbal components of communication (1985) and story telling to strengthen cognitive and emotional functioning while reinforcing self-esteem (1987a, 1987b). Camp, Blom, Doornick, and Hebert (1977) developed a Think-Aloud program to help young aggressive boys develop selfcontrol. Duplessis and Lochner (1981) employed psychodrama with 12 -year-old boys and found improvement in patterns of communication, attitudes, and general adjustment. Guerney (1979) used play therapy with parents as play therapists to promote parent child relationships, reduce parent stress, and improve children's behavior. Voeller (1986) studied 15 children with behavioral
45 disturbances and neuropsychological profile with right hemisphere dysfunction and found that regular psychotherapy was not effective because of the children's trouble interpreting social cues and expressing feelings. Koeppen (1974) employed relaxation training techniques to improve self-concept and poor peer relations, and to reduce acting out behaviors. Omizo, Cubberly, and Longano (1984) found that group counseling with 66 children eliminated self-defeating behaviors, and had a positive impact on perception of locus of control and sel f -concept . Omizo, Cubberly, and Omizo (1985) used Rational Emotive Therapy with 60 learning disabled and nonlearning disabled children in the classroom and found an improvement in self-concept and feelings of internal locus of control. The Interactionist Theory Human development involves a complicated interaction between the individual and the environment (Simon, 1985) . Therefore, behaviors emerge as a result of an ongoing organism-environment relationship that is typically a process of accommodation and mutuality, a process of continuous change in both systems (Santostefano, 1978) . Thomas and Chess (1980) believed that each child brings a unique constitutional makeup to all relationships (i.e., mood, temperament, activity level, distractibility , persistence, and responsivity) . The researchers considered these variables products of the child's
46 biological uniqueness and a complex person-environment relationship. Brooks (1984) felt that this constitutional makeup then prompts further responses from the environment and a pattern of interaction is established. Furthermore, he thought this pattern can promote or impede many features of a child's cognitive and emotional growth depending upon the goodness-of-f it between the child and his/her world. Brooks (1984, 1987b) and Santostefano (1978, 1985) both theorized that the genetic, organic, psychodynamic, familial, and societal factors all interact, influence, and are influenced by each other in an ongoing process. Summary A review of the literature revealed that locus of control and self-concept among learning disabled children have been studied as individual concepts. Likewise, social skills, counseling, and parental interventions with disabled children have had consideration in the literature. The integration of these areas, studying how they are interrelated, however, has had limited attention. Considering the individual is a product of his or her genetic endowment and has an ongoing interrelationship with the environment (Brooks, 1984) , it follows that many associated factors cannot be successfully treated separately. Perception of locus of control, sel f -concept , and are very closely linked as are social acceptance and
47 successful social adaptation. Changes in one area will necessarily affect changes in other areas. Therefore, in this study, the investigator considered the ongoing interrelationship between the child and the environment.
CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES Introduction An external locus of control and a low self -concept are qualities expressed by and observed in learning disabled children. Because social competency and a sense of success are often seen as influencing one's sense of well-being and perception of control of a situation, the effects of training in appropriate social skills are believed to generalize to more global self-report and behavioral measures. Development of self -concept and feelings about oneself begin in the home with parental understanding and acceptance. Children who are learning disabled often are seen as different from the average child and are frequently perceived as difficult by their parents. Consequently, parents and children may be mismatched in their needs and parents may unwittingly give destructive feedback to their children resulting in development of negative feelings about themselves and inappropriate coping skills. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a group counseling approach that focused on social 48
49 skills for elementary grade learning disabled children with that of a treatment using the same social skills approach plus parent intervention. The approaches compared were (a) counselor led social skills intervention (Group 1) , (b) counselor led social skills intervention with the addition of parent counseling (Group 2) , and (c) a control group which received no treatment (Group 3) . The dependent variables in this study were the selfconcept, perception of locus of control, and acguisition of social skills of elementary school-aged, learning disabled children. The counselor participating in the study was the assigned full-time counselor at the selected school. This counselor was certified by the Florida State Department of Education, had the appropriate experience in an elementary school as a counselor with learning disabled children, and led both treatment groups in the social skills training. The investigator trained the counselor in the use of the social skills training package and conducted the training with the parents. The test instruments used, pre and post, were The Index of Personality Characteristics: A Measure of Affect in School-Aged Children (IPC) (Brown, & Coleman, 1988) and the Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and school Adjustment: A Social Skills Rating Scale for Teachers (Walker & McConnell, 1988). The IPC is a self-report
50 inventory for the children to complete. The WalkerMcConnell is a teacher rating scale designed to evaluate social skills observed in children. The population and sampling procedures, the hypotheses, procedures, instruments, research design, and analyses of data are presented in this chapter. Population, Sample, and Sampling Procedures For this study, the population of interest was learning disabled elementary school-aged children. All 60 students categorized as learning disabled from one elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida, were selected to participate. These children had been tested by psychologists and determined to be learning disabled vis-a-vis criteria for specific learning disabled of the state of Florida and the Duval County Public School System. According to these criteria, a student is eligible for special programs for specific learning disabilities if the student exhibits evidence of a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes (i.e., visual, auditory, motor, and language areas) . In addition, a student must exhibit evidence of academic achievement which is significantly below the student's level of intellectual functioning. For students aged 7 through 10, evidence must be presented that there is a discrepancy of one standard deviation or more between an intellectual
51 standard score and academic standard score in reading, writing, arithmetic, or spelling. For students ages 11 and above, evidence must be presented that the student exhibits a discrepancy of one and one-half standard deviations or more between an intellectual standard score and academic standard score in reading, writing, arithmetic, or spelling. There needs to be evidence that the learning problems are not due primarily to other handicapping conditions (i.e., visual acuity, auditory acuity, motor handicap, emotional handicap, or mental retardation) (Florida Department of Education, 1986) . The children participating in this study were attending classes for the learning disabled at Oak Hill Elementary School in Jacksonville. Oak Hill School, #210, is situated in the western sector of Jacksonville. Demographic information compiled in October of 1988 for the 1988-1989 school year indicated a total of 882 children in prekindergarten through fifth grade. There were 55% White, 38% Black, 2% Hispanic, and 5% AsianPacific children. There were 52% males and 48% females. Twelve percent of the children in the school were in special education classes. Due to the school's proximity to naval air stations, approximately 20% of the children were of military or government-related families. Greater than 50% of the children gualify for free meals indicating
52 that an average family of four earns less than $13,000 per year. At the onset of this study, there were 60 students classified as learning disabled in first through fifth grades: 45 boys and 15 girls. The 60 students were randomly assigned to the three groups of 20 each: (a) counselor led social skills intervention, (b) counselor led social skills intervention plus parent counseling, or (c) a control group receiving no treatment and not meeting with the counselor except for pretesting and posttesting. A scheme that took into account two important prognostic factors, grade and sex, was used, and four strata were defined to account for these two factors: 1. Girls in 1st through 2nd grade 2. Girls in 3rd through 5th grade 3. Boys in 1st through 2nd grade 4. Boys in 3rd through 5th grade Within each stratum an independent randomized assignment of the subjects to the treatments was applied. This was accomplished using the "random permuted blocks" assignment (Pocock, 1983). This is a method of restricted randomization that ensures exactly egual treatment numbers at certain egually spaced points in the seguence of subject assignment. To do this, one randomly selects a digit between 1 and 6 (ignore 0, and 7-9) and considers blocks of 3 subjects each.
The first block of 3 subjects was assigned to treatments: ABC for digit 1 ACB for digit 2 BAC for digit 3 BCA for digit 4 CAB for digit 5 CBA for digit 6 Once the first three subjects had been assigned, a digit was randomly selected between 1 and 6 and the process repeated. The order in which the subjects entered the study was defined by listing them alphabetically on the basis of their last names. This sample of learning disabled children was not directly representative of the population of all elementary school-age, learning disabled children of interest. However, due to the fact that learning disabled children share common experiences of failures and frustrations, the assumption was made that the resultant sample is representative of the population of interest. Because of the high attrition rate among the learning disabled students at the school during the course of this study, the 60 students in the study dwindled to 49 as children were reclassified as to handicap or families moved from the area. This resulted in 36 students in Groups 1 and 2 (Treatment) , and 13 students in Group 3
54 (Control) . Two children were unable to complete the IPC because of difficulty attending to the task as well as difficulty understanding the test itself. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the number of parents who participated was extremely poor. Parents of only five students, instead of the anticipated 20, attended the parent training sessions. However, their children did participate in the social skills program. Because of the small size of this parent group, the results of the children whose parents participated in the parent intervention group were not included in the data analysis. Parent Group The parents to be included in the social skills plus parent intervention treatment were those parents of the children randomly selected for that treatment group. These parents received a letter from the school's principal inviting them to attend a parent study group lasting three weeks. This letter was followed by a second letter mailed to parents and also carried home by the children. The counselor then telephoned parents to remind them of the sessions. The parents were told that a study was being conducted to learn more about learning disabled students who display academic and behavioral problems. The objectives of the parent program were to learn more about their child's learning disability and to develop more effective skills needed to parent learning disabled
55 children. It was suggested that their attendance at these meetings would be of benefit to them and their children by helping them learn effective ways of relating to their children and their children's unique needs. Both mother and father were encouraged to attend. The specific nature of the study was not revealed to the parents until completion in order to control any effects their knowledge might have on the outcome. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there was extreme difficulty in obtaining parent participation for this study. The school principal and the counselor repeatedly notified the parents of the sessions and received numerous promises of participation. However, as mentioned previously, parents of only five children from the 20 anticipated actually attended. In fact, the investigator postponed the first parenting session because several parents had expressed difficulty attending on the original date. As a result of this change, parents of two more children attended the sessions. Despite interest expressed to the counselor by other parents, the actual parent sessions were attended consistently by at least one of the parents of the same five children. Others who expressed intentions of attending subsequent meetings did not attend them. This is further discussed in Chapter V.
56 Null Hypotheses The following null hypotheses were tested in this study : Ho 1. There will be no significant differences among the groups in acquisition of social skills. Ho 2. There will be no significant differences among the groups in sel f -concept . Ho 3. There will be no significant differences among the groups in perception of locus of control . Procedures and Treatments Using a stratified random selection process, children in this study were placed in one of the three groups: (a) counselor led social skills training (n = 20) , (b) counselor led social skills training plus a parent intervention (n =20) , and (c) a control group receiving no treatment (n = 20) . Because of the unexpectedly high attrition rate and unexpected inadequate parent participation, the group sizes became: Group 1, n = 31; Group 2, n = 5; Group 3, n = 13. Because of its small size, the results from the children in the parent group were not included in the data analysis. All other children who received social skills training were now considered as one treatment group, called Group 1
57 (Treatment) . The data were then analyzed on only two groups: Treatment Group 1, n = 31 (social skills training), and Control Group 2, n = 13 (no treatment at all) . Social Skills Training Before beginning the social skills training program, the counselor introduced herself to the children and told them that by participating in the class, they would have the opportunity to learn how to get along better with others. She outlined the class procedures and informed the children that they did not need to attend if they wished not to. One child chose not to attend the first two sessions but participated in the following sessions and was included in the sample. The social skills training consisted of material from The Walker Social Skills Curriculum: The ACCEPTS Program (Walker, McConnell, Holmes, Todis, Walker, & Golden, 1983). This is a direct instructional and competency-based approach to training social skills designed for use with mildly and moderately handicapped children in the primary and intermediate grades. Twenty-eight skills are grouped into the following five major content areas: 1. Classroom Skills 2. Basic Interaction Skills 3 . Getting Along
58 4. Making Friends 5. Coping Skills The first area covers skills essential for a successful classroom adjustment and meeting the teacher's expectations. The latter four areas teach skills that determine interactive competence and affect the guality of the child's social adjustment with peers. Principles of direct instruction incorporated into the ACCEPTS curriculum include (a) clear definitions and specifications of each skill to be taught, (b) selection and presentation of both instances and noninstances of the correct application or demonstration of each skill, (c) seguencing of skills so that increasing complexity is built into the target child's behavioral repertoire as instruction progresses, (d) provision of a variety of practice activities to build in conceptual and behavioral mastery of each skill, (e) use of systematic correction procedures that move the target child toward skill mastery. To benefit from the ACCEPTS curriculum's content and instructional procedures, handicapped children should have the following characteristics: (a) a capacity to imitate and acguire skills through behavioral rehearsal procedures, (b) an ability to listen to instructions and follow directions, (c) rudimentary language skills, and (e) a minimal repertoire of attending behavior.
The skills were taught by the counselor and mastered daily for two weeks, with each treatment session lasting 45 minutes. The printed curriculum as well as the optional video which provided the students with models of the activities were employed. The two areas covered were Basic Interaction Skills and Getting Along Skills. At the end of each of the two units was a review of the skills included in that particular unit. The instructions specified in the curriculum were used for all training. Sample instructions for teaching one of the Basic Interaction Skills are included in Appendix A. Parent Intervention After repeated attempts to gain parent participation, and numerous promises to attend, the parent group proceeded with disappointingly few parents. These parents were, however, committed to the purposes of the program. Thus, the parent intervention was conducted as originally proposed with the small parent group. The results are not included in the data analysis of this study. The STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) program (Dinkmeyer & McKay, 1976) is a highly structured approach to parenting. There have been numerous research studies both on the effects of STEP on parent attitudes (Bauer, 1978; Hill, Raley, & Snyder, 1982), and on children's attitudes and behaviors (Clarkson, 1980; Dobson, 1979: Esters & Levant, 1983).
60 STEP has also been employed with parents of learning disabled children (Hammett, Omizo, & Loffredo, 1981; Lifur-Bennett , 1982; Williams, Omizo, & Abrams, 1984). The results of these studies indicated that STEP was beneficial for both parents and children. This training program is based on democratic principles of child rearing in which mutual respect and equality are valued. The term equality is used here as it applies to human worth and dignity. In STEP, each person in a family is considered entitled to equal respect. Parents should provide opportunities for children to make decisions, within limits, and should allow them to be responsible for their decisions. This type of guidance is called natural and logical consequences, and replaces reward and punishment as a method of disciplining children. Two major objectives of the program are to teach parents to communicate with their children and to encourage them. Such communication and encouragement implies valuing each child as an individual who deserves love and respect. By helping parents learn effective ways to relate to their children and clarifying the purposes of children's behavior, STEP helps parents learn how not to reinforce their children's unacceptable behaviors and how to encourage cooperative behavior. Through STEP, parents
61 discover they are not necessarily the cause of difficulties with their children. As the parents are freed of this burden of guilt, they are able to function more effectively. The first meeting of the course began with a sharing time so that all parents learned that other parents of learning disabled children have similar feelings and experiences. This sharing was intended to establish group camaraderie and build rapport. After the introductory portion, the STEP curriculum with audio cassettes was followed as directed in the Leader's Manual. The parent training sessions lasted three and one-half weeks with meetings two times a week. Discussions lasted two to two and one-half hours. Instrumentation Because the children's self-concept and perception of locus of control were two variables to be assessed, a self-assessment questionnaire was chosen. The teachers administered the test instruments in the respective classrooms. The Index of Personality Characteristics: A Measure of Affect in School-Aged Children (IPC) (Brown & Coleman, 1988) was designed to measure the personal and social adjustment of school-aged children and adolescents. It is a norm referenced self -report inventory designed to elicit students' perceptions of their own behavior and feelings. Sample questions are included in Appendix A.
62 There are four dimensions within the IPC, each measured by a pair of dichotomous scales: (a) the Ecological Dimension, including the Academic and Nonacademic scales; (b) the Social Perception Dimension, including the Perception of Self and Perception of Others scales; (c) the Behavioral Dimension, including the Acting In and Acting Out scales; and (d) the Locus of Control Dimension, including the Internal and External Locus of Control scales. Thus, the structure of the IPC helps examiners to determine if reported difficulties are pervasive or situational (Academic/Nonacademic) ; if they reflect problems of self-esteem or problems of interpersonal relationships (Perception of Self/Perception of Others) ; if they are problems that one turns inward to oneself or outward to other people or the environment (Acting In/Acting Out) ; and if the reported difficulties indicate that the target student assumes responsibility for his or her own behavior or deflects responsibility to other people or to chance (Internal Locus of Control/External Locus of Control) . Personality is defined in the IPC as the sum total of one's behavior, character traits, physical appearance, and personal and social modes of adjustment and interaction. The 75 items of the IPC are assigned to four pairs of scales that measure affect across four important and dichotomous dimensions: the Ecological Dimension, the
63 Social Perception Dimension, the Behavioral Dimension, and the Locus of Control Dimension. The Total Score is viewed by the authors as a measurement of the child's socioemotional development. The Ecological Dimension describes the environment in which a behavior or feeling occurs. All 75 items are assigned to either the Academic Scale or the Non-academic Scale. The Academic Scale items describe behaviors, feelings, attitudes, or values pertaining to one's school, education, academic competence, academic self-esteem, or scholarly pursuits. The Non-academic Scale items describe behaviors, feelings, attitudes, or values pertaining to one's competence, skill, or self-esteem outside of school and in nonscholarly or nonacademic endeavors such as social, recreational, artistic, or athletic pursuits. The Social Perception Dimension describes students ' perceptions of themselves as individuals and as part of a social situation or interpersonal interaction. The 75 items are assigned to either The Perception of Self Scale or the Perception of Others Scale. The Perception of Self Scale items describe behaviors, feelings, attitudes, or values pertaining to one's self, such as one's own distinctive traits of mind, body, character, conduct, temperament, and emotions. The Perception of Others Scale items describe behaviors, feelings, attitudes, or values
64 pertaining to the quality, importance, and nature of one's relationships and interactions with others. The Behavioral Dimension describes the behavioral manifestations of disordered personality development. Forty-four items are assigned to either the Acting In Scale or the Acting Out Scale. The Acting In Scale items describe disordered behaviors or feelings that turn inward or are held inside oneself, such as anxious, withdrawn, or introvertive behaviors or feelings. The Acting Out Scale items describe disordered behaviors or feelings that turn outward to others or to the environment or that are physically self -abusive or self-destructive, such as aggressive, hostile, contentious, rule-breaking, manipulative, or oppositional behaviors or feelings. The Locus of Control Dimension describes the extent to which individuals accept responsibility for their own behavior and its consequences. The 55 items of the IPC that specifically ascribe responsibility or that imply the presence of control or responsibility are assigned to either the Internal Locus of Control Scale or the External Locus of Control Scale. The Internal Locus of Control Scale items describe behaviors or feelings that characterize individuals who accept responsibility for their own behavior and its consequences or who believe that they exercise some control over the events and conditions of their lives. The External Locus of Control
65 Scale items describe behaviors or feelings that characterize individuals who believe they do not exercise any control over the events of their lives or who ascribe responsibility for their own behavior and its consequences to luck, to circumstance, or to other people. According to the manual, normative data were gathered between October 1986 and September 1987. The test was administered to 2,704 students between the ages of 8 years and 18 years in 3 0 states. No students were excluded except those identified as seriously emotionally disturbed (Brown & Coleman, 1988) . The test's internal consistency reliability was determined to be significant beyond the 5% level of confidence. Averaged alphas estimating overall internal consistency of each scale across all ages exceeded .89. Stability reliability of the IPC is in the mid ,80's. Internal consistency reliability for the learning disabled population averaged a Kuder-Richardson coefficient of .98 for the total test score (Brown & Coleman, 1988) . Validity studies of the IPC established correlations of .81 with teacher evaluations of socioemotional maturity; .79 with the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, Revised; and .68 with the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventories, School Form (Brown & Coleman, 1988) . The IPC was designed to be appropriate for children ages 8-0 through 17-11 years. It requires approximately
66 30-45 minutes to administer individually or in groups. When administering the IPC to the children in this study, the teachers began by telling the children, "here is a list of sentences that describe some of the things that children do and the way that children feel . " They then proceeded with the standard instructions. Students read each item of the IPC and respond using a 4 -point response system. "Almost Always Like Me" is the appropriate response to items that students believe are highly characteristic of them. "Usually Like Me" is the appropriate response to items that are sometimes true of the responding student. "Usually Not Like Me" is the appropriate response to items that students believe are not especially typical of their feelings and behavior. The last category, "Almost Never Like Me," is reserved for items that the responding students believe are very seldom true of their behavior. Raw scores are computed and converted into standard scale scores. The authors of the IPC stated in the manual that the lowest and highest scale guotients are representative of the extreme 2.32 percents of the population. A scale score of 8-12 is considered Average Performance and includes 49.48 of the population. An examiner may read the items to the student and mark his or her responses if the child does not read or
67 understand the question, as was true of some learning disabled children in this study. Because social competency was a variable to be assessed, a teacher-observation rating scale was completed by the children's teachers. The Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment: A Social Skills Rating Scale for Teachers (Walker & McConnell, 1988) is a teacher rating scale designed primarily for use in the screening and identification of social skills deficits among elementary school-aged children. The scale was designed to sample two primary adjustment domains within the school setting that usually are subsumed under the broad term of social competence. These areas are adaptive behavior and interpersonal social competence. As defined in the manual for the scale, adaptive behavior refers to the skills necessary to function independently within classroom instructional settings and interpersonal social competence refers to the skills necessary to maintain adequate social interactions and relationships with others. Sample items from this questionnaire are included in Appendix A. The Walker-Mcconnell Scale consists of 43 positivelyworded descriptions of social skills distributed across three subscales. Evaluated together these descriptions of social skills sample the adaptive behavior and interpersonal social competence adjustment areas. The
68 total score is a measurement of the child's social behavior and interpersonal competence. The first two subscales measure peer-related interpersonal social skills, and the third subscale measures adaptive behavior required for success within classroom instructional settings. Subscale 1 is called Teacher-Preferred Social Behavior and consists of 16 items measuring peer-related social behavior highly valued by teachers. Sample items in this subscale include: Shows sympathy for others, Accepts constructive criticism for peers without becoming angry, Is sensitive to the needs of others, Controls temper, Cooperates with peers in group activities or situations. Items in this subscale reflect teacher concerns for sensitivity, empathy, cooperation, selfcontrol, and socially mature peer-related behavior. Subscale 2 is called Peer-Preferred Social Behavior. It has 17 items that measure peer-related social behavior highly valued by peers. Sample items from this subscale include: Plays or talks with peers for extended periods of time, Interacts with a number of different peers, Makes friends easily with other children, Voluntarily assists peers who require it, Compromises when the situation calls for it. These items reflect peer values concerning forms of social behavior that govern peer dynamics and social relations within free play settings.
69 Subscale 3 is called School Adjustment Behavior and measures adaptive social-behavioral competencies valued by teachers within classroom instructional contexts. The 10 items in this subscale reflect teacher concerns relating to the management of instructional environments in both regular and special education situations. Sample items in this subscale include: Displays independent study skills, Uses free time appropriately, Attends to assigned tasks, Listens carefully to teacher directions and instructions for assignments. A 5-point Likert scale is used to structure teacher rating judgments ranging from never occurs (1) to frequently occurs (5) . Normative data from over 1,800 cases were collected across the United States for handicapped and nonhandicapped students. The item means and standard deviations for the national normative sample collected during the school years 1985-1987 can be used to evaluate students' behavioral status on each of the 43 skills. Total scale scores and subscale scores can provide a profile of the magnitude and specific locus of a student's social competence problems through normative comparisons. In the Walker-McConnell manual, the authors stated that the overall validity of the total scale and its subscales is substantial. They claim high correlations at p < .01 and beyond with other means of measuring social
70 competency in both learning disabled and non-learning disabled children (Walker & McConnell, 1988). Test-retest stability was in the high to moderate range with higher coefficients obtained for 2 -week intervals (.88-. 92) versus 6-month intervals (.61-. 70). Internal consistency was computed for the norm sample of 1,812 cases giving coefficients ranging from .95-. 97. This indicates high levels of internal consistency for the total scale and subscales (Walker & McConnell, 1988) . Teachers who complete the scale spend an average of five minutes per pupil for administration and completion. The instructions are built into the instrument. The test is scored by adding up the numerical Likert ratings assigned to each of the scale items. Individual item scores, subscale scores, and total scale scores are obtained. The scale thus yields estimates of the student's status on three interrelated domains of social behavioral competence important to school success and peer relations. The Walker-McConnell raw scores convert to standard scale scores. A child with a high score is considered socially competent. Research Design and Data Analysis An experimental research design using two treatment groups and a control group, stratification, and
71 independent randomized assignment was used in testing the null hypotheses. This particular research design was chosen because of the small sample size (n = 60) , the use of both male and female subjects from five grade groups, and the availability of one counselor to lead both treatment groups in social skills training. After repeated attempts by both the principal and the counselor to obtain parent participation, parents of only five children attended and completed the parent intervention sessions. This resulted in a group too small (n = 5) to be considered in the data analysis. The children whose parents participated in the parent intervention were omitted from the analysis. Therefore, the results of the other children originally placed in Group 2 by the random selection process were combined with those of Group 1 as both had received social skills training. Thirteen children remained in the control group receiving no training at all. The data were then analyzed on the basis of two groups: Group 1 Â— social skills training (n = 310, and Group 2 Â— control (n = 13). The data were analyzed using procedures in Statistical Analysis Software (SAS, 1985) . Both analysis of variance that reguire assumptions of normality (parametric) and a distribution-free (non-parametric) analysis (chi-sguare) were conducted. The .05 level of
72 significance was used in all procedures for testing the null hypotheses. When the data were first considered without any transformation, it appeared that they may not have a normal distribution. Looking at the data with a log transformation appeared to normalize the data. For the most part, the data had a bell-shaped distribution (considering the small sample size) . Because the pretest measures provided a baseline for the severity of the problem, these scores were of necessity incorporated into the analysis. This was accomplished by using an analysis of covariance (Fleiss, 1986; Kerlinger, 1964). The pretreatment values served as the covariate and the posttreatment values acted as the dependent variables. The model also contained a categorical variable with two different levels representing the two different treatment groups. A secondary objective was to compare pretest and posttest scores individually for each group. This was accomplished by using a paired comparisons t-test analysis. The data analysis was carried out on all individual scale scores and the total scale scores of the IPC and the Walker-McConnell. These procedures were conducted because the IPC and the Walker-McConnell each have interrelated scales. These scales served as the measure of the dependent variables. The total IPC score is designed to
provide an overall measure of the student's personality and social adjustment. The total Walker-McConnell score is designed to provide an overall measure of the student 1 social competency. Results of the data analysis are included in Chapter IV.
CHAPTER IV ANALYSES AND RESULTS The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a group counseling approach that focused on social skills training with elementary grade, learning disabled children with that of a treatment using the same social skills approach plus parental intervention. The dependent variables were the learning disabled children's self-concepts and perceptions of locus of control, and their acquisition of social skills. There was a control group which did not experience either of the treatments. Based on the review of the relevant literature, it was hypothesized that both groups of children receiving the social skills intervention would demonstrate positive and significant changes in the dependent variables. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that the group receiving a social skills intervention with the addition of an intervention with their respective parents would demonstrate greater positive and significant changes than the group receiving the social skills intervention alone. It was further hypothesized that the group receiving no social skills training or parental intervention would
demonstrate no positive and significant change in the dependent variables under investigation. When the study began, 60 learning disabled children from grades one through five were randomly selected for one of three groups: (a) social skills training, (b) social skills training plus parent intervention, and (c) control. Repeated attempts to gain parent participation yielded disappointing results. Only the parents of five learning disabled children attended the parent sessions. The sessions were conducted as proposed but the data from the children whose parents attended were omitted from the data analysis because of the small sample size. Therefore, the children who were randomly selected for Group 1 and Group 2 were combined to form Treatment Group 1. As a result, two groups were considered in the data analysis: Group 1, n = 31, social skills training, and Group 2, n = 13, control. In this chapter, the results of the data analysis are reported. Included are descriptive data, complete tables of summary data, results of data analyses conducted, and a nonevaluative explanation of the trends and patterns in the data. Results of Testing The following null hypotheses were tested: Ho 1. There will be no significant differences among the groups in acguisition of social skills.
76 The data do not provide sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis at the set alpha level. Ho 2. There will be no significant differences among the groups in self -concept . The data do not provide sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis at the .05 level of confidence. Ho 3. There will be no significant differences among the groups in perception of locus of control . The data do not provide sufficient evidence to reject the null hypothesis at the alpha level set for this study. Descriptive Data Data were collected on 49 elementary school-age, learning disabled children. The data from the five children whose parents attended the parent training sessions were disregarded. Additionally, two children were unable to complete the IPC and one child's Walker-McConnell was incomplete. This resulted in omitting them from the data analysis. Demographic information describing the sample of children appears in Table 1. The five children from the social skills plus parent intervention are not included with this total. Total group descriptive data, including scale means and standard deviations for the IPC scales, appear in
Table 2 . Because two children were unable to complete the IPC test, only 29 children are represented in the Treatment Group. Table 1 Demographic Data Variable N Male 30 Female 14 Second Grade 3 Third Grade 7 Fourth Grade 22 Fifth Grade 12 The mean scores for all scales of the IPC for Group 1 (social skills training) and Group 2 (control) are all within the Average range for both pretest and posttest. The total group descriptive data including scale means and standard deviations for the Walker-McConnell are found in Table 3 . The mean scores for all scales of the Walker-McConnell for Group 1 (social skills training) and for Group 2 (control) range from within one standard deviation below the mean to one-plus standard deviations below the mean.
78 tble 2 idex of Personality Charateristics sscriptive Analysis sale Control Group Mean St . Dev . Treatment Group Mean St . Dev . sademic Pre-Test) sademic Post-Test) s-n-Academic Pre-Test) s-n-Academic Post-Test) arception of Self Pre-Test) arception of Self Post-Test) arception of Others Pre-Test) arception of Others Post-Test) sting In Pre-Test) sting In Post-Test) sting Out Pre-Test) sting Out Post-Test) rvternal Locus of Control Pre-Test) rvternal Locus of Control Post-Test) eternal Locus of Control Pre-Test) eternal Locus of Control Post-Test) atal Score Pre-Test) atal Score Post-Test) 8.09 2.07 8 . 96 1.91 8 . 27 2 . 69 9 . 41 1.93 9. 00 3 . 16 9.38 2 . 62 10. 08 3 . 20 9 . 83 3 . 16 8. 00 2 . 12 8.76 2.36 8.54 2 . 33 9 . 34 2 . 35 9.08 2.99 9. 62 2.62 9.31 3.59 9.79 3 . 03 7.62 2.33 7.72 2 . 64 8.38 3.33 8.66 2.77 8.69 2.81 9.52 2.69 8.92 3.04 9.55 2.80 8.69 1.97 9.52 1.77 9.31 2.36 9.34 2.09 7.54 3.93 8.55 3.84 7.92 5.02 9.38 4.56 94.54 10.71 98.00 10.07 96.46 12.21 100.00 10.86 n=13 n=13 n=29 n=29
79 Table 3 Walker-McConnell Descriptive Analysis Control Group Treatment Group Scale Mean St. Dev. Mean St. Dev. Teacher Preferred (Scale (Pre-Test) 1) 5.92 2. 66 7.84 2. 66 Teacher Preferred (Scale (Post-Test) 1) 6.15 2. 94 7.50 2. 13 Peer Preferred (Scale 2) (Pre-Test) 6.85 2. 41 8.16 2. 89 Peer Preferred (Scale 2) (Post-Test) 7.15 2. 58 8.00 2. 74 School Adjustment (Scale (Pre-Test) 3) 6.61 2. 57 6.94 2. 62 School Adjustment (Scale (Post-Test) 3) 6.92 2. 40 6.80 2. 38 Total Score (Pre-Test) 80.46 12. 41 87.39 12. 45 Total Score (Post-Test) 81.46 n=13 13. n= 70 13 86.50 n=31 10. n= 89 31
80 Students who score one-plus or more standard deviations below the norm sample mean on any of the scales of the Walker-McConnell are considered to be in need of social skills interventions. Low scores on Scales 1 and 3 indicate the need for social skills interventions designed to improve adult-related social behavior and adjustment to the demands and expectations of instructional settings controlled primarily by teachers. Low scores on Scale 2 indicate the need for social competence interventions designed to improve peer-related social skills and subject-peer dynamics. The mean scores of this sample of learning disabled children was significantly below the norm sample mean on pretests and posttests. Analysis of covariance summaries for the IPC scales are given in Table 4. The source tables are included in Appendix B. There were no significant differences between the treatment and control groups* mean posttest scores, after controlling for variation in pretest scores. Analysis of covariance summaries for the Walker-McConnell scales are shown in Table 5. The source tables are included in Appendix B. There were no significant differences between the treatment and control groups' mean posttest scores, after controlling for variation in pretest scores. A distribution-free analysis of variance based on the chi-sguare distribution was considered. As indicated in
81 Table 4 Index of Personality Characteristics Covariate Analysis Group Score Scale F VALUE PROB > F Academic (Post-Test) Non-Academic (Post-Test) Perception of Self (Post-Test) Perception of Others (Post-Test) Acting In (Post-Test) Acting Out (Post-Test) Internal Locus of Control (Post-Test) External Locus of Control (Post-Test) Total Score (Post-Test) 0.20 0.57 0.15 0.10 0.19 0. 00 0.22 0.40 0.10 0.6593 0.4549 0.7015 0.7577 0.6641 0.9575 0.6413 0.5312 0.7567
Table 5 WalkerMcConnell Covariate Analy sis GROUP SCORE F PROB SCALE VALUE > F Teacher Preferred (Scale 1) 0.00 0.9482 (Post-Test) Peer Preferred (Scale 2) 0.04 0.8339 (Post-Test) School Adjustment (Scale 3) 0.58 0.4523 (Post-Test) Total Score 0.07 0.7981 (Post-Test)
Table 6 Index of Person ality Characteristics Chi-Sauare Analysis Distribution Free Scale Chi-Sguare Probability Academic 0.1024 (Post-Test) Non-Academic 0.3019 (Post-Test) Perception of Self 0.0709 (Post-Test) Perception of Others 0.0705 (Post-Test) Acting In 0.0118 (Post-Test) Acting Out 0.2953 (Post-Test) Internal Locus of Control 0.0012 (Post-Test) External Locus of Control 0.0694 (Post-Test) Total Score 0.1624 (Post-Test) 0.7490 0.5827 0.7901 0.7906 0.9134 0.5868 0.9721 0.7923 0. 6869
84 Table 6, no significant results were found for the IPC. In addition, in Table 7, no significant results were found for the Walker-McConnell . Paired comparisons t-test statistics for pretest and posttest for the means for each group on the IPC are shown in Table 8. The only significant p value is p = .0353 on the Non-Academic scale for the Control Group. Table 9 displays no significant differences between the pretest and posttest means for each group as shown by the paired comparisons t-test statistics for the Walker-McConnell . Thus, as indicated previously, both the parametric and distribution-free analysis do not provide sufficient evidence to reject any of the null hypotheses posited in this study at the set alpha level.
85 'able 7 ralker-McConnell Chi-Souare Analysis >istribution Free Scale Chi-Square Probability Teacher Preferred (Scale 1) (Post-Test) Peer Preferred (Scale 2) (Post-Test) School Adjustment (Post-Test) Total Score (Post-Test) 0.0134 0.5722 1.7541 0.8257 0.9079 0.4494 0.1854 0.3635
86 able 8 ndex of Personality Characteristics aired Comparisons T-Test STD ERROR SCALE MEAN N OF MEAN T P = T CONTROL GROUP Academic 0. 4000 10 0. 6359 0. 63 0. 5450 Ion-Academic 1. 0833 12 0. 4515 2. 40 0. 0353 Perception of Self Perception of Others 0. 5384 13 0. 3858 1. 40 0. 1882 0. 2307 13 0. 5329 0. 43 0. 6727 Acting In 0. 7692 13 0. 4955 1. 55 0. 1466 Acting Out 0. 2307 13 0. 5329 0. 43 0. 6727 Cnternal Locus of Control 0. 6153 13 0. 5375 1. 14 0. 2746 external Locus of Control 0. 3846 13 0. 7888 0. 49 0. 6346 ?otal 1. 9230 13 1. 9063 1. 01 0. 3330 TREATMENT GROUP academic 0. 4000 25 0. 3162 1. 26 0. 2180 Ion-Academic 0. 4482 29 0. 4902 0. 91 0. 3683 >erception of Self 'erception of Others 0. 5862 29 0. 4077 1. 44 0. 1617 0. 1724 29 0. 5206 0. 33 0. 7430 acting In 0. 9310 29 0. 4936 1. 89 0. 0697 acting Out 0. 0344 29 0. 4824 0. 07 0. 9435 internal Locus of Control -0. 1724 29 0. 3909 -0. 44 0. 6626 Ixternal Locus of Control 0. 8275 29 0. 7328 1. 13 0. 2684 'otal 2. 0357 28 1. 6244 1. 25 0. 2209
87 able 9 alker-McConnell Paired Comparisons T-Test Std Error cale Mean N Of Mean T P = T CONTROL GROUP eacher Preferred (Scale 1) 0. 2307 13 0. 2307 1. 00 0. 3370 eer Preferred (Scale 2) 0. 3076 13 0. 2627 1. 17 0. 2643 chool Adjustment (Scale 3) 0. 3076 13 0. 5591 0. 55 0. 5922 otal 1. 0000 13 1. 1657 0. 86 0. 4078 TREATMENT GROUP eacher Preferred (Scale 1) -0. 4000 30 0. 3607 -1. 11 0. 2766 eer Preferred (Scale 2) -0. 1666 30 0. 4126 -0. 40 0. 6893 chool Adjustment (Scale 3) -0. 2000 30 0. 2599 -0. 77 0. 4479 otal -1. 1000 30 1. 5868 -0. 69 0. 4937
CHAPTER V SUMMARY, LIMITATIONS, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY Summary The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of social skills training and parent intervention on learning disabled children. The specific questions to which the study was addressed were (a) what effect does social skills training have on the learning disabled children's self -concepts ; (b) what effect will social skills training have on the learning disabled children's perceptions of locus of control; (c) what effect will social skills training plus the parental intervention have on the learning disabled children's self-concepts and their perceptions of locus of control; and (d) can social skills be taught effectively to learning disabled children? Sixty learning disabled children were randomly selected for one of three groups: (a) social skills training, (b) social skills training plus parent intervention, and (c) control. Repeated attempts to gain parent participation yielded disappointing results. Only 88
89 the parents of five learning disabled children attended the parent sessions. The sessions were conducted as proposed but the results of the children whose parents attended were disregarded in the data analysis because of the small sample size. As a result of this and a high rate of student attrition, only two groups were considered in the data analysis: Group 1, n = 31, social skills training, and Group 2, n = 13, control. The social skills training program used was the ACCEPTS Program. The counselor met with the students in Group 1 for 45 minutes each day for a period of two weeks. One unit (skill area) was taught as recommended in the program manual each week. The optional video was used to provide additional situations from which they could model their new behaviors. The investigator conducted the parent training sessions using STEP, a highly structured approach to parenting. The participants were a small, homogeneous group of parents of learning disabled children. Because the children's self-concept and perception of locus of control were variables to be assessed, a selfassessment guestionnaire was chosen. The Index of Personality Characteristics: A Measure of Affect in School-Aged Children (IPC) (1988) was designed to measure the personal and social adjustment of school-aged children and adolescents. The IPC is a norm referenced self -report
90 inventory designed to elicit students' perceptions of their own behavior and feelings. Social competency was another variable to be assessed; thus, a teacher observation rating scale was completed by the children's teachers. The WalkerMcConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment: A Social Skills Rating Scale for Teachers (1988) is a teacher rating scale designed for use in the screening and identification of social skills deficits among elementary school -aged children. The results of the study were reported in Chapter IV. This chapter includes a discussion of the results, the limitations of the study and recommendations for further research. Limitations The methodological limitations of the study are related to the population studied and to the assessment procedures. With regard to the population studied, it should be noted that the investigator based one of the treatment approaches to be studied on the participation of parents of learning disabled children. The assumption was made that parents of the learning disabled children in this study would be willing to attend parent training classes in order to learn more about their children's learning disabilities and to learn more effective
91 parenting methods. However, this was not the case in this study and is a major limitation. As to the assessment procedures, questionnaires often measure "remembered" behavior rather than observed behavior. Therefore, it is possible that both children and teachers remembered the behaviors inaccurately. The short time period between pretest and posttest may have contributed to this problem. In spite of the fact that the social skills training program was conducted as recommended in the ACCEPTS Program for individual instructional units, the children in this study may not have had ample opportunity to practice their skills in everyday living and in their individual classrooms. During the two week period allotted by the school principal for this experiment, the children received daily instruction for 45 minutes. For this study, two units comprising two weeks of social skills were taught as recommended in the Accepts curriculum. However, it may be that these types of learning disabled children require a longer training period to develop appropriate interaction skills than was allowed in this study. Additionally, the teachers may have expected the children in the treatment group to have demonstrated a great degree of improvement as a result of the social
skills intervention. Therefore, they may not have recognized small positive changes. Social biases of the teachers may have influenced their assessment of the students. Children who are of a low economic group, who are Black, or who display behavior problems (e.g., most of this treatment population) are frequently stereotyped as to their status. The teachers may have viewed these children as being unable to change. The IPC test itself presented problems for the children and may have been a limitation. It is lengthy (75 questions) and many learning disabled children have difficulty handling lengthy material. As suggested in the IPC manual, the teachers in this study chose to administer the test in shorter sessions as frequently as time allotments at school permitted. In addition, the questions were worded in a way that the children found confusing. The four-point Likert-like scale may have been problematical to children who have trouble making small approximations. Discussion of Results Although these potential methodological limitations existed, the study was designed to minimize their effects. Because of the small sample, the children were placed in the three groups using an independent, stratified random design. Great care was taken to invite the parents to the parent sessions and explain their purposes. Also, the
initial parenting session was postponed to accomodate the needs of parents who expressed desire to attend the sessions but found difficulty due to the scheduled date and time. The particular social skills program used for training was designed to be used to teach mildly to moderately handicapped elementary school-age children. Learning disabled children are included in the target population for this social skills program. Finally, the instruments used for assessment were valid and reliable and normed on learning disabled children as well as average children. Learning disabled children have been found to have a low self-concept and an external locus of control. They have been viewed by their teachers as having poor social skills. Therefore, an attempt was made by this investigator to use social skills training and social skills training plus a parent intervention in an effort to increase the learning disabled children's self-concepts and internal locus of control. Because of poor parent participation and a high attrition rate, the investigator eliminated the results of the social skills training plus parent intervention group from the data analysis. Although the results of this study did not reveal statistically significant changes in the dependent variables, all teachers described increased positive behavior in many of their students, (i.e., better attitude
94 toward others, increased eye contact, greater self-esteem, more openness and better ability to communicate, and less hostility) . The counselor noticed a more positive relationship between the learning disabled children and herself following the social skills treatment sessions, with the children initiating contact as she passed them on the school grounds. Of course, it is conceivable that these positive changes occurred as a result of the increased attention to the children in the treatment group and not as a result of the treatment itself. In addition, the children's teachers and the counselor observed that the children were able to articulate the appropriate social behaviors, (i.e., they were able to give a proper verbal definition to a referred behavior) after they had received the social skills training intervention. The teachers also noted that when asked to carry out a particular behavior, such as increase eye contact when communicating, the children were able to comply in a classroom situation. The teachers considered this to be the first step in learning a new skill. During and after the project, the teachers expressed awareness of the poor social skills of their children and the importance of building social competency. As a result of their participation in this study, the teachers sought to integrate a social skills curriculum into the regular
95 school curriculum for learning disabled students for the following school year. The activity the children enjoyed most was roleplaying the newly learned social skills. Invariably, the children chose family-oriented activities in which their play-acting frequently revealed a dysfunctional family unit. The counselor then gained insight into the extent and significance of the family problems and poor parentchild relationships in this group. These issues appeared to be significant to the child's adjustment as well as a good grasp of the significance of the social skill as it pertained to the family situation. Each of the parents who attended the parent treatment sessions described them as beneficial. They requested a continuation of the sessions past the allotted time. The parents felt that they had increased their knowledge of their learning disabled children so they were better able to understand how to effectively handle certain behaviors. They concurred that the support of a group of parents of children with similar problems was a key factor in the sessions. In fact, parents of three of the children in this study joined the Jacksonville Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities, a local chapter of a support, educational, and advocacy group for the learning disabled. One mother assumed the role of
96 liaison between parents of learning disabled children and the school . The unanimous positive feedback from the parents who attended the parent group and their overwhelming desire to learn more about their child's learning disabilities may be viewed as an indication of an unmet need in the specific learning disability program at this school. This study appears to have several implications for professional training of educators. Many practitioners in the public schools typically are not trained to meet all the needs of learning disabled children. These needs go far beyond the academic ones addressed in the classroom and mandated by Public Law 94-142. Further, school administrators, teachers, and school counselors typically have not been given the resources to address these needs which may be enmeshed in other issues such as poverty and neglect as well as failure and frustration. School personnel can derive valuable information from the results of studies such as this one which focused on increasing social competency and improving socioemotional development. Inservice training at the school level would then be needed to maximize the results of information gained from these studies. An important research question in this study was: What effect will social skills training plus the parental intervention have on the learning disabled children's
97 self-concepts and their perceptions of locus of control? No attempt was made to answer this question because the social skills training plus parent intervention group was too small to include in the data analysis. Unfortunately, few parents responded to the many invitations by the school's principal and counselor to attend the parent sessions. The principal sent a letter inviting the parents to join the group. She described their attendance as beneficial for the parent, the child, and the parent-child relationship. When there were few responses, a second letter was mailed as well as carried home by the children. Following this, the counselor attempted to contact those parents who had telephones with personal phone calls. Because of the extremely poor parent participation, the results of the children whose parents did attend the sessions were disregarded in the data analysis. An important question that needs answering is "Why was the parent participation so poor?" Numerous factors may have contributed to this problem. A potential difficulty may have been the uniqueness of the population. In discussions with the parents, the counselor became aware of the parents* own lack of education and functional illiteracy. The parents may have felt uncomfortable in a school setting and may have
98 experienced a certain timidity when confronted with their children's difficulties and failures. It is also possible that the parents may have been biased against their children because of the learning disabled children's poor behaviors and academic performance. The parents may have had negative feelings towards their children and did not wish to attend sessions. According to the demographic information, this study was conducted at a school where greater than 50% of the children qualify for free meals indicating an average family of four earned less than $13,000 per year. Additionally, a majority of the 38% Black students at the school are bussed from a distant downtown Jacksonville area in order to comply with a Florida desegregation ruling. Many of the children come from single-parent families where one parent may either work nights or may need babysitting in order to attend. Ownership and availability of cars to attend night meetings may be limited and could have been a factor in poor parent attendance . Additionally, the counselor had knowledge of Health and Rehabilitation Services investigations of reported child abuse and neglect for a significant number of the school's children. In fact, the investigator learned later that two families who participated in the parent
treatment program had a history of being investigated by Health and Rehabilitation Services. Recommendations for Further Study Further research should be conducted to determine the most effective methods for enhancing the socioemotional development of learning disabled children. The results of this study may have been inconclusive because of the size of the sample, the uniqueness of the population, and the instruments used for assessment. Thus, it might be appropriate to repeat the study with a larger sample using more appropriate assessment instruments . A study should be conducted where the social skills training period is longer to provide ample time for the learning disabled children to learn the skills. In this manner, they would have the opportunity to practice the skills in different situations so that they could generalize their knowledge from the structured classroom to life situations. In order to obtain parent participation for the parent intervention, it is imperative for future researchers to understand the cognitive and socioemotional needs of the parents of the learning disabled children. It may be necessary for the researcher to first have the school conduct some relationship-building activities with the parents so that they feel comfortable attending
sessions at the school. Transportation may have to be provided; or the sessions may need to be held in the parents' community, if the children are bussed to school. Also, baby sitting may need to be provided. In future studies with learning disabled children, assessment instruments need to be short and more specific. Alternative methods of evaluation should allow for different types of learning, processing, and producing. Role play may well be a viable evaluation technique. In fact, several types of evaluative techniques would be better than one. Because of error variance within the instruments themselves (such as subjectivity in the teacher behavior rating scale) , it might be well advised to choose an alternative method for measuring changes in social behaviors. Direct observation of target behaviors shows less variance. If behavior rating scales are used, it might be best to have multiple raters for each child. Potential research might involve a study of different schools with different demographic compositions. The socioemotional development and level of social competency of learning disabled children may differ across different socioeconomic populations. Counselors and educators need to study social and cultural issues and behavioral motivational concerns along with the educational issues of the learning disabled. The
101 interrelationship of family environment and the development of self-concept, feelings of locus of control, and acquisition of social skills are of importance. It is particularly essential that further research be conducted to determine the social, cognitive, and emotional needs of learning disabled children. Once these needs are known, then interventions to enhance social competency and socioemotional development are possible.
APPENDIX A SAMPLE ITEMS FROM INSTRUMENTS USED IN STUDY Sample of Instructions for the Counselor From the ACCEPTS Program Manual (Walker, McConnell, Holmes, Todis, Walker, & Golden, 1983, pp. 2-3) AREA II: Basic Interaction Skills Skill #l: Eye Contact Necessary Preskills: None Review: Brief discussion of previous day's skill. Check to see if students followed informal contract. Step 1: DEFINITION AND GUIDED DISCUSSION Definition: "Eye contact means looking into a person's eyes. What does eye contact mean?" LOOKING INTO A PERSON'S EYES (Reinforce or correct) "Let's say this another way: Looking into a person's eyes is called eve contact . Looking into a person's eyes is called what?" EYE CONTACT (Reinforce or correct) "Let's try some more: Tracy is looking into his friend's eyes. Tracy is having what?" EYE CONTACT (Reinforce or correct) "How do we know Tracy is having eye contact?" HE/TRACY IS LOOKING INTO HIS FRIEND'S EYES. (Reinforce or correct) 102
103 "When you talk to someone you should be looking into the person's eyes. When you talk to someone you should be having what?" EYE CONTACT (Reinforce or correct) Guided Discussion: "Looking into people's eyes is important. There are two times when you should look into a person's eyes. One time is when you're talking to someone. People like it when you have eye contact when you're talking to them. What's one time when you should look into a person's eyes?" WHEN YOU ARE TALKING TO A PERSON (Reinforce or correct) "Another time you should have eye contact is when someone talks to you. When someone is talking to you and you look into that person's eyes, he knows you are paying attention. What's another time when you should look into a person's eyes?" WHEN SOMEONE IS TALKING TO YOU. (Reinforce or correct) Step 2: POSITIVE EXAMPLE "This is eye contact." (Teacher looks into student's eyes) "This is eye contact because I'm looking into your eyes . " Step 3: NEGATIVE EXAMPLE "This is not eye contact." (Teacher looks at student's feet while talking) "This is not eye contact because I'm not looking into your eyes . " Step 4: REVIEW AND RESTATE DEFINITION "Eye contact means to look into a person's eyes. What does eye contact mean?" TO LOOK INTO A PERSON'S EYES (Reinforce or correct)
Sample Questions From the Index of Personality Characteristics (IPC) (Brown & Coleman. 1988, p. 22) 25. When I don't do my homework, it's because the teacher gave me too much work to do. 26. I like who I am. 27. I "play sick" to get out of going to school. 28. My classmates make fun of me. 29. I have trouble saying I've made a mistake. 30. I worry a lot about things that really do not matter. 31. My parents don't trust me because I've let them down so many times. 32. I get so angry when my parents scold me that I break things. 33. I worry more than most kids do about my school work. 104
Sample Questions from the Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment (Walker & McConnell. 1988. p. 13) 37. Is considerate of the feelings of others. 38. Maintains eye contact when speaking or being spoken to. 39. Gains peers* attention in an appropriate manner. 40. Accepts suggestions and assistance from peers. 41. Invites peers to play or share activities. 42. Does seatwork assignments as directed. 105
APPENDIX B SOURCE TABLES FOR THE ANALYSIS OF COVARIANCE
Table 10 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the Academic Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 19.72 9. 86 11. 32 0. 00* Error 32 27.87 0. 87 Corrected Total 34 47.59 Pretest 1 18.59 21. 34 0. 00* Group 1 0.17 0. 20 0. 66 *p < .01 Table 11 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the Non-Academic Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 49.02 24.51 14.61 0.00* Error 38 63.77 1.68 Corrected Total 40 112.79 Pretest 1 48.95 29.17 0.00* Group 1 0.96 0.57 0.46 *p < .01 107
108 Table 12 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the Perception of Self Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 25.15 12 .58 10. 25 0. 00* Error 39 47.87 1 .23 Corrected Total 41 73.02 Pretest 1 23.97 19. 53 0. 00* Group 1 0. 18 0. 15 0. 70 *p < .01 Table 13 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the Perception of Others Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 43.20 21.60 10.84 0.00* Error 39 77.70 1.99 Corrected Total 41 120.91 Pretest 1 42.26 21.21 0.00* Group 1 0. 19 0.10 0.76 *p < .01
Table 14 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the Acting In Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 33.41 16 .70 7. 83 0. 00* Error 39 83.17 2 .13 Corrected Total 41 116.58 Pretest 1 32.95 15. 45 0. 00* Group 1 0.41 0 . 19 0. 66 *p < .01 Table 15 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the Acting Out Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 43.06 21. 53 11. 36 0. 00* Error 39 73.91 1. 89 Corrected Total 41 116.97 Pretest 1 42.27 22. 30 0. 00* Group 1 0.00 0. 00 0. 96 *p < .01
110 Table 16 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the Internal Locus of Control Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 10.80 5.40 4.62 0.02* Error 39 45.62 1. 17 Corrected Total 41 56.42 Pretest 1 10.79 9.23 0.00* Group 1 0.26 0.22 0.64 *p < .01 Table 17 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the External Locus of Control Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 150.76 75.37 12.10 0.00* Error 39 242.98 6.23 Corrected Total 41 393.74 Pretest 1 142.42 22.86 0.00* Group 1 2.49 0.40 0.53 *p < .01
Ill Table 18 Index of Personality Characteristics Analysis of Covariance for the Total Scale Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 6.08 3. 04 18. 17 0. 00* Error 38 6.35 0. 17 Corrected Total 40 12.43 Pretest 1 5.88 35. 15 0. 00* Group 1 0.02 0. 18 0. 76 *p < .01
112 Table 19 Walker-McConnell Analysis of Covariance for the Teacher Preferred Social Behavior (Subscale 1) Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 3183. 47 1591. 74 26. 97 0. 00* Error 40 2360. 46 59. 01 Corrected Total 42 5543. 93 Pretest 1 2959. 17 53. 94 0. 00* Group 1 0. 25 0 . 00 0. 95 *p < .01 Table 20 Walker-McConnell Analysis of Covariance for the Peer Preferred Social Behavior (Subscale 2) Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 3684.88 1842. 44 19.49 0.00* Error 40 3780.94 94. 52 Corrected Total 42 7465.82 Pretest 1 3617.06 38.94 0.00* Group 1 4.21 0.04 0.83 *p < .01
113 Table 21 Walker-McConnell Analysis of Covariance for the School Adjustment Behavior (Subscale 3) Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 3831.93 1915. 96 41.53 0.00* Error 40 1845.41 46. 14 Corrected Total 42 5677.34 Pretest 1 3829.78 82.48 0.00* Group 1 26.57 0.58 0.45 *p < .01 Table 22 Walker-McConnell Analysis of Covariance for the Total Score Source DF SS MS F PR>F Model 2 79461. 10 39730. 55 29.46 0.00* Error 40 53946. 87 1348. 67 Corrected Total 42 133407. 97 Pretest 1 76692. 63 56.87 0.00* Group 1 89. 43 0.07 0.80 *p < .01
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Ruth Weinstein Klein was born in New York City, the daughter of Sylvia and Mandel Weinstein. In 1962, she received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College, Columbia University. She received her Master of Science in Education degree in school psychology from City College of the State of New York in 1964. Ruth began her professional career as school psychologist for the New York City Board of Education in 1963. In 1964-1965, while school psychologist in Junction City, Kansas, she implemented a social/medical/mental health program for the Geary County Unified Schools in Kansas. In 1974, she served as an adviser in learning disabilities to the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, establishing programs for learning disabled children in public school. After moving to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1977, Ruth served as Psychologist-Learning Disabilities Specialist for Florida Junior College at Jacksonville. Her diversified training and experience enabled her to establish new programs for handicapped students. Presently, Ruth has a private practice and is Director of 129
Psychological and Educational Services which is involved in counseling, testing, and tutoring adults and children. She holds Florida licenses in mental health counseling and school psychology. Among the professional associations of which she is a member are American Association for Counseling and Development, American Mental Health Counselor's Association, Florida Association of School Psychologists, Florida Mental Health Counselor's Association, Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities, and the Orton Dyslexia Society. Ruth is president of the Jacksonville Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities and a member of the board of directors of the Mental Health Association of Jacksonville and the Greenwood School for learning disabled children. She has served on the Duval County Exceptional Student Education Task Force, as well as the Duval County Schools Public Law 94-142 Advisory Board. She acts as consultant for the Navy Family Service Centers in Jacksonville. Ruth is married to Richard Klein, an attorney, and is the mother of three sons: David, 22 years old, now attending the College of Medicine at the University of Florida; Brian, 19 years old, an undergraduate student at the University of Florida; and Benjamin, 15 years old, attending the Bolles School.
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy. osepn Wittfoer, Chairman fessor of Counselor Education I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy. t Paul W. Fitzq Professor of Counselor Education I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy. larles Forqn Professor of Spec Education I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy. RoVert D. Myrick Professor of Counselor Education
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. August 1989 Dean, College of Education Dean, Graduate School