Increasing reading persistence and altering attributional style of learned helpless children

Joseph W. Fowler*, Penelope L. Peterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

28 4th-6th grade learned-helpless children (as determined by the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Questionnaire and Effort Versus Ability Failure Attribution Scale) assessed as reading below grade level were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: (a) partial reinforcement with single failure lengths, (b) partial reinforcement with multiple failure lengths, (c) partial reinforcement with multiple failure lengths and indirect attribution retraining, and (d) partial reinforcement with multiple failure lengths and direct attribution retraining. Direct attribution retraining involved covert rehearsal of self-instructional statements. Results indicate significant increases in reading persistence for Ss who had received attribution retraining compared to single failure length controls. In addition, direct attribution retraining was significantly more effective than no attribution retraining in increasing Ss' attributions to effort on the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Questionnaire. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume73
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 1981

Keywords

  • partial reinforcement & attribution retraining, attributions & reading persistence, learned-helpless 4th-6th graders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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