Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Roger R. Ries


The purpose of this study was to investigate the integration of an attribution retraining program and a cognitive self-instruction procedure as a means of improving the academic performance and component attentional skills and modifying the cognitive-behavioral beliefs and behaviors of elementary-age children served in self-contained learning disabilities (SCLD) programs.;Subjects were 77 children, 10-13 years of age, served in public school SCLD programs. A primary group (n = 27) received attributional retraining and cognitive self-instruction, a secondary group (n = 25) cognitive self-instruction alone, and a control group (n = 25) traditional instruction. Intervention in the treatment conditions was presented over the 10-week period in three phases: (a) Controlled Instruction, (b) Transition, and (c) Direct Instruction.;Assessment was conducted in reading, mathematics, and written language on a standardized instrument (Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement) and probe sheets, locus of control (Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External control scale), cognitive-behavioral trends (Burks' Behavior Rating Scales), general attention (Visual-Aural Digit Span Test), and attentional style (Matching Familiar Figures Test).;Analysis of covariance and post hoc least squares means analysis revealed significant primary treatment growth in cognitive-behavioral outcomes (poor attention, poor ego strength, and excessive dependency) and probe sheet mathematics; significant primary treatment growth versus either secondary treatment or control conditions was noted in cognitive-behavioral areas (poor academics and poor impulse control) and standardized reading. No significant differences were noted in mathematics or written language on the standardized instrument, reading or written language on probe sheets, trends toward internality, general attention/memory, and latency (near significant) or error rate.;Recommendations include longer term investigations of antecedent attributions, clarification of the role of attribution in cognitive-behavioral change, and a diverse application of attribution retraining in education.



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