Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral approach to reading comprehension instruction. An important component of the intervention was a training course for teachers designed to communicate a conceptual framework for understanding the comprehension deficits of learning disabled (LD) children.;The sample included 39 elementary and middle school students who were identified as learning disabled. Intact classes were assigned to the treatment or control group. The nonequivalent control-group design was used, and data was examined using analysis of covariance. Dependent variables were reading comprehension as measured by the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests and locus of control as assessed by the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale. Two null hypotheses were tested to determine whether differences between the treatment and control groups were significant at the.05 level of confidence.;The data analysis found that students in the cognitive-behavioral treatment showed significant improvement in reading comprehension when compared to control group students who were exposed to their normal routine of reading instruction. The treatment did not affect the locus of control variable.;Recommendations include replication of the study in diverse school systems in order to assess generalizability and delayed posttesting to determine the maintenance of treatment effects. Efforts to increase locus of control may need to be implemented in multiple settings with frequent demonstrations of the role of effort in determining outcomes.



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