TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION
Self-concept, causal attribution process and academic goals
children with and without learning difficulties
SURNAME AND NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
Julio A. González-Pienda, José Carlos Núñez, Soledad González-Pumariega, Luis Álvarez, Cristina Roces,Marta García, Paloma González, Ramón G. Cabanach y Antonio Valle
PLACE AND DATE OF PUBLICATION
TYPE OF PUBLICATION
LANGUAGE OF THE DOCUMENT
LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW
Students with learning difficulties
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
This article presents a systematic revision of the studies with students with learning difficulties (henceforth, LD) from a psychological perspective. For this purpose, the authors have taken into account individual variables such as self-concept, motivation or causal attribution processes. Among the results, it is highlighted the inconsistency of the profiles of these students. On the one hand, it is concluded that a child or teenager with LD tends to show an unadaptive attribution style, low achievement expectations, scarce persistence facing homework and development of low self-esteem. However, other studies do not support this statement. The psychological profile described here is, in turn, related with a decrease in motivation and, consequently, with negative feelings regarding school work, but also regarding him or herself which derives in a process of decrease of self-esteem that, clearly, affects in a greater risk of early school leaving.
This revision about the features of the students with LD and the state of individual variables includes, as well, the studies carried out by other authors, who help understanding this apparent contraposition of results. On the one hand, the type of instrument used to evaluate these variables. That is, the studies use a wide diversity of instruments and from this, different results can be obtained. On the other hand, the participants, as the characterization of students schooled in different schools in studied (inclusive classes, extra support outside normal hours, etc.).
Therefore, the finality of carrying out this investigation is to go into details in the analysis of the characterization of the students with LD and the state of individual variants. For this reason, they have used instruments of multidimensional evaluation, of proven reliability and validity, a unique type of class (extra support outside of normal hours) and a reasonably broad sample (259 students with LD and 243 without LD).
COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION
The article explicitly describes the results of the psychological investigation about students with LD in relation to their attribute patterns and their self-concept and motivation profile. Plus, it carries out a more rigorous investigation to find more convincing results than those available so far.
From the results of this study, it is concluded that students with LD, in relation to their peers without LD, present a more negative image of themselves at a general level and, especially, in educative fields, though in social ones too; they blame their failures to internal causes more than to external ones and they take less responsibility for their success, although in both cases they consider effort as a fundamental factor when facing academic results. Moreover, they are less motivated to carry out any significant learning, and less interested in the search for social approval and self-esteem defense.
Thus, it is important to highlight that, according to this investigation, it is not possible to speak of a specific attribute pattern, when regarding all the students with LD, that drives themselves into a state of defenselessness; but instead some can show an adaptive attribute pattern based on effort, which allows them to face their negative academic experiences.
These data are very relevant towards the improving of educative responses when facing early school leaving. Specifically, those that are developed with students with LD, a group in risk of dropping out. Understanding the variables that module effort, motivation and school learning among these students, helps adapting the educative responses for these students, so that they learn more, feel better and stay in school. This way, the influence of passiveness and anxiety that provokes in the students the belief that they lack the necessary skill to achieve success, which favors school leaving, is counteracted (Patrick, Skinner and Connell, 1993).
Name of Compiler
Rosario del Rey
Name of Institution
University of Seville
Role in the institution