Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.




The purpose of the present study was to determine, using carefully-defined comparison groups, whether different behavioural subtypes of LD children form different beliefs regarding their academic and social successes and failures. The 60 subjects of the study comprised four groups of 15 children each: (1) non-LD, non-behaviour-disordered, (2) LD, non-behaviour-disordered, (3) LD demonstrating externalizing symptoms, and (4) LD exhibiting externalizing and internalizing symptoms. The spontaneous attributions of these four groups for hypothetical successful and unsuccessful outcomes in both the academic and social domains were compared. The Children's Cognitive Error Questionnaire was employed to assess subjects' negative distortions of academic and social outcomes. Measures of academic, social, and general self-concept were also obtained using the Harter Perceived Competence Scale for Children, as self-concept has been demonstrated to be closely linked to attributional style. Findings suggest that the presence of a learning disability by itself may not determine children's academic and social attributions or self-concepts. However, children who demonstrate behavioural difficulties in combination with learning difficulties do exhibit different attributional patterns and lower self-concepts than do LD or non-LD children without behaviour disorders. This support for the notion of heterogeneity of learning disabled children's beliefs helps to explain some of the inconsistencies in attributional and self-concept research and suggests that previous findings may have been confounded. The findings of the present study have implications for attribution retraining programs, assessment, and teacher expectations.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1988 .D877. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 49-04, Section: B, page: 1384. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1988.