Variable motor task performance of learning disabled students following failure experience

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Marone, Gregory C.
Wenck, L. Stanley (Lewis Stanley)
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of an experimental condition of failure on the subsequent motor performance of learning disabled students. A total of 123 subjects were assigned to one of three groups based on their specific subscale patterns. Group I consisted of those LD students whose Verbal IQ scores were significantly above their corresponding Performance IQ scores. Group II contained those LD students whose Performance IQs were significantly above their Verbal IQs. Group III was made up of learning disabled students whose Verbal and Performance IQ scores were statistically equivalent. All subjects were then assigned randomly to either an experimental or control condition. Following pretesting on a motor task, the experimental group received verbal feedback suggesting failure. The control subjects received no verbal feedback. The dependent measure was their posttest scores on an identical motor task.The significance of the difference between group means was determined using a two by three analysis of covariance. The research hypotheses predicted the high verbal groups to demonstrate a significant increase in their mean posttest scores, when compared to posttest scores of the high performance group, following failure experience. Statistical analysis of the data, however, did not support these assumptions. LD children, regardless of verbal ability, were found to be unmotivated by their failure. These findings were interpreted within the context of social learning theory and learned helplessness.A two item questionnaire was administered to the subjects following posttesting. Results suggested that those children receiving the failure condition perceived their pretest performance as significantly lower than the subjects in the control group. Furthermore, the failure group's reported perceptions of their effort on the final posttest was significantly above the claims made by the no feedback group despite a measured performance which did not significantly differ.Demographic information relative to educational and vocational levels of the parents was also collected. From this data it was determined that the average parent's occupation was skilled/unskilled labor. As a group, their total number of years in school did not exceed the eleventh grade. These findings suggested that current LD eligibility criteria are not being closely adhered to.