Prediction of later cognitive dysfunction in reading from preschool perceptual, perceptual-motor and auditory sequential processing tasks : a discriminant analysis

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List, Diane Ruth
Bennett, Carson M.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of group thermal biofeedback training and relaxation as a means of changing locus of control. Additionally, the stability of the locus of control change, over time, was examined. Lastly, the proportion of achievement motivation which can be explained by locus of control was determined.Forty-nine ninth grade students were randomly assigned to biofeedback training, relaxation, or control. The nine treatment sessions were of 20 minutes duration and the students in the biofeedback group used mercury thermometers. Autogenic phrases were read as they attempted to increase their skin surface temperature. The relaxation group received the identical autogenic phrases as the biofeedback group, while the control group observed films during the treatment session.After the completion of the treatment, subjects were administered the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale for Children and the Junior Index of Motivation (JIM) Scale.Hypothesis #1, which stated that the biofeedback group would change its locus of control toward internality, was rejected (P .7736). Hypothesis #2, which stated that the mean locus of control score for the biofeedback group would be significantly more internal than either the relaxation or control group, was similarly rejected (p .6353 and p .7736, respectively). Since the biofeedback group did not become more internal. Hypothesis #3, which was concerned with the stability of a shift in locus of control, was not tested. The multiple regression analysis resulted in an R of .4296 (p .0037). This suggests that a significant proportion of achievement motivation can be explained by locus of control. Males tended to score more internal than females, regardless of treatment, but not to a significant degree (p .0520). The biofeedback group had significantly increased their skin temperature as a result of the biofeedback ( p .001). It was concluded that while group thermal biofeedback training was effective in teaching the subjects to voluntarily control their skin surface temperature, it was not effective in altering their locus of control. Recommendations were made regarding using smaller group size or individual training, and pre-testing for initial locus of control levels to identify those with more external locus of control.