What accommodations are made for students with learning disabilities?

 

Self-efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents with Learning Disabilities

Introduction and Research Question

My research question originally was framed around the topic of self-identified barriers to academic achievement of adolescents with learning disabilities. While engaging in an initial literature search I encountered difficulty in accessing a wide variety of published research studies within the topic; however, as a related topic I have found more research articles dealing with self-efficacy beliefs and adolescent learners with learning disabilities. Subsequently, I have refined my research question to be:  How do self-efficacy beliefs of adolescent learners identified with learning disabilities impact their educational experiences? I anticipate that as I continue to pursue a literature search subquestions evolving from reading current literature within the topic of the self-efficacy beliefs of adolescent learners with learning disabilities will develop and inform a potential research topic applicable to consideration for a dissertation.

Each of the following articles highlights important research considerations regarding the self-efficacy beliefs of adolescent learners and presents a literature base from which to further examine potential gaps in the identified area of inquiry. Consistent themes thread through the research regarding the correlation of self-efficacy beliefs with academic achievement, the potential for students with learning disabilities to develop self-advocacy skills leading to increased self-efficacy beliefs and the role of affective factors such as hope and loneliness in the adolescent learners experience.

 

Topical Research Articles

1) Baird, G.L., Dearing, E., Hamill, S.K., & Scott, W.D. (2009). Cognitive self-regulation in youth with and without learning disabilities: Academic self-efficacy, theories of intelligence, learning vs. performance, goal preferences, and effort attributions. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(7), 881-908.

This article reported a research study examining whether adolescents with learning disabilities consistently evidence performance and motivation problems tied to a view of low self-efficacy, fixed intelligence, and goal setting based upon performance. Participants within the study ranged from sixth to twelfth grade and were in rural school districts. Of the 1,518 participants, 107 were identified as having learning disabilities while the remaining youth were non-learning disabled. All participants completed an academic self-efficacy questionnaire, a questionnaire regarding their beliefs about intelligence, a preference assessment regarding learning vs. performance goal setting, and an effort attribution scale. Results indicated that those adolescents with identified learning disabilities evidenced lower academic self-efficacy beliefs, a lower preference for learning goals over performance goals, a more fixed view of intelligence, and less adaptive effort attribution towards learning tasks. These findings were summarized to indicate that youth with identified learning disabilities “possess a distinctive cognitive self-regulatory pattern” (Baird et al., 2009, p. 899) that presents as maladaptive. Subsequently, the authors argued that the development of intervention programs regarding academic motivation and self-regulation efficacy beliefs are important contributions towards pedagogical practices.

2) Klassen, R.M. (2008). The optimistic self-efficacy beliefs of students with learning disabilities. Exceptionality Education Canada, 18(1), 93-112.

This article examined the relationship between optimism, motivation, and the self-efficacy beliefs of adolescent learners with learning disabilities. The author reviewed three previous studies regarding the academic self-efficacy beliefs of adolescent learners with learning disabilities to identify emerging themes within the topic. In reviewing the three identified mixed-methods studies the author concluded that optimistic bias may exist for students with learning disabilities and that this optimistic bias may hinder or interfere with both learning progress as well as subsequent academic success as students overestimate their preparedness, level of understanding, or capacity within specific academic subjects. Brief recommendations for pedagogical practice are included within the article as well as the identification of further potential research questions within the area of motivational beliefs, such as self-efficacy and hope, for adolescent learners with learning disabilities.

3) Klassen, R.M. (2010). Confidence to manage learning: Self-efficacy for self-regulated learning of early adolescents with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 33, 19-30.

This article reported the results of a research study examining self-efficacy in relationship to self-regulation of adolescents with identified learning disabilities in comparison to like aged peers without identified learning disabilities. The research was a quantitative study undertaken with 146 students in grades 8 and 9 within high schools located in Western Canada. The study sought to examine the relationship between self-efficacy and self-regulation in reading performance and English grades for the identified students. Reported results indicated a significant contribution of self-regulatory efficacy for the predicted English grades as well as the actual English grades, lower levels of self-regulatory efficacy beliefs for those students identified with learning disabilities in comparison to non-learning disabled peers, and no difference between the reading performance achievement of those students with high and low self-regulatory efficacy. The author further argued that the results shared within the study confirm the need for further research within the area of self-regulatory efficacy for students with identified learning disabilities as well as attention to pedagogical practices to support students to learn self-regulatory techniques and behaviors.

4) Kotzer, E. & Margalit, M. (2007). Perception of competence: risk and protective factors following an e-self-advocacy intervention for adolescents with learning disabilities. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 22(4), 443-457.

This article examined the change in competency levels of adolescent students identified with learning disabilities after their participation in a program designed to teach self-advocacy skills. In addition to the participation within the program itself, the researchers examined factors from within a risk and protection framework that contributed towards a change in self-identified competency levels. Participants within the study were in grades seven through nine at 15 Israel junior high schools. 374 participants were identified of whom 111 students had learning disabilities and participated in the program, 115 students had learning disabilities and did not participate within the program, and 148 students did not have learning disabilities and were not program participants. The results of the study indicated participation within the program contributed towards increased levels of self-confidence for those students identified with learning disabilities and confirmed the role of loneliness and hope as risk and protective factors. The authors’ concluded that additional research regarding the role of hope and hopeful thinking in developing self-advocacy and self-efficacy for adolescents with learning disabilities is an area requiring attention.

5) Lackaye, T., & Margalit, M. (2008). Self-efficacy, loneliness, effort, and hope: Developmental differences in the experiences of students with learning disabilities and their non-learning disabled peers at two age groups. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 6(2), 1-20.

This article specifically examined the relationship between subject specific self-efficacy beliefs, general academic self-efficacy beliefs, and academic achievement. Additionally, the researchers sought to compare self-perceptions of capacity and actual academic achievement and the role of loneliness, hope, and investment effort in shaping self-efficacy beliefs. Participants within the study were adolescents at grade seven and grade ten, of whom 120 students were identified with learning disabilities and 160 students identified without learning disabilities. Results of the study confirmed a hypothesized significant correlation between specific academic achievements, in history and mathematics, and self-efficacy beliefs for those students with learning disabilities, general academic self-efficacy beliefs with all other areas for students without learning disabilities, and a significant negative correlation between loneliness and general academic self-efficacy beliefs. Hope was identified as having a significant correlation with all measures of self-efficacy for both students with and without learning disabilities. The authors’ subsequently argued that future research and intervention development should include attending to the subjective perceptions of students with learning disabilities.

References

Baird, G.L., Dearing, E., Hamill, S.K., & Scott, W.D. (2009). Cognitive self-regulation in youth with and without learning disabilities: Academic self-efficacy, theories of intelligence, learning vs. performance, goal preferences, and effort attributions. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(7), 881-908

Klassen, R.M. (2010). Confidence to manage learning: Self-efficacy for self-regulated learning of early adolescents with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 33, 19-30

Klassen, R.M. (2008). The optimistic self-efficacy beliefs of students with learning disabilities. Exceptionality Education Canada, 18(1), 93-112

Kotzer, E. & Margalit, M. (2007). Perception of competence: risk and protective factors following an e-self-advocacy intervention for adolescents with learning disabilities. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 22(4), 443-457

Lackaye, T., & Margalit, M. (2008). Self-efficacy, loneliness, effort, and hope: Developmental differences in the experiences of students with learning disabilities and their non-learning disabled peers at two age groups. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 6(2), 1-20

 

 

 

 

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