RIGIDITY, SOCIAL PROBLEM-SOLVING ALTERNATIVES, AND CLASSROOM BEHAVIORAL ADJUSTMENT IN LEARNING DISABLED ADOLESCENTS AND COMPARISON PEERS

MARILYN PASCAL GOLDEN, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated conceptual rigidity, the generation of social problem-solving alternatives, classroom behavioral adjustment, and the relationships among these variables in learning disabled adolescents and comparison mainstream peers. The subjects were high school students in grades 9 through 12. There were 39 learning disabled students and 40 comparison mainstream peers. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test was used to assess rigidity, The Optional Thinking Test was the measure of alternative thinking, and the Hahnemann High School Behavior Rating Scale was used to secure teacher ratings of classroom behavioral adjustment. Data were analyzed using the t test, chi square, and first-order correlations.^ The learning disabled adolescents as a group were found to be more rigid, generated fewer categories of alternatives, and were rated by the teachers as having greater difficulty adjusting to the academic and social demands of the classroom than the comparison mainstream peers. In both groups, generation of fewer categories of alternatives to hypothetical interpersonal problems was associated with higher ratings of quiet and withdrawn behavior in the classroom. In the learning disabled group, the capacity to generate alternatives was only related to positive teacher ratings of social/emotional behavior factors, while conceptual rigidity was found to be associated with lower teacher ratings of productive academic and social/emotional factors which define classroom behavioral adjustment.^ In contrast, the generation of more categories of social problem-solving alternatives was associated with higher teacher ratings of some of the productive academic and social/emotional factors in the mainstream group. In the mainstream group, perseveration was associated with the generation of fewer alternatives, suggesting that the rigidity-flexibility dimension affects interpersonal as well as intellective problem-solving. Training in interpersonal and intellective problem-solving, with emphasis on flexibility in generating and using alternatives, appears to have the potential to enhance the classroom behavioral adjustment of learning disabled adolescents. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

GOLDEN, MARILYN PASCAL, "RIGIDITY, SOCIAL PROBLEM-SOLVING ALTERNATIVES, AND CLASSROOM BEHAVIORAL ADJUSTMENT IN LEARNING DISABLED ADOLESCENTS AND COMPARISON PEERS" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8308472.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8308472

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