INTERPERSONAL PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS AND CLASSROOM BEHAVIORAL ADJUSTMENT IN LEARNING DISABLED ADOLESCENTS AND COMPARISON PEERS
A significant body of research suggests that there is a group of five interpersonal cognitive problem solving skills (ICPS) that mediate the quality of social behavior. Classroom social behavior was measured by the School Behavior Checklist which consists of 95 items organized into seven subscales. Classroom social and behavioral problems are reportedly increased in learning disabled children when they are mainstreamed.^ Thirty mainstreamed learning disabled adolescents and thirty non-learning disabled classmates in two suburban, middle-class, New Jersey school districts were administered the five ICPS skills and their teachers rated each of the subjects on the School Behavior Checklist.^ Learning disabled adolescents scored significantly lower than non-learning disabled peers on four of the five ICPS skills (means-ends thinking, sensitivity to interpersonal problems, causal thinking, alternative solution thinking) while no significant difference was found in the fifth skill (consequential thinking). Learning disabled adolescents scored significantly higher than non-learning disabled peers on only one subscale (Academic Disability) of the seven School Behavior Checklist subscales. No significant difference was found between the groups on the five School Behavior Checklist subscales which measure classroom social behavior. Specific interpersonal cognitive problem solving skills were associated with particular School Behavior Checklist subscales. Means-ends thinking and causal thinking were the ICPS skills which were associated with classroom behavioral adjustment factors in learning disabled adolescents; alternative solution thinking and means-ends thinking were associated with classroom behavioral adjustment factors in non-learning disabled adolescents. While alternative solution thinking was associated with better academic performance in non-learning disabled adolescents, in the learning disabled adolescents, alternative solution thinking was associated with poorer academic performance.^ The study warrants testing the hypothesis that improvement in students' ICPS skills will improve their classroom behavior. In the current study, the specific skills which are associated with improved behavior are different in learning disabled adolescents and non-learning disabled adolescents; it is possible that a similar relationship will be found in future studies involving training programs. The lack of difference between the groups in classroom social behavior should also be re-examined in future studies. ^
SCHNEIDER, MYRNA, "INTERPERSONAL PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS AND CLASSROOM BEHAVIORAL ADJUSTMENT IN LEARNING DISABLED ADOLESCENTS AND COMPARISON PEERS" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8508131.