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Title

The relationship of type of placement and program duration to the academic self-esteem of learning-handicapped elementary students

Date of Award

1990

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

First Advisor

Hugh McBride

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate which of two placement types had a more significant impact upon learning disabled students' feelings of self-esteem: full-time segregated placement or a partial-day integrated placement. Program duration was examined as a factor which has been demonstrated to influence self-esteem. The probability that gains in reading performance positively impact global and academic self-esteem was also investigated. A sample size of 117 students, 90 in integrated placement groups, and 27 in segregated groups were randomly selected from a group of 202 elementary level students identified as being learning disabled. Students selected were assigned to experimental groups based upon the instructional setting in which their needs were being addressed, and when their duration of placement had been 1, 2, or 3 years. All students were administered the Culture-Free Self-Esteem Inventory and mean scores for both academic and global self-esteem were computed. These scores were then analyzed in a 3 x 2 x 2 repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) for significant differences, after adjustments were made for initial differences between placement groups on reading scores obtained from the Wide Range Achievement Test at the time of placement. The alpha level was set at p $<$.10 for all analyses. Four hypotheses relating to the effects that program placement and duration have upon the academic and global self-esteem scores of learning disabled students were tested. Two additional hypotheses examined the relationship between gains in reading performance, over a 1, 2, or 3 year duration of placement, and scores on the global and academic self-esteem measures. No significant differences were obtained. When adjusted for initial differences in reading achievement, no measurable differences in the academic self-esteem of these students were noted. Placement in neither an integrated nor segregated setting can be said to be more enhancing to the academic self-esteem of students over placement in the other. Although a tendency in the positive direction was noted, these results also suggest that neither placement type, nor duration, exhibit a significant impact on the global self-esteem of identified students. Also positive, but not significant, are the relationships between students' feelings of self-esteem and their academic achievement. Unlike earlier work done with the mildly retarded, these results do not substantiate findings suggesting that placement setting alone is important to students' self-esteem. This study has found that placement in either a segregated or integrated setting does not, in and of itself, enhance the academic self-esteem of learning disabled students.

Pages

115

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