Date Approved

5-1-2000

Embargo Period

6-17-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Klanderman, John

Subject(s)

Learning disabled children--Education; Motivation (Psychology) in children

Disciplines

Educational Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine whether intrinsic motivation is a major factor in explaining academic performance deficits in children with learning disabilities. Harter's Scale of Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Orientation in the Classroom was given to 34 students with learning disabilities and 36 students without learning disabilities from Grades 4 to 6 from a suburban, middle-class school district located in Southeastern New Jersey. It was proposed that students with learning disabilities were less intrinsically motivated than students without identified learning disabilities. However, the general pattern of results derived from a T-Test for Independent Samples did not show a significant correlation between motivation orientation. Although students with learning disabilities proved to be less intrinsically motivated on the criteria subscale, they scored similarly to their non-handicapped peers on the challenge, curiosity, mastery, and judgment subscales. These findings may be attributed to the minimal number of participants and that they were not representative of the entire population.

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