Social Persistence Following Failure in Boys and Girls with LD


The response of boys and girls with or without learning disabilities to social failure was examined. Children participated in two dyadic interactions with experimental confederates: an unfriendly interaction and a friendly one. The children's behavior was videotaped, and they answered questions following each interaction. The children with learning disabilities were found to be hyperresponsive to both interactions: They felt significantly worse following the unfriendly one and significantly better following the friendly interaction. Limited evidence was found to suggest that girls with. learning disabilities were more adversely affected by the unfriendly interaction. Several of the findings were consistent with the hypothesis that children with learning disabilities show a learned helplessness response to social failure. The implications of these findings for understanding the social behavior of children with learning disabilities are discussed.

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