Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

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  • The Effectiveness of Intervention Programs To Help College Students Acquire Self-Regulated Learning Strategies: A Meta-Analysis

    Author:
    PATRICK RAGOSTA
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Barry Zimmerman
    Abstract:

    A meta-analysis was conducted to determine the effectiveness of interventions designed to help college students acquire self-regulated learning strategies. Fifty-five primary studies were included in the analysis, and ninety-three effect sizes were calculated and grouped into three outcome categories: academic achievement, strategy use, and self-efficacy. Total sample size consisted of 6, 669 students. The overall weighted effect size (Hedge's g) for all studies was 0.335 (95% CI = 0.240, 0.431), a significant small to medium effect. Interventions were coded based on their theoretical bases: metacognitive, social-cognitive, motivational, or an integration of these. Moderator analyses were conducted on several variables: content area, group work, type of assessment instrument, computer-mediated instruction, type of college/university, randomization of subjects, and intervention length. These analyses showed different effect sizes, although moderators accounted for little of the between-studies variation. Educational implications and recommendations for future research are proposed.

  • Improving Fifth Grade Students' Mathematics Self-Efficacy Calibration and Performance through Self-Regulation Training

    Author:
    Darshanand Ramdass
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Barry Zimmerman
    Abstract:

    This primary goal of this study was to investigate the effects of strategy training and self-reflection, two subprocesses of Zimmerman's cyclical model of self-regulation, on fifth grade students' mathematics performance, self-efficacy, self-evaluation, and calibration measures of self-efficacy bias, self-efficacy accuracy, self-evaluation bias, self-evaluation accuracy, time, and strategy use. The participants were 88 fifth graders and the task involved subtraction fraction problems. Students were randomly assigned to one of four groups, strategy training and self-reflection training, strategy training only, self-reflection training only, and the control group. A multivariate analysis of covariance showed significant main effects of strategy training with a large effect size. Follow-up univariate analyses of variance on each of the nine dependent measures revealed significant main effects for eight variables with the exception of self-efficacy accuracy. The effects sizes for these significant effects ranged from medium to large. Path analysis results also indicated that strategy training had direct and indirect effects on math performance. Self-efficacy bias was a mediating variable between strategy training and math performance. A second path analysis showed the effects of self-reflection training were weak, and it was not possible to confirm the mediational role of math performance on self-evaluation accuracy. Correlation analyses indicated that all the variables correlated with math performance. Self-efficacy bias and self-evaluation bias correlated negatively with math performance. However, the multivariate analysis of covariance did not reveal significant main effects for self-reflection training nor was there any interaction between strategy and self-reflection training. Nonetheless, upon examining the means scores of the self-reflection and the non self-reflection groups, a consistent pattern emerged. The mean scores for the self-reflection groups were higher than the non self-reflection groups. To explore whether this difference was statistically significant, a nonparametric chi-square analysis was conducted. The results of this test showed that the self-reflection training exerted a consistent, albeit a weak influence, indicating that it resulted in better math performance, self-evaluative judgments, and calibration judgments. Overall, this research demonstrated that strategy training improved fifth grade students' math performance, self-evaluative judgments, and calibration measures of accuracy and less bias. The educational implications of the findings for educators were considered.

  • Effects of Teacher Efficacy and Student's Gender and Ethnicity on Special Education Referral and Response to Intervention

    Author:
    Archna Randall
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Georgiana Tryon
    Abstract:

    This study examined the relationships among teacher efficacy, student gender, and student ethnicity (African American, Asian American, Latin American, and Caucasian) on teachers' decisions to use RTI versus referring immediately to special education. Kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers (N = 134) completed an anonymous survey online that included demographic questions, the Teachers' Sense of Teacher Efficacy Scale (TSES; Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001), a hypothetical case study of a student struggling academically, and questions about teacher referral decisions. Participants randomly received one of the eight hypothetical case studies that varied the student's gender and ethnicity. This study employed procedures similar to earlier studies (Meijer & Foster, 1998; Podell & Soodak, 1993; Soodak & Podell, 1993) that manipulated student characteristics. Results support previous research studies that found that high teacher efficacy relates to fewer special education referrals. Multiple logistic regression analyses show that teachers with higher teacher efficacy in student engagement and instructional strategies were more likely to use RTI versus referring to special education. Teacher efficacy for classroom management was not related to teacher referral decisions. There was a significant relationship among teacher efficacy, student's gender, and teachers' referral decisions. Efficacious teachers were more likely to use RTI for a struggling female student than for a struggling male student. Taken together, teacher efficacy, student's gender, and student's ethnicity did not relate significantly to teachers' decisions to use RTI versus referring to special education. This study demonstrated promising results related to teachers' efficacy and teachers' decisions to use RTI. Study limitations include sample size and demographics, validity of using vignettes, and teachers responding in a socially desirable manner that may have precluded significant results. It is recommended that educators be ready for the paradigm shift away from the refer-test model to the RTI approach. Future research is encouraged to develop an RTI teacher efficacy scale and examine teachers' integrity of implementing of RTI.

  • Factors that Account for Children's Variability in Social Skills: Temperament and Emotional Intelligence

    Author:
    Christine Rissanen
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Georgiana Tryon
    Abstract:

    The study of social skills in children has been a popular field of research for many decades. The popularity of this construct may be due, in part, to the importance of social skills. Investigators recognize social skills as an essential set of abilities that correlate with overall personal adjustment in both children and in adults (Agostin & Bain, 1997; Copeland, 2006; Dodge, Murphy, & Buschsbaum, 1984; Green, Forehand, Beck, & Vosk, 1980; Vinnick & Erickson, 1994). Some children learn to skillfully master social skills, whereas for others, their skills in interacting effectively with others are insufficient to achieve success in the social world. Knowledge of an individual's differences may be important in understanding an individual's level of social skills. One form of an individual's difference is his/her temperament and another is his/her level of emotional intelligence (EI). Currently, there is no research examining the relationship among EI, social skills, and temperament in preschool-aged children. One reason for this paucity is that until recently there was no assessment measure for EI of young children. The purpose of the present study, therefore, was to determine what accounts for the variability in preschool aged children's social skills. It was hypothesized that a child's level of social skills would be influenced by both his/her level of EI and their temperament. Parents of 94 preschool children, aged 4 years to 5 years 6 months participated in the study. Parents completed a demographic questionnaire and gave their child's teacher permission to complete three rating scales, Social Skills Rating Scale (SSRS), Temperament Assessment Battery for Children- Revised (TABC-R), and the Teacher/Parent Rating Scale for Emotional Intelligence (T/PRSEI). Based on the data collected, all the proposed hypotheses in this study were confirmed. Results of this study indicate that higher scores of EI were predictive of higher scores of social skills, t(90) = 1.84, p = .07. Although not significant at the customary p < .05 level, this positive relationship showed a trend toward significance. Scores on both temperament variables were also predictive of social skills. Specifically, there was a significant negative relationship between inhibition and social skills, t(90) = -5.24, p < .001. Thus, higher scores on the inhibition scale of the TABC-R predicted lower scores on the SSRS. Additionally, impulsivity and social skills scores were negatively related, t(90) = -6.07, p < .001. Therefore, high scores on the impulsivity scale of the TABC-R were predictive of lower scores on the SSRS. Analyses were also conducted to investigate whether or not gender may be influencing EI. Results showed that when gender was entered into the regression analysis, the variance accounted for significantly increased, t(89) = 4.77, p < .001. In addition, when gender was added as a predictor in the multiple regression, the t-test assessing the contribution of EI revealed it as a stronger predictor of social skills, t(89) = 2.87, p < .01. Thus, when gender was controlled for, EI significantly predicted students' social skills. Knowledge about what accounts for the variability in children's social skills may help School Psychologists to tailor interventions to assist the child in enhancing his/her social skills. Although a child's temperament is often stable across their lifespan and cannot be changed, skills that are deficits in the child's temperament traits can be taught and learned and in turn may help their level of social skills. Next, knowing a child's temperament will help professionals choose different strategies and interventions to work on social skills. Finally, although there is little research on teaching EI skills, it is possible that teaching EI skills to children who have deficits in social skills would lead to an improvement in their social skills.

  • How Much Value is Added by Value Added Models, An Analysis of Teachers' Performance Over Time Using New York State Assessment Data

    Author:
    Mariana Ristea
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    David Rindskopf
    Abstract:

    There is a strong movement to evaluate teachers on the basis of students' performance. To compare teachers fairly, as each may have a mixture of students with different abilities in a given subject area, one should account for variables reflective of students' subject knowledge and background when entering a course. Most methods of control consist of highly sophisticated statistical models mostly difficult to explain to educators who are being evaluated using such methods. This research presents two value-added methods that could be replicated by using in-house resources and standardized student assessment data which are either continuous or ordinal. One method is simpler to implement if one's goal is to evaluate teachers' performance based on students' assessments scores reported as ordinal measures. The second method is similar to a more typical value-added approach and uses hierarchical linear structures to determine a classification of teachers' performance based on their students' assessment scores reported as continuous measures. Teachers' "value-added" in a given academic year is typically calculated using students' longitudinal New York State assessment data, reported in both ordinal and continuous forms. Comparison of results obtained from both methods, along with their interpretations, are used to examine trade-offs between accuracy of methods and their ease of use and transparency. The code used is included for practitioners who may wish to replicate this value-added methodology. Suggestions related to educational policy and feasibility of implementation of methods are also discussed.

  • The Relationship between a Sense of School Belonging and Internalizing, Externalizing, and School Problems in Adolescent Immigrants

    Author:
    Corinne Rivera
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Georgiana Tryon
    Abstract:

    Research suggests that Latino adolescents, both native and foreign born, are at increased risk for the development of school, behavioral, and psychological problems. It also identifies a variety of factors associated with both risk and resilience in this population. There is, however, a scarcity of research that specifically examines risk and resiliency in recent Latino immigrant adolescents who have unique circumstances that may affect their functioning. This study was conducted to address this gap in the research literature by investigating the relationship between a sense of school belonging and internalizing, externalizing, and school problems in adolescent immigrants. Participants included 78 Latino adolescent immigrants between the ages of 11 and 18 who completed a number of instruments to assess their level of connectedness to their schools; internalizing, externalizing, and school problems; and overall psychological adjustment. One teacher for each student also completed a measure of academic effectiveness. Results showed that participants who reported a higher sense of school belonging indicated lower levels of depressive symptoms and higher overall psychological adjustment. Significant relationships between school belonging and anxiety symptoms, school/academic problems, and externalizing behaviors were not found. These findings have implications for school psychologists and other school mental health staff who are in a position to support youngsters in need and to foster a supportive and inclusive school environment for immigrant children.  

  • THE INFLUENCE OF CROSS-LINGUISTIC INPUT AND L2 PROFICIENCY ON L2 READING COMPREHENSION AMONG SPANISH-SPEAKING ADULTS LEARNING ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

    Author:
    Astrid Rodriguez
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Linnea Ehri
    Abstract:

    The present study investigated the effects of cross-linguistic input and second language proficiency on second language reading comprehension among Spanish-speaking adults enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at a community college in New York City. The main research question was whether language-minority adults would comprehend printed text better if they read it in Spanish (L1) followed by English (L2) than if they read the text twice only in English. An experimental study using a 2 (lower L2 proficiency vs. higher L2 proficiency) x 2 (think-aloud vs. no think-aloud) x 2 (Spanish/English vs. English/English) crossed factorial design was conducted. Eighty students were randomly assigned to the Spanish/English or English/English reading conditions within each L2 proficiency level and think-aloud conditions. Reading comprehension was assessed via a verbal recall task, eight open-ended questions, and a 43-item cloze task. The results revealed that students with lower L2 proficiency benefitted substantially from reading the text in both languages as evident by their performance on the recall and Q&A reading comprehension tasks. In contrast, L1 input did not provide an added advantage over reading the text twice in English for students with higher L2 proficiency. A reactive effect to the think-aloud procedure was found for students with lower L2 proficiency on the Q&A and cloze tasks. On the Q&A task, among those who completed the think-aloud procedure, students who read the text in both languages outperformed students who read the text only in English. On the cloze task, students who did not perform the think-aloud procedure outperformed students who did the think-aloud. In addition, it was found that the reading comprehension assessment methods had a differential effect on students' ability to demonstrate the degree to which they comprehended the text. Results showed that performance was lowest on the recall task across all groups. Other findings and implications are discussed.

  • The Effects of Cardiovascular Exercise on College Students' Learning, Recall, and Comprehension

    Author:
    Andrea Salis
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Barry Zimmerman
    Abstract:

    Research on physical activity and cognition is based on the existing theoretical and empirical evidence which indicates that engaging in cardiovascular exercise improves cognitive capabilities, by increasing neural functioning which improves learning (cognitive development). The question this research sought to answer was to determine whether or not (a) increased amounts of exercise improves cognitive recall and comprehension and (b) there is a difference in cognitive recall and comprehension abilities when engaging in exercise occurs before a learning activity as compared to after a learning activity. This experimental pretest-posttest study examined whether or not a cardiovascular exercise intervention improved community college students' recall and comprehension of recently learned information. The cardiovascular exercise intervention included two levels: moderate and light exercise. In one sequence the rehearsal of information (i.e., learning) took place before the students' engaged in exercise and in an alternate sequence, after the students have engaged in exercise. The results of the study demonstrated that performing a moderate amount of exercise before or after rehearsing for a comprehension test significantly improved test results. The moderate exercise group also scored higher on the recall posttest than the no exercise group, yet this difference was not found to be significant. Performing a light amount of exercise demonstrated improvement in comparison to not performing any exercise. Yet, this difference was not found to be significant. Overall, the results of the research demonstrated a significant positive linear trend between increased levels of physical activity and comprehension.

  • Comparing and Combining Accommodation and Remediation Interventions to Improve the Written Language Performance of Children with Asperger's Syndrome

    Author:
    Ariane Schneider
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Georgiana Tryon
    Abstract:

    This study examined the relative effectiveness of two writing accommodations (word processing and speech recognition technology) as compared with handwriting alone on improving the writing fluency of four boys with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). This study also examined whether the pairing of the most effective writing accommodation with a widely used and empirically supported writing intervention (SRSD; Self-Regulated Strategy Development) would further improve fluency as well as accuracy and story quality. A multiple phase alternating treatments design with a final treatment phase was used to first compare the two accommodations with handwriting (first phase) and then the most effective accommodation with SRSD (second phase). Four variables were used to assess writing skills, two measuring fluency (total words written and number of words in a complete sentence), one measuring accuracy (percentage of correct word sequences), and one measuring story quality and completeness (number of story parts). It was hypothesized that the use of the speech recognition accommodation would result in the most fluently written stories but that the addition of the SRSD intervention would further improve fluency but also improve writing accuracy and story quality. In addition, these gains would generalize to the participants' creative writing assignments. Outcomes indicated that the speech recognition accommodation improved writing fluency and writing quality far better than the word processing and handwriting accommodation. Speech recognition alone also improved writing accuracy for two of the participants who struggled with spelling. Results further suggested that word processing, although frequently recommended for this population, was not an effective accommodation for these participants. SRSD with handwriting did not improve fluency for these participants, though the intervention did improve story quality. It was the combination of the SRSD intervention with speech recognition that resulted in lengthier, most fluent, and highest quality written work when compared to SRSD with handwriting, speech recognition alone, and handwriting alone. Although SRSD with speech recognition had very little impact on improving writing accuracy, it was more helpful for the participants who struggled with spelling As hypothesized, writing improvements were generalized to participants' creative writing homework assignments.

  • Parents' Perceptions of School Psychologists' Use of Social Power and Interpersonal Influence in School Consultation for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Author:
    Seth Sebold
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Educational Psychology
    Advisor:
    Ida Jeltova
    Abstract:

    This study explored parents' attitudes towards school psychologists' use of social power and interpersonal influence in the school consultation process for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Previous research has examined school psychologists' perceptions, as well as teachers' perceptions, of social power and interpersonal influence in school consultation, but to date, parents' perceptions in this regard have been given limited attention in the literature. Study questions addressed (a) which social power techniques parents perceived as most effective when used by school psychologists to elicit their compliance, (b) how parents' perceptions of these techniques compared to school psychologists and teachers, whom were both studied previously, (c) whether a soft-harsh, two-factor solution among these power techniques existed among parents, and (d) whether parents' ratings on the soft power techniques predicted ratings of consultant effectiveness and ratings of satisfaction with children's consultation outcome. One-hundred and sixty-nine parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders completed measures of social power (IPI-Form CE; Erchul, Raven, & Whichard, 2001), consultant effectiveness (CEF; Erchul, 1987), and satisfaction with their children's consultation outcome (GAS; Kiresuk, Smith, & Cardillo, 1994). Results indicated that parents, like school psychologists and teachers, generally endorsed soft social power strategies, compared to those that are harsh or coercive, with the exception of impersonal reward power, a traditionally harsh social power strategy. The results of an Exploratory Factor Analysis on the IPI-Form CE did not reveal a clear, soft-harsh, two-factor solution among the social power techniques, as parents' ratings on several of the individual strategies did not completely conform to the expected model structure. In addition, multiple regression models revealed that parents' ratings on positive expert power, one of the five soft power strategies, significantly predicted their ratings of consultant effectiveness, but that no significant relationships existed between parents' ratings on the five soft power strategies and ratings on their satisfaction with their children's consultation outcomes. Implications for school psychologists working with this unique parent population are provided, as well as study strengths, limitations, and suggestions for future research.