Motivation, Resilience, and Rural Students with Learning Disabilities Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
  • Caprino, Michael
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • As the largest category of students receiving special education services in the United States, students with learning disabilities often encounter challenges in their attempts to succeed in school (Fuchs, Fuchs, Mathes, & Lipsey, 2000; Mason & Hedin, 2011; Mastropieri, Scruggs, & Graetz, 2003; National Association of Special Education Teachers, 2015; Wagner et al., 2003). Students with learning disabilities report lower postsecondary educational aspirations (Irvin et al., 2011a) and do not achieve academically at the same level as their nondisabled peers (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2014a). In addition, students with learning disabilities frequently experience low levels of motivation to learn in school (Adelman & Taylor, 1983, 1990; Irvin et al., 2011a; Lichtinger & Kaplan, 2015; Melekoglu, 2011; Sideridis, 2003; Zisimopoulos & Galanski, 2009). These challenges can be compounded when students with learning disabilities reside in rural communities. For example, rural schools lack the resources to recruit psychologists, school counselors, and special education teachers to meet the needs of students with disabilities (Hardré, 2012; Irvin, Meece, Byun, Farmer, & Hutchins, 2011b). I designed this research study to address limitations in the research base about students with learning disabilities in rural areas and the nature of the relation between motivation and educational outcomes for these students. I viewed motivational beliefs through a resilience theory lens to investigate whether having positive motivational beliefs serves as a protective factor for rural high school students with learning disabilities enabling them to achieve academically and aspire educationally to levels similar to their nondisabled peers. Data used for this research were sourced from the Rural High School Aspirations study (National Research Center on Rural Education Support, 2011). A cluster analysis procedure was used to create three motivational belief profiles and two-way ANOVA procedures were used to test hypotheses regarding positive motivation beliefs serving as a protective factor. I did not find that positive motivational beliefs provided the hypothesized boost for rural students with learning disabilities in terms of their academic achievement or postsecondary educational aspirations. The findings of this study contribute to the limited research base focused on the motivational beliefs and resilience of rural high school students with learning disabilities.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Ware, William
  • Mason, Linda
  • Meece, Judith L.
  • Greene, Jeffrey
  • Coffman, Jennifer
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

This work has no parents.