BEHAVIORAL-COGNITIVE EXPLANATION OF ACADEMIC UNDERACHIEVEMENT
 
Lebedina-Manzoni, M., University of Zagreb, Croatia
 
One marker of learning disabilities is the presence of unexpected underachievement that is a child fails to achieve at an expected level. As a consequence of repeated academic failure of learning problems, students often develop specific secondary characteristics as a low self-esteem, poor motivation for long -lasting learning, tendency to give up and withdraw and lack in interest in acquisition of new learning strategies. Besides this deficits in self-regulation many students with learning disabilities have also other characteristics which making learning more difficult: external locus of control, hopeless behaviour, low motivation, impulsivity, maladaptive attributions, low efficacy. Great many emotional disorders are direct consequence of irrational believes known as cognitive distortion. According to the cognitive behavioural model of understanding learning disabilities, it seems that negative automatic thoughts are one of the key factors in treatment programs. During assessment of learning difficulties special attention must be paid to the identification of the cognition -students' thoughts, believes and attitudes about their problems and about their own capacities to cope with them. Our study wanted to answer the following question: What are the differences between successful and unsuccessful students in SATQ (Student Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire)? The sample consisted of the 120 third and the fourth year students at University of Zagreb. As an instrument we used the SATQ. SATQ has been developed in Croatian language with the aim to assess the negative and positive automatic thoughts that students have during learning. We made Factorial analysis of SATQ and discriminative analysis of SATQ for successful and unsuccessful students. The results are still being analysed.