Inducing achievement behavior through a planned group counseling program

Tang, Kendel Sunico
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
This study was an attempt to find an answer to the question: What are the specific treatment conditions which will effectively induce academic achievement behavior among male high school underachievers? It was aimed at the attainment of four specific objectives: (1) to improve the subjects' academic motivation to achieve, (2) to improve the subjects' study habits and skills, (3) to improve the subjects' grade-point average, and (4) to improve the subjects' school attendance. The subjects of this study were male eleventh and twelfth grade students whose grade-point average in the tenth and eleventh grades, respectively, was more than one standard error of estimate below their predicted grade-point average using their score on a standardized test of academic ability as predictor. The subjects were assigned to three treatment groups, Le., the counseled group, the aware group, and the unaware group. The counseled group was composed of subjects who were informed of their academic potential, were invited to counseling, and were given group counseling using verbal reinforcement. The aware group was composed of subjects who were informed of their academic potential, were invited to counseling, but were not provided counseling since they declined to participate in the group counseling program. The unaware group was composed of subjects who were neither informed of their academic potential nor invited to counseling nor given group counseling. The subjects in the unaware group were the first to be selected at random from the identified population of male high school underachievers. Seventeen counseling sessions were held in a classroom furnished with movable arm chairs which were arranged in a circle with a portable tape recorder placed at the center. The sessions were held twice a week for eight and a half weeks. The topics for the counseling sessions were planned in advance and were related to motivation to achieve and effective study habits and skills. Achievement-oriented responses were elicited by the counselor using general and specific verbal cues in the form of questions. The counselor administered verbal reinforcement contingent on the production of achievement-oriented responses by the subjects. Achievement-oriented responses were defined as verbal utterances or statements expressing a favorable attitude toward education, improved academic performance, effective study habits and skills, and improved school attendance. Verbal reinforcement consisted of praise, agreement, reflection of the subject IS statement, or a verbal utterance such as "uh-hum" or a nonverbal indication of assent or attention such as a nod, forward posture, or smile. The results revealed that the counseled group performed significantly better than either the aware group or the unaware group on the criterion measures of academic motivation to achieve and effective study habits and skills. The counseled group was significantly superior to the unaware group, but not to the aware group, in academic performance as measured by grade-point average. There were no significant differences among the three groups on the school attendance criterion. There were no significant differences between the aware group and the unaware group on all the criterion measures. The results indicate that planned group-reinforcement counseling is a viable technique for improving the motivation to achieve, study habits and skills, and grade-point average of male high school underachievers.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii, 1970.
Bibliography: leaves 166-173.
viii, 173 l graphs, tables
Academic achievement, Underachievers, Group counseling
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii (Honolulu)). Educational Psychology; no. 295
Table of Contents
All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder
Local Contexts
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.