The Effectiveness of a Proposed Intervention Program on Learned Helplessness and Executive Functioning in Undergraduates with Learning Disabilities

  • Amal M Eldowa Associate professor of Educational Psychology, Psychology Department, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia,
  • Monir H Khalil Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Educational Psychology Department, Arab Open University, Saudi Arabia,
Keywords: Intervention Program, Learned Helplessness, Executive Functioning, Learning Disabilities, Undergraduates Students


The aim of this study was to propose an intervention program that facilitated undergraduates with learning disabilities (LD) to overcome symptoms of learned helplessness and to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of this program. A small neuropsychology section of eight psychology students were recruited for this study. All eight students had failed the course at least once prior to the research. Their IQ was assessed before the intervention to identify their areas of strength and weakness. Additionally, for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the program, a computer-based executive functioning test was administered on three occasions: before the intervention, at the end of the intervention, and three months following the completion of the intervention. A learned helplessness self-rating scale was also administered prior to and immediately following the intervention. The students’ academic performance was monitored during the course period and via a final exam. The results of the research revealed that the intervention program did not result in any significant improvement in the participants’ academic performance in the course of study in question; however, they did pass the course, and this was considered to represent a considerable academic achievement. Furthermore, the students’ learned helplessness decreased, and their executive functioning increased. The level of executive functioning was persistent even three months after completion of the program. The researchers concluded that the proposed intervention program was successful in helping undergraduates with LD. The limitations of the program and suggestions for future research are discussed in this paper.

 Key Words: Intervention Program, Learned Helplessness, Executive Functioning, Learning Disabilities, Undergraduates Students


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How to Cite
Eldowa, A., & Khalil, M. (2019). The Effectiveness of a Proposed Intervention Program on Learned Helplessness and Executive Functioning in Undergraduates with Learning Disabilities. International Journal of Research in Educational Sciences. (IJRES), 3(1), 423 - 456. Retrieved from