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The cognitive processes of educable mentally retarded children in hypothetical temptation to steal situations and their responses to treatment

Haines, Allan Thomas 1980 , 'The cognitive processes of educable mentally retarded children in hypothetical temptation to steal situations and their responses to treatment', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis had two major study components, Study I
was concerned with an evaluation of educable mentally retarded
children's responses and cognitive processes in hypothetical
temptation to steal situations, whilst Study II examined the
effectiveness of treatment programs in modifying the children's
behaviour in such situations.
Justification for this research emanated from the
problems faced by the community in relationship to stealing.
In Study I the sample, which consisted of 83 eleven
to sixteen year old children, I.Q. 50-75, was randomly selected
from a population of 108 children in special schools in Tasmania.
The children were administered a series of tests including
Jackson's Hypothetical Temptation to Steal Test (JHTST) and
real life temptation measures. The major findings indicated
that there was a significant discrepancy between the children's
resistance responses on the behavioural ('did do') measure
compared to the moral judgement ('should do') measure of the
JHTST. The cognitive operations were analysed in terms of
extrinsic, intrinsic and right/wrong cognitive processes. It
was found that extrinsic yielding processes were used
significantly more than intrinsic processes on both the 'did
do' and 'should do' measures. A significantly greater number
of children used right/wrong resistance processes on the
'did do' measure compared to extrinsic or intrinsic processes.
There was no difference between right/wrong and extrinsic
processes on the 'should do' measure.
As a result of the findings from Study I a treatment
program was designed. An evaluation of this treatment program
constituted the basis for Study II. The treatment derived its
main aspects and content from Jackson's (1968) model of cognitive
processing in hypothetical temptation to steal situations. The
content and format of the treatment owed much to a study done by
Haines, Jackson and Davidson with normal children in 1980.
Study II, which was based on the same population pool
of 108 children Study I drew from, employed a four group design
with one group receiving a direct instruction program (DIP).
A second group, serving as an alternative treatment condition
received a general instruction procedure (GIP), while a third
group (no treatment control) experienced no specific intervention.
The fourth group was a post-only control group employed to test
for sensitization of testing effects.
An analysis of the data from Study II indicated that
the DIP group used both resistance responses and intrinsic
resistance processes significantly more than the GIP and no
treatment control groups on the behavioural measure of the
JHTST. A three month follow-up probe indicated that the gains
made by the DIP group were maintained.
The implications of the study for the prevention of
stealing were considered.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Haines, Allan Thomas
Keywords: Theft, Children with mental disabilities, Moral education
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1980 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1981. Bibliography: l. 243-253

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