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Original Research Articles

Improving Well-Being, Academic Self-Concept and Academic Achievement of Indian Children with Specific Learning Disability by utilising Positive Psychology Intervention

Author:

Usha Tiwari Upadhyay

Consultant School Psychologist, IN
About Usha
Usha Tiwari Upadhyay, Ph.D. is an RCI registered Rehabilitation Psychologist & Special Educator. She received a Ph.D. degree in Psychology from Osmania University (2019) and ‘SETH Gold Medal’ from National Institute for the Empowerment of the Persons with Intellectual Disability (NIEPID), Secunderabad, India for her academic excellence in M.Phil. Rehabilitation Psychology course (2008-2010). She has 18 years of experience in working with children with specific needs in school and clinical set-up. Her current placement is with DAV Public School as a consultant school psychologist. She is interested in improving well-being of all children with and without specific needs. She is also an executive member of the Association of Rehabilitation Psychologists – India.
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Abstract

Purpose: It is widely recognised that children’s well-being involves not only the absence of psychological distress, but also the presence of positive indicators of optimal functioning to be mentally healthy. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a Positive Psychology Intervention (PPI) implemented in school going children with specific learning disability (SLD) would lead to increased subjective well-being (SWB), improved academic self-concept (ASC) and academic achievement (AA).

Method: The study followed a one group pre-test post-test design. Purposive sampling was used to select 75 children with SLD (61 boys and 14 girls) from 3 schools in Telangana State, India. Children who were between 8 – 12 years of age (in classes 3 – 7) were selected on the basis of the inclusion criteria. The main outcome measures used were Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (BMSLSS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children (PANAS-C) and Academic Self-Concept Scale. Academic achievement was recorded through total marks scored by the student in all the core subjects (language/s, math, science, social studies) of the semester examination. The Positive Psychology Intervention consisted of activities integrating gratitude, mindfulness and attributional style. Each class group received weekly sessions of group intervention for 12 weeks. Results were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS Version 20.0). Wilcoxon signed-rank test was calculated to find the difference between pre-, post- and follow-up scores.

Results: The findings showed significant increase in the levels of subjective well-being, academic self-concept and academic achievement of children with SLD after PPI. The follow-up after 6 months found the effect was maintained on all the studied variables except academic achievement. 

Conclusion and Implication: Positive Psychology Intervention has the potential to sustain significant improvements in happiness and academic self-concept of children with SLD. It also aided improvement in their academic achievement. There is a need to further investigate the applicability of these interventions to boost positive emotions and alleviate negative emotions in all children, with and without specific needs. In addition, these PPIs may be used to empower parents and teachers with positive attributes to face their challenges in dealing with other disabilities in children.

How to Cite: Upadhyay, U.T., 2021. Improving Well-Being, Academic Self-Concept and Academic Achievement of Indian Children with Specific Learning Disability by utilising Positive Psychology Intervention. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 32(3), pp.105–135.
Published on 26 Oct 2021.

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