Publication Date

Spring 2016

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Multicategorical Special Education

First Advisor

Philip Boudreau, Ph.D.


This research study investigated educators’ knowledge and beliefs of learned helplessness in student with mild to moderate disabilities. Prior research indicates that students with disabilities are more prone to developing the learned helpless condition in comparison to their non-disabled peers. Studies provide evidence of a direct correlation between school failure and learned helplessness. A quantitative descriptive research method was used to collect and analyze data. A survey design method was used to assess special educators’ perceptions of the learned helpless condition. There were 40 special education teachers from suburban Chicago high schools who participated in this research study. Based on the obtained and analyzed data from the surveyed special education teachers a majority seem to have an understanding on the overall concept of learned helplessness. Further research is suggested to better understand educators’ beliefs.