Rebellion Against Destiny: Increasing Strategic Effort and Sense of Control through Attributional Retraining in Probationary Students

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

The attribution process is one of the most fundamental psychological phenomena that produces negative thoughts and emotions in academic failure settings, whereby may manifest academic maladaptive behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of attributional retraining intervention (AR) in the college student’s term probation.


In an additive experimental design, 110 student’s term probation of University of Tehran in the first semester of 98-97 were recalled. After preliminary screening based on last term probation and low score on Perry's Perceived Academic Control Scale (2001), 30 participants were assigned to 3 groups including 2 attributional training groups (ABCDE AR and ABCDE + video AR) and a waiting list control group. Two experimental groups participated in 9 sessions of AR intervention (each sessions120 minutes) for five weeks. The ABCDE group received AR intervention including group discussion and writing tasks and the second experimental group received AR intervention including watching 3 video-taped, group discussion and writing tasks. Participants completed the perceived control scale, life satisfaction scale (Cantril, 1965) and positive and negative affect scales (Mroczek and Kolarz ,1998) before and after the intervention and two months later. Student’s previous semester grade point average and current semester grade point average obtained from educational services office.


The Results of mixed variance analysis indicated that the AR intervention significantly enhanced the perceived academic control in the student’s term probation, improved academic performance and subjective well-being relative to the control group. Also, adding film to the induction of attribution training had some positive effects, although it did not reach a statistically significant level.


Correcting maladaptive causal attributions appears to enhance the sense of control and strategic effort of the failed individuals, and which in turn leads to positive academic outcomes.

Biannual Peer Review Journal of Clinical Psychology & Personality, Volume:18 Issue: 2, 2021
37 to 53  
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