Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Higher Education

First Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Second Committee Member

Monica Brown

Third Committee Member

Wendy Rodgers

Fourth Committee Member

Stefani Relles

Number of Pages



Positive self-talk is the experience of carrying on an internal conversation with oneself in the form of praise and encourages the individual to persist despite risks or challenges. Goal- oriented thinking is a purposeful mental process used when solving a problem or working on a task and generally occurs when an individual is reasoning, problem solving and decision making. When engaged in goal-oriented thinking, individuals must interpret their current situation, determine their desired state, and then connect the two through a series of actions in an attempt to transform the former to the latter. Individuals who frequently use positive self-talk as a goal-oriented mental process have improved task awareness, exhibit greater effort towards a task, and are more likely to make frequent attempts to reach a desired outcome.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of positive self-talk and goal- oriented thinking on on-task behavior for middle school students with learning disabilities (LD). Students with LD have increasingly distracting thoughts and therefore need to be explicitly taught to change their cognitive processes. A multiple baseline across participants design was used in one self-contained classroom in a large urban school district. A total of four sixth- and seventh-grade students participated. Data were collected on student on-task behavior and work completion rates.


goal-oriented thinking; learning disabilities; positive self-talk


Special Education and Teaching

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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