The Effects of Self-Regulated Strategy Development with Content Area Prompts for Persuasive Essays on the Planning and Written Language Performance of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities




Hauth, Clara

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This study examined the use of self-regulating strategies (SRSD) to support students with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) in the academic area of writing. Eight, eighth grade students identified as having emotional disabilities participated in a multiple baseline multiple probe designed to assess the effects of teaching persuasive writing and then applying that learning to writing in the civics content area. After baseline, data were collected and two intervention phases were implemented. First, an instructional phase on teaching the SRSD persuasive essay strategy POW-TREE was implemented followed by post intervention testing. Then, a second intervention phase was implemented using the same strategy but with civics content, followed by post testing. Following four weeks delay, maintenance and generalization probes were administered. Students were also assessed on their strategy knowledge, social validity, and timed periodically to assess the time students spent on planning and writing. Findings revealed that all students improved substantially on all essay measures of length, qualitative, number of essay parts, sentences, and paragraphs. All demonstrated large level changes and decreased variability; resulting percent of nonoverlapping data from baseline to post intervention phases was 100%. There were, however, slight declines from post intervention testing to maintenance and generalization performance, although these data remained substantially higher than baseline performance. Moreover, strategy data revealed that all students learning the essay strategy liked using it and reported seeing the benefits of continued strategy use. Finally, all students improved from low planning and writing times at baseline by significant percent increases in planning and writing at post SRSD intervention. These results replicate and extend previous research on teaching expressive writing to students with EBD. Findings are discussed with respect to educational implications and future research.



Emotional disabilities, Written performance, Self-regulated strategy, Planning and writing, Content area prompts, Persuasive essays