Date of Award

Summer 5-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal


Students with learning disorders are one of the largest and fastest growing populations of college students with disabilities, yet many experience significant difficulty in formal academic settings. These challenges may include lower levels of academic achievement, negative perceptions of school, and negative perceptions of themselves. Research has shown that certain variables, including implicit theory of intelligence, goal orientation, and self-efficacy, are related to academic achievement. The current study sought to assess the relationships between these variables and academic achievement, as measured by cumulative GPA, among a sample of college students with identified learning disorders. Results showed medium to large correlations between self-efficacy scales and GPA. There was no relationship between implicit theory of intelligence and college GPA, though a small negative relationship with high school GPA. Additional small correlations were found between goal orientation and GPA, implicit theory of intelligence and goal orientation, and implicit theory of intelligence and self-efficacy. When compared to a control group, students with learning disorders had similar GPAs and were no more likely to endorse a fixed view of intelligence. Though this sample did not differ significantly from the control group, some of the relationships among the variables may warrant further investigation as areas of intervention among this population.