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The Study of Teachers' and Peers' Perception on Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder
The main purposes of the study were: (1) to explore the teachers’ and peers’ perception on ADHD; (2) to investigate the effects of label and behavior on teachers’ and peers’ perceptions. Two studies were conducted as the following: 1. Teachers’ and peers’ perception on ADHD The subjects of the first study were composed of 173 regular education teachers and 176 fifth-graded students from elementary schools in Taipei city and county. ‘The Perception of ADHD Label Inventory’ was conducted to collect data. All of the data were analyzed by content analysis. The major results of predication of school adjustment and perception of social distance were concluded as follows: (1)Teachers’ and peers’ predication of ADHD students’ school adjustment: (a) Four categories were found from the teachers’ and peers’ prediction of ADHD students’ school adjustment: learning adjustment, behavior adjustment, interpersonal adjustment and unspecific adjustment. (b) Teachers were prone to predict behavior and learning adjustment, while peers were prone to predict learning adjustment. (c) Under each category, more details were found. Teachers’ and peers’ perceptions on ADHD included inattentive, impulsive, hyperactive symptoms and other related problems (such as learning, behavior and interpersonal problems). Teachers and peers predicted more inattention and hyperactivity than impulsivity on ADHD. They all thought that ADHD students performed well in unstructured activity. They also predicted that ADHD students could have more external behavior problems, but ignored the internal behavior problems. (2)Teachers’and peers’perception of social distance on ADHD: (a)Eight categories were derived from the Teachers’ and peers’ perception of social distance on ADHD. Six of them were correspondent: enrolling into class, participating various instructional activity, adjustment in school, help and guidance, understanding the student and unspecific situation. The other two were different. Seeking resource and the arranging instruction were found in the teachers’ perceptions, while the peers’ interaction and extracurricular activity were found in peer’s. (b) Teachers were prone to perceive the situation of instruction and guidance, while peers were prone to perceive the situation of adjustment in school. (c) Under each category, more details were found. Teachers and peers were all willing to help ADHD improve the academic adjustment difficulties and accept ADHD participate in unstructured activity, however, they were all unwilling to accept ADHD behavior. Teachers needed seek resources to accept ADHD, while peers needed play together in extracurricular activities. (3) Teachers’ and peers’ perceptions on ADHD label were different, which indicated the perception affected by their own background and different roles. The symbolic interactionismtheory was verified by this result. 2. The effects of label and behavior information on Teachers’ and peers’ perception: The second study aimed to investigate the effect of the label and behavior by the design of 2 x 3x3 experiment. Three different labels encompassed ADHD, energetic and normal, and three different messages of behaviors were described as ADHD-type behavior, normal behavior, and non-description. 270 regular teachers and 270 fifth-graded students from elementary schools in Taipei county were randomly assigned to read one of the nine vignettes, which described a boy with one of the tree labels and his typical daily behavior. All the sample were asked to complete The Scale of Perception of Label and Behavior, which was semantic differential scale. Three major findings were concluded as follows : (1) The results indicated that the ADHD behavior had a significant negative impact on teachers’ and peers’ predication of school adjustment and perception of social distance. When child presented normal or non-descriptive behavior, peers made more positive prediction of school adjustment than teachers’ did. However, teachers perceived more positive on social distance than peers did, no matter what behavior messages. (2) When normal behavior was described or no behavior description, ADHD label had negative impact on teachers’ and peers’ predication of school adjustment. However, no effects were found on the perception of social distance. When ADHD behavior described, positive label (i.e. energetic) had no positive impact on their predication of school adjustment and the perception of social distance. (3) The results indicated that teachers and peers relied predominantly on the individuating information (ADHD behavior) when they perceive both ADHD label and individuating information (ADHD behavior). However, they depend on ADHD label, when the information was irrelevant or ambiguous (normal or non-descriptive behavior). Implications for the practice and the further research were recommended on the basis of the findings of this study.
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