Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Balkin, Richard

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Snyder, Kate

Committee Member

Snyder, Kate

Committee Member

Landrum, Timothy

Committee Member

Woo, Hongryun

Author's Keywords

Self-esteem; learning disabilities; pull-out services


Students with learning disabilities are a minority group in the private school setting. In order to accommodate students with learning disabilities, private schools provide pull-out services. Pull-out services involve students being pulled from the classroom to work with the resource teacher to receive various accommodations. Students who are eligible for accommodations are those who have been formally diagnosed with a learning disability or students who are in the process of being tested for a learning disability. While the special education setting has been the topic of a great deal of research, the research is lacking, nonetheless (Terman, Larner, Stevenson, & Behrman, 1996). Students must be placed in the environment where they will experience the most success. Although success is often measured according to academics, it is of equal importance to consider the emotional needs of students. In order to create a sense of value and well-being, there is a critical need for counselors and educators to foster students’ self-esteem and confidence (Goleniowska, 2014). Moreover, self-esteem and confidence are vital to the prevention of depression and isolation (Baumeister, Storch, & Geffken, 2008). The purpose of this study was to explain the difference in the self-esteem of students with learning disabilities who receive pull-out services and those who do not receive pull-out services in a private school setting. Students with learning disabilities who receive pull-out services were postulated to have a lower self-esteem than students with learning disabilities who do not receive pull-out services. Self-esteem was measured with Brown and Alexander’s (1991) Self-Esteem Index. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was utilized to determine the difference in self-esteem among students with learning disabilities that do and do not receive pull-out accommodations. Qualitative analysis was employed to gather information pertaining to the feelings of participants relative to receiving pull-out services. Study results revealed no statistical significance in the difference in self-esteem among students with learning disabilities that do and do not receive pull-out accommodations. However, qualitative analysis uncovered themes surrounding negative feelings regarding pull-out services and self-esteem. Study limitations as well as recommendations for future research were discussed. Recommendations for future research serve as a reminder of the gaps in the existence of qualitative data inclusive of input from students with disabilities. The exclusion of student voice surrounding pull-out services negates counselors’ ability to tend to the needs of their students. Hopefully, the current study will propel further research on the relationship between pull-out services and self-esteem.

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