Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Department name when degree awarded

Psychology and Guidance

Committee Chair(s)

David Rittine


David Rittine


From the observations of counselors and teachers within our school district there seem to be these indications: (a) That many failing students are experiencing personal adjustment problems due to a faulty self concept and that they tend to behave in terms of how they perceive themselves, or according to the role forced on them by others. So if they have been labeled as a failing student this is the role they perceive for themselves and they tend to behave in terms of the role they perceive for themselves. (b) Non-promoted students who have been retained seem to have a lower self concept than those who have been socially promoted. (c) Failing students often employ some compensatory behavior to satisfy their need for acceptance and recognition. (d) It has been observed that non-promoted students often do no better the next year if retained. All that retention seems to do is to reinforce their feelings of inadequacy. (e) In counseling with students who have failed and have a common problem, it has been observed that the peer group often acts as a form of motivation to do better thus justifying group counseling as a possible answer to failure rather than retention.

If, as suspected, failure is due in part to a faulty self concept, then in order to attempt to prevent failure and to counsel more effectively with the failing student, we should get to the source of the problem rather than to merely treat the symptom. If failure also intensifies feelings of inferiority then the development of a low self concept could be partly the result of failure.