Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Clinical Psychology

Efficacy of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Managing Behavioral Problems of Slow Learner Children

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Clinical Psychology

Efficacy of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Managing Behavioral Problems of Slow Learner Children

Article excerpt

Byline: Mahira Ahmad, Naumana Amjad, Rafia Rafique and Afifa Anjum


Objective and Background: The study investigates the efficacy of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in managing behavioural problems of slow learner children in Pakistan.

Hypothesis: Children in the treatment group show less behavioral problems (aggression, social incompetence, attention disorganization, and anxiety) as compared to control group at the post intervention level controlling for pre-treatment level.

Participant and Method: A purposive sample of 10 slow learners (5 in Treatment Group and 5 in Control Group) were taken from Lahore School of Learning after screening through Slosson Intelligence Test. Assessments were done at pre and post level by using Comprehensive Behaviour Rating Scale for Children and Direct and Indirect Aggression Scale Teacher Report. Twelve structured group CBT sessions of sixty minutes were conducted over six weeks with the Treatment group. Control group was exposed to different activities like chart making, coloring and drawing.

Results: The Treatment group reduced significantly in all the behavioural problems, aggression, attention disorganization and anxiety after the intervention. There was no difference in pre-treatment scores on behavioural problems of two groups but post treatment scores of treatment groups showed a significant difference from control group.

Implications: As a preliminary test of a procedure for reducing behavioural problems among slow learners this study presents a model that can be refined and used in research and by special educationists.

Keywords: Behavioural problems; slow learners; cognitive behavior therapy; aggression; attention disorganization; anxiety; social competence


Most of the children reach various developmental maturities at more or less similar times. However some children develop cognitively at a slower rate than the similar age children. These children undergo the same basic developmental stages as other children but their developmental stages are at slower rate. These slow learners gain knowledge more slowly than their peers although they do not have a disability needing special education (Griffin, 1978). Having to study at mainstream schools but not being able to keep up with the performance and learning required for their class level can be frustrating and distressing to say the least. Due to this situation they are at risk for different maladaptive behavioral problems like disruptive behavior (Qureshi, 1998; McCord, 1993), aggression, depression (Kessler and Walters, 1998), social isolation, lack of attention and concentration which can disturb their life at home and school.

Left unattended, these problems tend to worsen and interfere with long term functioning and wellbeing of these children. Moreover, the teachers find it difficult to provide instructions and impart learning when children show inattention and disruptive patterns in class room. Despite recent advances in psycho-education techniques, there are very few intervention initiatives that provide a model for helping the educators in dealing with behavioural problems of slow learners in Pakistan. Therefore, this study focused at developing a procedure for reducing behavioural problems among slow learners and serves as a preliminary test of this intervention.

A slow learner child is one who is doing inadequately in school though he/she is not eligible for special education school. The intelligence test scores of these children are too high (70-79) for classifying them as intellectually disabled but low enough to cause significant difficulty in learning. They have ability to learn but they go through the procedure at a slower pace thus are often unable to complete tasks assigned in class room, taking longer time in learning concepts. This hinders performance and causes them frustration. Various behavioural problems noticed among slow learners are inattention, disorganization, sluggish tempo, social isolation, anxiety and sometimes aggression generating difficulties for their teachers and parents (Brody and Mills, 1997). …

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