A cross-national study of teachers' attributional patterns

Margaret D. Clark, Alfredo J. Artiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This cross-national study examined patterns in teachers' attributional responses to outcomes of students with and without learning disabilities. Teachers from elementary schools in California (n = 97) and Guatemala City (n = 59) participated in the study. Using written vignettes, eight hypothetical male students were described, four identified as learning disabled (LD), and four as non-learning disabled (non-LD). Teachers were to assume each child had just taken a typical classroom test and failed. Vignettes provided three types of information: a statement of student ability (high or low), typical effort (high or low), and disability status (LD or non-LD). Three types of teacher responses were examined: evaluative feedback (reward or punishment), emotional reactions (anger and pity), and expectations of future failure. Cross-national patterns of significant difference in teacher responses on the basis of student ability and effort and responses to the students with and without learning disabilities were found. Attributional characteristics of U.S. and Guatemalan teachers' responses are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Special Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation


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