Spring 5-2016

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


Recidivism is the habitual relapse back to criminal behavior. When it comes to juvenile justice, learned helplessness is not given enough attention as a way to solve recidivism amongst these young adults. Research has shown that subjects who display behavior of learned helplessness can be helped by putting them into situations where they are able to exercise control and see positive outcomes. This project will do that through a case study of one student by putting her in leadership positions and giving her mathematics-related tasks where she is able to exercise control and overcome her low self-confidence when it comes to mathematics. Her responses to unfamiliar algebra problems will were used to measure her learned helplessness and if any improvements in her behavior is made by the tasks. The result is positive yet inconclusive. Her reaction to the first and last assessment were a big contrast but to truly reduce learned helplessness to address recidivism would require a project spanning many years.

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