Howard S. Adelman

Howard S. Adelman’s early research on intrinsic motivation and academic success in children with and without learning disabilities (i.e. Adelman, 1978; Adelman & Chaney, 1982; Adelman & Taylor, 1983; Adelman & Taylor, 1986, Adelman & Taylor, 1990),made him a prominent and researcher in this field.  His early papers on learning disabilities (LD) and motivation, and his work on interventions, are cited by many. 

Adelman posited that motivational orientation is a determinant of academic success in both students with and without learning disabilities, and that enhancing intrinsic motivation can result in greater academic success (Adelman, 1978; Adelman & Taylor, 1986, cited in Dev, 1996).  He has found that children with LD are less likely than students without LD to be intrinsically motivated, which strengthens his argument for interventions designed to increase intrinsic motivation in these students (Adelman & Chaney, 1982; Adelman & Taylor, 1986, cited in Dev, 1996). 

After working as a remedial classroom teacher from 1960 until 1973, Adelman started teaching psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  In 1986, Adelman and Linda Taylor established the School Mental Health Project, which they have co-directed since that time.  For over 30 years, Adelman has worked on “improving how schools and communities address a wide range of psychosocial and educational problems experienced by children and adolescents” (Sage Publications, 2009).

© Rose Atkins 2009