HomeAni: Letran Calamba Research Reportvol. 1 no. 1 (2011)

Learned Helplessness and Meaning of Life of Verbally-Abused Helpers in the Market Site, Calamba City, Laguna

Mary Rose Carmela R. Bagares | Jenalyn E. Reyes | Narliza A. Salonga

Discipline: Psychology



The objective of the study was to determine the profile of verbally-abused store helpers, forms of verbal abuse they experienced, behavioral manifestations of learned helplessness, internal and external factors that led to learned helplessness, meaning of life, and extent in which learned helplessness influence the meaning of life among the helpers in Calamba Public Market. It adopted quantitative and qualitative research methods and employed self-constructed tests and in-depth interview in gathering data. Frequency was applied to interpret quantitative data and thematic analysis for qualitative data.

There were four male co-researchers involved in the study who are in 17 to 20 years of age. Two of them are high school undergraduates while the other two are high school graduates. The results showed that the verbal abuses that these co-researchers experienced from their employers mostly include name-calling, criticizing, yelling, ridiculing, ordering, threatening, and belittling. Fear of being reprimanded, inhibited or constricted emotional reactivity, self-blame, acceptance on the nature of their work, feeling of inadequacy, passive resignation, and helplessness are the behavioral manifestations of learned helplessness. It was further found out that the internal factors that led to learned helplessness include feeling of inadequacy, passive resignation, and self-blame. In addition, contentment in life, good and wholesome character despite resentment towards their employers, providing needs for their loved ones, learning from life’s adversities, perseverance, and persistence are the themes that depict the co-researchers’ meaning of life. Lastly, providing the needs of their loved ones, having contentment, and learning from life’s adversities are the factors that highly influence the helpers’ meaning of life.